Financial aid process for high school athletes

Many families send out their financial aid forms, sit back and wait for a great financial aid package to come. Others are so afraid of the process or think they will not qualify for financial aid that they don’t even try. Neither is a recipe for success. If your family has never been through the process, it can be daunting.  It would be terrific if every college required the exact same information at exactly the same time.  But there is no single road map to follow – each school sets its own deadlines, requests different information and may ask for that information in a range of formats.

In order to succeed, you must complete a series of steps in the correct order to maximize your financial aid and scholarship potential. Miss one or two steps, fail to understand how the entire process works or make a mistake and you may get less financial aid.

CSS PROFILE

The CSS Profile financial aid form is used at over 250+ private colleges (and a few public colleges) to award financial aid to applicants. GO

EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION

Expected Family Contribution is the amount of money you and your family are expected to and can contribute to your education. GO

FINANCIAL AID TERMS & PROGRAMS

There are many different financial aid terms you should know as well as programs to tap into. Learn more here. GO

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID

There are many different financial aid programs for students to tap into from Stafford Loans, to Perkins Loans to PLUS Loans and more. GO

Did You Know?

Beginning in the fall of 2016, FAFSA will be available starting on October 1st. In the past, FAFSA was not available until January 1st. Now your next question is, how do we apply for financial aid when we might not know how much money we have earned in a year and haven’t filed our taxes yet. On the FAFSA form you make an estimation and then in the spring you will be prompted to submit your final tax data to FAFSA. Please note: FAFSA is integrated with the IRS and they will match up your tax information with what you put on your FAFSA forms, so please be honest and accurate or else your child may have to major in criminal justice!

For the next two years, FAFSA aid will be based on tax year 2015 income for 2 years, 2016-17 and 2017-18. This is known as the prior prior phenomena.

Asset protection allowance is being reduced to $6,300 from $28,200 in fiscal year 2016. Translated in English, this is bad for you. It means if you had $100,000 in taxable assets, FAFSA previously forgave $28,200 of that as not calculated towards the FAFSA application and only looked at $71,900. Now that figure will be much higher and you may have to contribute more money to your child’s education.

FAFSA is a financial aid program available for anyone to fill out and you need to do it if you are applying for financial aid at any school that receives federal grant money. Please note, there are roughly 280 private schools that are also members of the CSS (College Scholarship Service). That is a completely different form that needs to be filled out if you are applying for aid at one of those schools.

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