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financial aid for college

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									Strategies for a Shot at Financial Aid for College

Qualifying for financial aid for college for your toddlers is all about bringing
in a long-term savings plan. Your first order of business here would be to
rope in your parents. Sure it can get a little awkward sitting your parents
down and asking them if they would mind making a real cash contribution
to their grandchild's future; but would you believe it - surveys have shown
that most grandparents are more than willing to set aside a little fund for
their grandchild's education; it's the parents who are really too embarrassed
to ask - or to even accept an offer made. So if you are a grandparent,
understand that usually, it falls to you to bring the whole subject up. Just
imagine - contributing just one Social Security check every year for 15
years should take care of about half your grandchild's college education
costs. If you open a 529 account for your grandchild, it could even keep
the money safe and growing. You could take the money back in the event
of an emergency, and if you happen to change your mind about which
grandkid to help, you could even change the name of the beneficiary
midway.

For parents    however, this may not be the best idea if you are thinking of
applying for   financial aid for college for your children; having a grandparent
with a 529     may net you a smaller grant. Did you know that if you have
two children    close together, and they go to college at about the same time,
you have a     better chance of getting a fat chunk of financial aid for college
right away?     Spacing children apart isn't really a great idea when it comes
to getting a    grant.

Colleges and universities, when they try to figure out what you are able to
pay for your child's first year in college, usually do the counting starting
from New Year's Day, to the last day of the year. That's their base year.
If you need to make any changes to your plans to try to qualify for more
financial aid for college, make sure you do it before December 31 of the
Junior year.

The people who determine the level of financial aid for college you qualify
for, usually try to total up all your assets to see what you can afford. So
make sure that you don't make any major new purchases after the base
year begins. And make sure that you have no outstanding credit card debt
either - it doesn't look good on your resume. But whatever you do, make
sure that their untruths on your FAFSA form.

When you apply to new College, make sure that you're trying for colleges
that actually have the money to grant students financial aid for college.
Remember, whatever the financial aid officer decides is final. And they have
their own calculus. They'll tried to sweeten the deal for students that are a
better fit for their college. Just remember one thing though - when it
comes to preparing for your child's college education, starting early is
everything.
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