These 5 Assets Are Exempt on the FAFSA Form

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Starting as early as October 1, families with kids going to college can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, aka the FAFSA form.

The FAFSA requires students and their parents to provide information about their income and assets in order to determine what is called the Expected Family Contribution or EFC. More specifically, the FAFSA wants to know about your income from the previous tax year (2017, if you complete the FAFSA for the 2018-2019 school year), and the value of your assets as of the day you fill out the form.

With smart planning families can complete the FAFSA in a way that maximizes their opportunities to receive need-based financial aid for college. Since the FAFSA asks about the value of your assets on the day you fill out the form, the time to reposition assets and implement your plan to pay less for college starts before you complete the FAFSA.

The following 5 assets are exempt on the FAFSA and are not counted in the EFC calculation.

Visit Over 400 Colleges Without Leaving Town

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The National Association of College Admissions Counselors hosts a major college fair in the Twin Cities each year. This year’s fair is October 24th and 25th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

With over 5,000 colleges and universities in the United States odds are good that 90% of them are schools you have never heard of before. The Minnesota NACAC College Fair offers students and their parents a unique opportunity to talk to representatives of many of these schools as well as many others that are more familiar to Minnesota families.

It’s free and open to the public. You can register online here

Filing Your FAFSA Form Online? There’s An App For That.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Jeannie Burlowski, author of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward. You can see over 50 reviews of LAUNCH here.

Are you parenting a student of any age who’ll be in college next fall? If so, one of your most important tasks this year will be to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after October 1st as possible. This applies to every student and every parent—no exceptions.

Are you convinced that for you, filling out the FAFSA will be a waste of time—because you make far too much money to qualify for any college aid? Check out this article on 7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA Even if You’re Rich.

And then get out your smartphone.

As of October 1st, 2018, you can fill out the FAFSA on your phone.

For years, students and parents filling out the FAFSA were required to complete the form using desktop computers. In 2018, though, a new, mobile-friendly version of FAFSA was released.

Here, 8 things you’ll need to know before you fill out the FAFSA on your phone.

A Cautionary Tale About Student Loan Debt

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Every fall I do college planning workshops for parents of college-bound high school students to help them pay less for college. My goal is to give them the tools and information they need to become smarter consumers of a college education so they can make better choices for themselves and their kids.

After one of my presentations a woman came up to me and told me that she wished someone had giver her or her parents this information when she was in school. She went on to say that even as her daughter was about to graduate from high school she was still struggling to pay off her own student loan debt.

Suddenly, the concept of student loan debt became very real, very fast.

The Key Step In Your Action Plan to Pay Less For College

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

After 12 years and over 200,000 miles, my wife and I think it may finally be time to move beyond the minivan.

Ideally, we would like to have a vehicle that would hold our family of four plus the occasional additional passenger or two. Since we live in Minnesota, all-wheel drive would be nice especially when we make winter road trips to visit out-of-town family. Throw in at least 4 suitcases, a dog, a cooler and some extras like sleeping bags, fishing gear or Christmas presents, and before you know it we need the equivalent of a small truck just to go to out of town for the weekend.

When I saw the sticker prices for cars that meet our wish list our old minivan suddenly became a lot more attractive. Numbers for a new car ranged from $50,000 to $75,000 or more. Even used vehicles can hover around $50k depending on mileage and extras (like wheels and stuff).

Granted, it’s been a while since we bought a car, but wow.

As expensive as new cars can be, however, it is nothing compared to what some parents could end up paying for their kids’ college educations. In fact, with today’s college sticker prices exceeding $60,000 a year at many schools, paying for college might compare to buying a brand new SUV every year for the next four or five years – for every kid in your house!

That’s a carload of coin.

October 1 kicks off “financial aid season” as it is the first day you can submit your Free Application For Federal Student Aid (aka FAFSA) for the 2019/2020 school year.

My college planning workshop “Pay Less for College” also kicks into high gear this month. For a list of upcoming workshops try clicking here.

Through out the month, I am going to share with you some of my best tips and strategies to help you pay less for college.

No matter what your financial situation or how great of a student you have, the key step in your action plan to pay less for college should be this: