Tips for Filling Out College Financial Aids Forms

 

The Elite Private Colleges

Of approximately 3,500 institutions of higher learning in the nation, all but about 100 use the FAFSA as the sole determining factor of eligibility for need-based aid. Not so at the Ivy League and its cousins. With millions of their own money at stake, these colleges also require the College Board's Financial Aid Profile, which takes the following factors into consideration:

  • Home Equity
  • Noncustodial Parent Income
  • Medical and Dental Expenses
  • Private School Tuition
  • Student's Expected Summer Earnings

Colleges that require the Profile generally ask that students file it simultaneously with the FAFSA, but be aware that there is an extra step in the Profile filing process. In order to receive the form, students must first register via a paper application obtained in the high school guidance office or at www.collegeboard.org . The registration form asks for a list of the colleges where the student will apply. The College Board then sends a customized Profile form that includes particular questions requested by the colleges on the application list.

If financial aid filing season has raised your stress level, there is at least one plus in the deal: a reason to look forward to February.

Here are some tips to make FAFSA filing as painless as possible:

Be sure to file the right form. If your child is planning to enroll next fall, choose the 1998-99 form. Students enrolled for a term that ends before June 30 should file the 1997-98 form.

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