Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #3 . . . File a FAFSA, No Matter What!
With this post, the StraighterLine Blog continues its series of posts that offer straightforward tactics for reducing college costs.
Today’s tactic is . . . Go ahead and file a FAFSA – even if your family has too many assets to qualify for Federal assistance.
Many middle-class families make a serious mistake when planning to pay for college. They go to the FAFSA website, take a look and say, “There’s no point in wasting an afternoon filling out the FAFSA. With our home, savings and other assets, there is no way we are going to qualify for any assistance from the government.”
That’s muddleheaded thinking, because lots of colleges use the FAFSA to determine which incoming students qualify for internal scholarships, loans and other forms of aid. For example, one student I know was named a “College Scholar” and awarded $10,000 a year by a college, simply because she was a good student in high school and (according to the FAFSA), her family was not completely rolling in dough.
Filling out the FAFSA is a pain. You’ll have to dig out bank statements, old tax returns, credit card and mortgage statements, and tons of other documents. As you fill it out, you’ll be worried about providing so much personal financial information to Uncle Sam. But take a deep breath and fill it out anyway. There aren’t too many other ways to earn $5,000, $10,000 or more for college in just one afternoon of work.
We’ll have another aid-boosting strategy for you in a few days. Stay tuned!
Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #2 . . . Don’t Save Assets in a Student’s Name
Unusual Ways to Pay for College Tactic #1 . . . Pay off Debts
Three Compelling Reasons to Avoid College Debt
Shocker: College Will Cost $400,000 in 2026
Seven Things Every Parent Needs to Know about Paying for College