Obama Administration Unveils Shifts in FAFSA

Hi All

Here is some interesting news. In 2016 students will be able to submit the FAFSA in October using 2015 IRS data. This should allow our students to have a good sense of their need based aid 3+ months sooner and using IRS data that is available. This has implications for us as ASPIRE Mentors. I am going to have to rearrange my college planning workshops and offer the “Preparing for the FAFSA” and “Completing the FAFSA” workshops in September and October.

Here is a link to the article announcing that.

Obama Administration Unveils Shifts in FAFSA

There should be more news forthcoming so stay alert.

Cheers, George
George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Top 10 Tips for Reducing College Costs

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Hi All

I hope that you were able to participate in Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s webinar yesterday. I was familiar with the points that she covered and she was accurate in her recommendations. I am attaching a brief summary of her webinar with my reorganizing of the sequence of her points.

10 Tips for Reducing College Costs

Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s list 8-30-2015

  1. Tuition discounts: Pressure to recruit a freshman class.
  2. Net Price Calculators: Do for each college
  3. Need-based aid: Calculate the EFC on CollegeBoard for Federal and Institutional Methodologies.
  4. Know how to evaluate an Award Letter: Be clear on EFC, loans, work-study, need and merit based funding and if it is renewable.
  5. Appealing Award Letters: Competing awards, Specify need, professional judgement, better spring awards, summer melt.
  6. Test-optional colleges: If you have good GPA but low test scores
  7. College Savings: FAFSA formula and how 529 savings plans are assessed.
  8. Best loans: Student Federal Direct Loans-Subsidized and unsubsidized. 4.29% $31,000
  9. Choosing Colleges: Colleges 94% student discount, Master’s level 88%, Research Univ. 66%
  10. Schools that meet 100%/93% of financial need. Calculate your EFC!

George Letchworth’s Priority Listing-Where to begin.

  1. Tuition discounts: Pressure to recruit a freshman class.  Cost of Attendance (COA) is a sticker price.  Few students pay full price, be a knowledgeable consumer!
  1. College Saving: Save for college and enjoy compounding. Review the FAFSA formula and know how 529 savings plans are assessed. Set up an Oregon 529 College Savings Plan.
  2. Choosing colleges: Colleges 94% get a student discount; Regional-Masters colleges 88% get a discount; Research Universities 66% get a discount. Consider liberal arts colleges for smaller class sizes and access to fulltime faculty.  Choosing a college that is a good fit for the student and affordable is an important step!
  3. Test-optional colleges: If you have good GPA but low test scores.
  4. Schools that meet 100%/93% of financial need. Calculate your EFC.   Financial need=COA-EFC The family is expected to pay the EFC with cash flow, savings or loans.
  1. Need-based aid: Calculate the EFC on CollegeBoard for Federal and Institutional Methodologies.
  2. Net Price Calculators: Do for each college before becoming invested or applying.
  3. Evaluating an Award Letter: Be clear on EFC, loans, work-study, need and merit based funding and what is renewable for each year of college. Award letters are usually sent out in April and acceptance is before May 1.
  4. Appealing Award Letters: Competing awards, Specify need, professional judgement, better spring awards, summer melt. Be courteous but clear if you need additional funding to accept admission to the college.
  5. Best loans: Student Federal Direct Loans-Subsidized and unsubsidized. Annually adjusted 4.29% $31,000 total

If you attended the webinar or have comments on my summary please share with the group.

Cheers,

George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

PS  Is everyone up to date on Oregon SB 81 and the Oregon Promise for those seniors planning on going to a community college?