How to get financial aid for college when your parents are making too much money
Wondering how to get financial help if your parents are earning too much? If this question troubles you, you are not alone.
“It’s definitely something we hear a lot,” Jill Desjean, policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), told Student Loan Hero. “Many people assume that [their family earns] too much to ask for financial help.
But even if you think your family won’t qualify for financial aid, Desjean said to go ahead and apply. “You can be pleasantly surprised,” she said. To find out why, see the following topics:
Of course, income is taken into account when the Free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) pumps the Student Assistance Index (SAI), formerly known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) towards the cost of college education. After all, you are providing your parents’ tax returns when you submit your FAFSA.
But you might be surprised to learn that no income threshold determines your eligibility for aid, Desjean said.
A family with a family income of hundreds of thousands of dollars, for example, could be helped by other factors in the FAFSA formula, including tuition fees and the number of siblings who also attend school.
If you still think your parents are rolling too much dough, consider using either the FAFSA4caster or your school’s net price calculator. You can find the latter by Googling, “[school name] net price calculator ”or using the Ministry of Education Research Tool. All colleges and universities are required by the federal government to host the calculator on their websites.
With either of these tools, you’ll enter basic information about your family’s finances and immediately see how much help you might be eligible for for your tuition.
If you’ve ever learned that your parents are too well off to help you get financial assistance, Desjean recommended that you talk about your situation with your school’s financial aid office. For example, you will want to confirm that the office used correct information to arrive at your SAI.
“Before this conversation with the financial aid office, I always encourage families to sit down and think about any special circumstances their family might be going through that might make them richer on a piece of paper with a limited number of questions. “Desjean said. .
For example, your family may have significant medical expenses that consume a large portion of their income and savings.
“It’s not something that there is a page on the FAFSA for,” Desjean said. “But it’s certainly relevant to the family’s ability to pay for college.”
If this is the case for your family, you could seek professional judgment, also known as calling, to your school for further help. You will need to submit evidence proving that your case is valid.
|Examples of special circumstances when negotiating financial assistance|
|● Loss of income or change of job
● Change of marital status or family size
● Death of a spouse or parent
● The parent enrolls in university, full time
● Stop receiving child support
● New health costs not covered by insurance
● Suffered a total loss due to a natural disaster
Even if your family does not have exceptional circumstances, there are plenty of others How to find money for college. You can focus on opportunities that offer merit-based rewards, not financial aid. Private scholarships and even some public grants may be available due to your academic performance regardless of your family’s income.
Still wondering how to get financial aid if your parents are earning too much? This may be because you are a dependent student who is not receiving financial support from your affluent family. Consider that there are many ways to pay for college by yourself.
You can start by taking ownership of the financial aid process and filling out the FAFSA yourself with the appropriate information. Make sure you stay on top of everything essential FAFSA deadlines.
If you still have a shortfall after applying for scholarships, grants, and other forms of help, here’s good news.
“All is not lost if you don’t qualify for school financial aid,” Desjean said. “It’s important for families to come out and look at other funding options.
Maybe a simple solution like a tuition payment plan, which allows you to pay your tuition in smaller installments, might work. If not, it may be time to consider borrowing.
If you need to borrow student loans …
As a last resort, student loans could help you bridge the gap in your tuition fees.
Before you rush out to borrow, however, be sure to study the differences between the federal government and private student loans. For example, federal government loans come with additional protections, including the ability to change your repayment plan.
Private loans might be cheaper to repay with a creditworthy co-signer. However, without the help of mom or dad, you may need to find an alternative co-signer.
When shopping, compare all kinds of lenders – including the federal government, your school, banks, and credit unions – to find the best loan for you and your family.
Remember: you have options for paying for your education, even if you think your family’s income is a disincentive for financial aid.
Keep the lines of communication open with the financial aid office at the school of your choice and approach the problem collaboratively to find the best solution for your situation.