Seniors: Financial Aid Pitfalls to Avoid

Financial Aid Pitfalls to Avoid
 
Avoid these missteps when applying for aid.
 
Applying for financial aid can be daunting. But the most common mistakes are easy to avoid, once you know about them.
 
Reporting assets incorrectly.
 
Many families believe that retirement funds and home equity must be reported on financial aid applications. Neither are required for the FAFSA. Both may be required for the CSS PROFILE.
 
Misreporting finances of divorced parents.
 
The FAFSA asks for financial data from only the custodial parent or the parent with whom the student lived the most. The CSS PROFILE also requires information from the noncustodial parent.
 
Overestimating how much financial aid you'll get.
 
Many colleges do not fully meet a family's financial need. This means that in addition to covering your expected family contribution, you and your family might have to pay more out of your own pocket.
 
Assuming you'll get the same amount every year.
 
Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated annually. Even if your need for financial aid remains the same, you may receive less aid after freshman year -- or the same amount, but less in the form of grants and scholarships and more in loans.
 
To learn how to avoid five additional mistakes families often make when it comes to financial aid, read the full article at: