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    watch nowVIDEO1:0901:09Why the best time to apply for college financial aid is nowInvest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. Whether it's due to belt-tightening or the promise of federal student loan forgiveness, suddenly families are paying closer attention to financial aid for college. More than half of parents with college-bound students, or 58%, didn't plan on applying for federal aid, but have now changed their minds, according to a new report by Discover Student Loans. "Given the uncertainties in the economy right now around inflation and fears of a recession, it's understandable some families are feeling the impact of paying for college and reconsidering applying for federal aid," said Rich Finn, vice president of Discover Student Loans. That's where the Free Application for Federal Student Aid comes in. More from Personal Finance:5 ways the Fed's interest rate hike may affect youHow persistent high inflation may affect your tax bracketThese steps can help you tackle stressful credit card debt With tuition on the rise, most families rely on a combination of resources to make college affordable. Income and savings cover more than half...
    Princeton University is making tuition for undergraduate programs free for most students who come from households with $100,000 or less in annual income. Beginning in the fall semester of 2023, roughly a quarter of its student body, about 1,500 students, will have their tuition, room, and board expenses covered, the Ivy League institution announced Thursday. PARENTS WARY OF CHILDREN USING TIKTOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA UNSUPERVISED: POLL “One of Princeton’s defining values is our commitment to ensure that talented students from all backgrounds can not only afford a Princeton education but can flourish on our campus and in the world beyond it,” President Christopher Eisgruber said. Prior to the newly reconfigured financial aid, students hailing from families with income between $65,000 and $90,000 paid an average of $8,500 for schooling at Princeton, per the university. Households with income between $90,000 and $110,000 paid an average of $12,900. Princeton pledged that under the new aid formula, "most families with income under $100,000 will qualify for grant aid to cover full tuition, room, board, books, and personal...
    VIDEO15:1315:13How the student debt crisis ballooned to $1.7 trillionInvest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. Cost is now the No. 1 factor when it comes to choosing a college. As a new application season gets underway, families are increasingly concerned about the rising price of tuition and whether a four-year degree is worth it.  For the 2021-2022 academic year, annual tuition and fees plus room and board at in-state public institutions averaged $22,690, while at four-year, private universities, it reached $51,690, on average, according to the College Board. This year, some colleges are hiking tuition as much as 5%, citing inflation and other concerns. More from Personal Finance:75% of families don’t know a key date to get financial aid Inflation drives college tuition prices higherWould you be included in student loan forgiveness?  However, about two-thirds of all full-time students receive aid, which can bring the net price significantly down from official tuition rates. Your net price is a college's tuition and fees minus grants, scholarships and education tax benefits, according to the College Board. "The biggest fear for students and parents is assuming too much...
    VIDEO2:4102:41FAFSA: Finding financial aidOn the Money A decision from the White House on federal student loan forgiveness could be just days away. Yet current high school students will still struggle with how to pay for college without taking on too much debt. With tuition on the rise, most families rely on a combination of resources to make it work. Income and savings cover more than half of college costs, free money from scholarships and grants accounts for roughly a quarter of the costs and student loans make up most of the rest, according to Sallie Mae's annual "How America Pays for College" report.  However, families are missing out on opportunities to make college more affordable, said Sallie Mae spokesman Rick Castellano. That's where the Free Application for Federal Student Aid comes in. More from Personal Finance:College enrollment continues to slideInflation is making college even more expensiveWould you be included in student loan forgiveness?  Students must fill out the FAFSA to access any kind of assistance. For the 2023-2024 school year, the FAFSA filing season opens this fall on Saturday, Oct. 1 —...
    VIDEO2:5402:54How to use a 529 plan to save for collegeThe News with Shepard Smith Anyone with money tied up in the markets may be reeling from recent losses. For parents of college-age children with a hefty tuition bill due soon, the stakes are even higher. If that money was stashed in a 529 college savings plan, balances may be suddenly smaller than expected after stocks experienced a series of roller coaster weeks. The S&P 500 Index has flirted with bear market territory amid inflation and recession fears while the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched its longest weekly losing streak since 1923. More from Personal Finance:What new graduates need to know about money and jobsThese degrees from public colleges pay more than $100,000Biden administration will cancel student debt for some students Considering the last few months — or years — of economic turmoil, parents may find that suddenly they can't pay for college next year. Yet even fewer families are applying for financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, serves as the gateway to all federal money, including loans, work-study and...
    AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Amherst College will no longer give admissions preference to the children of alumni, the school announced Wednesday, ending a practice that has been criticized for giving an additional advantage to students from wealthier families. The liberal arts college said it’s dropping legacy admissions to create a fairer admissions system and to promote diversity on campus. In the past, children of alumni have made up 11% of incoming students at the college of 1,700 students. Going forward, family status will not be considered in admission decisions. Amherst President Biddy Martin said the shift will make the school accessible to more students, regardless of their financial background or family connections. “Now is the time to end this historic program that inadvertently limits educational opportunity by granting a preference to those whose parents are graduates of the college,” Martin said in a statement. At selective colleges across the nation, it’s common for children of alumni to be given an edge in the application process. Colleges defend the practice by saying it it encourages alumni to donate and is only...
    VIDEO2:4102:41FAFSA: Finding financial aidOn the Money The Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn that followed made it even more difficult for many students and their parents to afford college just as costs went up. Tuition and fees plus room and board for a four-year private college averaged $50,770 in the 2020-21 school year; at four-year, in-state public colleges, it was $22,180, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid. Now, in order to obtain a four-year degree, nearly all students rely on some sort of financial aid. More from Personal Finance:Families massively underestimate cost of collegeStudent loan forgiveness is still up in the airFewer students are going to college because of the cost "Financial aid is becoming a larger piece of the college admissions puzzle, as tuition costs continue to rise," said Marnix Broer, co-founder and CEO of EdTech platform StuDocu. "Many students are choosing a college based on where they can afford, so it's more important than ever for students to understand their options when it comes to where the best financial aid may be available for them."  That's...
    California education authorities have uncovered a massive scam attempt involving thousands of federal financial applications made by fake college students. On Thursday, U.S. education officials subsequently issued warnings to thousands of colleges and universities nationwide after over 65,000 scam applications were found, made by bot accounts. The California Student Aid Commission discovered 105 of 116 colleges in the state's community college system had been targeted by the suspect applications. Those included were Cerritos, Pasadena, Chaffey and eight of the nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District, the Los Angeles Times reported. Alarm bells started ringing for California student aid official Patrick Perry when he began making a routine check of federal financial aid records, he told the Times. He found that 60,000 more aid applications had been made by first-time applicants who were older than 30, earned less than $40,000 per-year, and were seeking to complete a two-year degree rather than a vocational certificate. California Community College officials declined to tell the newspaper whether any of the fake students making fraudulent applications had received financial aid.  'I can't tell...
    More than 65,000 fake students applied for financial aid at multiple California community colleges in what is believed to be one of the state's biggest financial aid scams in recent history, the Los Angeles Times reported. During a routine check of federal aid records a few weeks ago, Patrick Perry, director of policy, research and data for the California Student Aid Commission, said he found over 60,000 more applicants who all fell under the same group: first-time college applicants who earned less than $40,000 a year and were seeking a two-year degree.  “We were kind of scratching our heads going, ‘Did or didn’t 60,000 extra older adult students really attempt to apply to community colleges here in the last few months?’” Perry said, according to the Times. After alerting college officials, it was revealed that faculty and staff were also noticing abnormal enrollment patterns in data for community colleges. Employees and officials believe these "students" were fake bot accounts. California Community Colleges officials have not officially stated whether any financial aid was disbursed to fake students. However, Perry says that officials caught the attempted...
    California student aid official Patrick Perry was beginning a routine check of federal financial aid records a few weeks ago when he came across a mystifying number: 60,000 more aid applications from a particular group of students this year than last. They were first-time applicants to California community colleges who were older than 30, earned less than $40,000 annually and were seeking a two-year degree rather than a vocational certificate. They were spread out across the state, applying to 105 of the 116 campuses in the California Community Colleges system — with the top number at Cerritos, Pasadena, Chaffey, Merced and Antelope Valley. And their applications began surging in May through mid-August. “We were kind of scratching our heads going, ‘Did or didn’t 60,000 extra older adult students really attempt to apply to community colleges here in the last few months?’” Perry, director of policy, research and data for the California Student Aid Commission, said Tuesday. He alerted California community college officials Thursday. Around the same time, chatter emerged about abnormal enrollment patterns on a research listserv for...
    VIDEO3:2703:27How families can appeal for more college financial aidSquawk Box As high school graduation festivities come to an end, a new milestone is ahead for families of first-year college students — making the first tuition payment.  Invoices for the fall semester are often sent out at the beginning of July and payments are typically due the first week of August. Yet some families still may worry they won't have the money to cover it.  It may not be too late in the game to ask the school for more money, experts say, depending on your circumstances.  As colleges and universities aim to boost enrollments, there may be opportunities for incoming students to negotiate for more financial aid.  More from Invest in You:Here's what college graduates face and what they can do about it4 tips for college students to build a secure financial futureQuick tips to help college students start saving money "We're seeing colleges move the needle," said Matt Carpenter, founder and CEO of College Funding Services in Salem, Massachusetts. "There's just more wiggle room than there ever has been."...
    Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images President Joe Biden asked Congress for a $400 annual increase in maximum Pell grants for college students as part of a budget proposal issued Friday. The president also called to broaden eligibility to undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. Pell grants are available to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need. Unlike loans, they generally don't have to be repaid. More from Personal Finance:New college grad job outlook looks promising for Class of 2021Biden tax plan may lead to more Roth retirement accountsMore colleges move to make vaccines mandatory for students If adopted by Congress, Biden's budget would yield the largest one-time annual increase to the federal grants since 2009, according to the proposal, signed by Shalanda Young, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. Students can currently get a maximum $6,495 grant for the 2021-22 award year, which starts July 1, according to the Department of Education. Amounts vary based on criteria like school cost, full- or part-time status, and information reported on one's FAFSA federal student aid...
    Stony Brook, N.Y. First day of the 2020 fall semester at Stony Brook University.Newsday LLC | Newsday | Getty Images Some of the most selective colleges and universities are seeing a surge in applications for incoming freshmen this fall. Yet other schools are struggling. That may present an opportunity for families to try to get more money towards tuition. "We could see a similar year to last year in terms of families having more consumer purchasing power, having some more leverage with those smaller, less selective, less well-known schools," said Shannon Vasconcelos, who works with incoming freshmen and their families as director of college finance at Bright Horizons College Coach. She is also the former assistant director of financial aid at Tufts University. "The schools are really dependent upon the tuition dollars," she said.The financial aid offices are very prepared for a big year of financial aid appeals.Shannon VasconcelosDirector of college finance at Bright Horizons College CoachCollege applications are up by 10% this year, according to the Common Application, the most widely used college application. Yet those more selective public...
    Nearly 60 years ago, Calvin E. Tyler Jr. dropped out of college because he couldn't afford it. This week, the same school Tyler once attended announced he had donated $20 million to increase a scholarship fund established in his name.  Tyler enrolled at what was then Morgan State College, a historically Black college in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1961, according to a press release from the school. But he left in 1963 due to lack of funding, and became a UPS driver.  Calvin Tyler, who dropped out of Morgan state in 1963, was able to start a scholarship fund at the school in 2002 – and he just donated $20 million to it. Morgan State University He started out as one of the first 10 UPS drivers in Baltimore, and worked his way up at the company – eventually becoming senior vice president of operations before his retirement in 1998, according to Morgan State. He also joined the board of directors, but never forgot where he started, the school said.  Tyler and his wife Tina are now committed to helping...
    Nearly 200,000 more California college students could receive state assistance for tuition and living expenses under one of the largest expansions of the Cal Grant financial aid program ever proposed, according to details released Tuesday. The plan, unveiled by the California Student Aid Commission and two legislators, would eliminate some current requirements for the main Cal Grant award that favor younger students within a year out of high school who have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Instead, it would broaden access to older students and others not currently eligible. It would also simplify the program and tie eligibility to the federal Pell Grant, which better accounts for a student’s total cost of attendance, which includes housing, transportation and other expenses. Although the Cal Grant focuses on tuition and fees, it is one of the nation’s most generous college financial aid programs, providing annual support to more than 500,000 California students. The proposed expansion comes at a critical time for hundreds of thousands of California students struggling under soaring college costs, surging student loan debt and increased financial hardship...
    Loading the player... Black college students are being audited at higher rates than white and Latino students. After reviewing records from the Department of Education, The Washington Post discovered that when Black students submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) their application was more likely to receive an audit. Without a FAFSA, students cannot qualify for a myriad of financial aid programs offered by the government, including the Pell Grant, which is focused on lower-income students. Read More: Beyond Gorilla Glue: The politics of Black women’s hair “If we get students to continue down the path to keep their options open for college, hurdles and barriers like verification can so easily knock them off that path,” said Kim Cook, director of the nonprofit National College Attainment Network. The publication evaluated records from the 2019-2020 school year and discovered a quarter of the 18 million FASFA applications were audited. To add context, the IRS audited less than a half of a percent of tax returns last year. FASFA applications from students in Black communities were 1.8 times more likely...
    VIDEO2:4102:41FAFSA: Finding financial aidOn the Money As college costs rise, financial aid is a growing necessity, yet many students still don't apply. Now, more states are requiring that they do — and paving the way to a college degree for some who might not be able to otherwise afford it. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, serves as the gateway to all federal money, including loans, work-study and grants, which are the most desirable kind of assistance. Currently, only Louisiana and Illinois require you to file a FAFSA to graduate from high school. But soon the same will be true for Texas and at least another eight states, including California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska and New Jersey, which are all considering bills to make the FAFSA mandatory, as well. More from Personal Finance:These colleges went remote but hiked tuition anywayCollege can cost as much as $70,000 a yearUnder Biden, free college could become a reality The idea behind making the FAFSA mandatory is that students are more likely to enroll in college when they are aware of the financial resources available to help them...
    Hi there, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:Personal FinanceMy aunt stole my mother’s Social Security, and persuaded my elderly father to sign over power of attorney ‘My father was recently very sick and in the hospital, and he was not in his right mind.’My father moved his girlfriend, her cousin and two kids into his 2-bedroom condo. I struggle to pay rent. What about me? ‘Living in the condo will help ease a tremendous financial burden, as I am sometimes unable to muster two pennies to rub together.’ I didn’t receive a $1,200 stimulus check during the first surge of COVID-19. Will I get a $600 check this time around? ‘With a second round of stimulus checks of $600 announced by Congress on Sunday, will the Internal Revenue Service give me a check based on my 2019 return?’Our building is tipping staff 25% extra due to COVID-19. My husband wants to maintain this in 2021. I disagree. What should we do? ‘I am an Upper East Side wife and mother with two children. I realize I am very fortunate.’I earned...
    Unlike other major purchases in life, families know little about what they will actually pay for a college education when they begin the search. Without clarity on the eventual price, families think more about the academic and social fit of campuses rather than the financial fit. They believe, often incorrectly, that they can figure out a way to pay the cost through a combination of scholarships, loans, and savings. After all, they’ve heard that every school offers a discount to entice you to enroll (hint: they don’t). As a result, emotions steer choices, and many wind up disappointed when the hoped-for financial aid doesn’t materialize. During the year I spent inside the admissions process, what I came to see, and prospective students and their families should too, is that colleges are either “buyers” or “sellers” of spots in the freshman class. Sellers are the “haves” of admissions. They have something to sell that consumers want, typically a brand name that signals prestige in the job market and social circles. They are overwhelmed with applications, many from top...
    60 years ago today, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges walked to school and showed how even first graders can be trailblazers Armenians torch their homes on land ceded to Azerbaijan Surprise! You Can Use a Roth IRA to Pay for College Say goodbye to debt, and hello to a degree. Saving for college is less of a headache when you don't have to depend solely on a 529 college savings plan, Coverdell ESA, or student loans to fund your education. There's a little-known exception written in between the pages of the tax code that allows you to pay for college expenses with a Roth IRA retirement account, and the best part is that you won't be penalized if the funds are not used for college. © Provided by The Motley Fool Surprise! You Can Use a Roth IRA to Pay for College © Getty Images Student debt graduate with cap and gown. The Roth IRA is more powerful than you think  It's easy to put the Roth IRA in a box exclusively for retirement -- after all, it's an individual retirement...
    Amid national outcry over racism, Californians consider bringing back affirmative action The best hole-in-the-wall diner in every state 9 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Federal Financial Aid More than $120 billion in federal aid is given out each year to help families pay for college. Your only shot at a piece of that pie is by filling out the FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. © Rangely Garcia / Money Mistakes-FAFSA Each October, the application opens up, and anxiety from college-bound students and their parents ensues. After all, the form has a reputation for being long, confusing and, frankly, disappointing. (Families often disagree with the federal government’s assessment of how much they can afford.) © Provided by Money.com Get Started But it’s a vital step in the college application process nonetheless, and some basic preparation can go a long way in avoiding headaches. Here are 9 FAFSA mistakes to watch out for. Load Error 1. Not Filing the FAFSA As many as one in seven students eligible for financial...
    This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Students are not submitting as many financial aid applications as they typically would this fall because fewer would-be students are attending college — another example of economic fallout from the pandemic, experts say. Undergraduate enrollment is 4% lower this year compared with last year, according to October 2020 data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Some of the enrollment slump is due to health-related fears or discomfort with online learning, but it’s also a matter of family finances, says Robert Kelchen, associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. “There are some students who may want to wait until it’s safe to go for in-person classes, but I think the bigger issue is if their family members have lost jobs, they just don’t see college as being affordable,” Kelchen says. If you can’t pay for school entirely out of pocket — and few can — the key to college affordability is financial aid. The gatekeeper to federal aid like the Pell Grant and work-study, not to mention...
    VIDEO1:5401:54Coronavirus impacts college affordability—What students should knowThe Exchange In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, many American families are under severe financial strain. Meanwhile, others are also facing a $40,000 college tuition bill. Nearly 40% of parents who didn't plan to apply for federal aid, now will as a result of the pandemic, according to a recent survey by Discover Student Loans. Roughly half of parents lost income as a result of the pandemic and 44% said they can't afford to pay for as much of their child's education as they had originally planned, the survey found. At the same time, college costs are skyrocketing. Tuition and fees plus room and board for a four-year private college averaged $49,870 in the 2019-20 school year; at four-year, in-state public colleges, it was $21,950, according to the College Board. Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards For the first time in five years, the majority of college-bound seniors plan to take out a loan. This percentage had been declining steadily before spiking in 2020, according to a separate survey by college comparison site Niche. More from Personal...
    SDI Productions | E+ | Getty Images Financial aid packages for next year might be woefully short for college students whose parents have lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 downturn. Students can begin applying for financial aid as early as Oct. 1. That's the first day they can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2021-22 school year. Submitting that application is the first step toward obtaining scholarships, grants and loans. Here's the catch: Funding for the 2021-22 school year is based on an applicant's 2019 income tax return. More from Personal Finance:How to navigate volatile markets during retirementAmericans have lost $145 million to Covid-19 scamsWhat we might know about Trump's $200 for Medicare drug costs Coronavirus has rocked the economy, with millions of people out of work. That means those 2019 tax figures may not necessarily reflect the reality many families are facing — and they may end up with less aid at the outset. Full-time undergraduate students received an average of $9,520 in grants, $4,410 in federal loans and $1,280 in other aid during...
    This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Attending college from a laptop in your childhood bedroom might not be the experience you had in mind. But just because you’re not living in a dorm this fall doesn’t mean that expenses disappear. Your cost of attendance might have changed if you’re learning remotely due to COVID-19, but colleges will factor at-home or off-campus living expenses into your overall costs. And you can still use financial aid — including student loans — to pay for them. How cost of attendance works Colleges determine their own cost of attendance for each academic year. This amount factors in all of your direct costs including tuition, fees, room and board, as well as estimates for books, supplies, technology and transportation. Schools often have different cost-of-attendance calculations for students who live in dorms, off campus or even in another state. Your financial aid and student loans are applied first toward tuition and fees, then room and board. Any remaining funds are distributed to you to use for living expenses. Your aid package might shift if your cost of...
    Scientists fret FDA could OK vaccine before its fully tested 20 McDonalds Secrets Employees Dont Want You to Know Colleges Are Flooded With Requests for More Financial Aid. Here’s How You Can Make the Strongest Case When the surgery center where Maygin Hamilton works closed in March, she was scared. The single mother, who had recently paid off $16,000 in legal fees to win custody of her two daughters, wasn’t able to get into California’s unemployment system for three days. © Pete Ryan for Money 2020-BC-Students-Need-Financial-Aid On top of the strain of everyday financial pressures, there was another looming worry: How would they pay for her younger daughter’s upcoming first year in the University of Portland’s nursing program? “I was thinking, ‘How long is this going to happen? How long are we going to have to rely on unemployment? What if unemployment runs out?” Hamilton says. “There’s a whole new set of worries and you don’t want to worry your children on top of all this.” Even after unemployment benefits kicked in, and Hamilton and her older...
    VIDEO3:3803:38The top U.S. colleges that pay off in 2020Definitive Guide to College In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, college affordability is a top concern. Roughly two-thirds of parents of college-bound students now say they are more worried about paying for their child's education, according to a report by Discover Student Loans. More than half of parents also said their child's college plans have changed due to Covid-19, Discover found. By necessity, some students will attend a school closer to home, delay going to college or choose a less expensive public, rather than private, college.   In addition, families will need to rely on financial aid even more than before. "Don't assume that just because a school has a high sticker cost it's not affordable," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's editor-in-chief and author of "The Best 386 Colleges." More from Personal Finance:On campus but under lockdownColleges slash degrees in the face of budget shortfallsPost-pandemic, remote learning could be here to stay When it comes to offering aid, private schools typically have more money to spend, he added. "Even though an in-state school may have a lower initial...
    Kilito Chan | Moment | Getty Images It's an annual part of the college process. Every year, families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. It's a financial scan that determines a student's eligibility for government money (federal and state) to help pay college costs. FAFSA takes your financial info and calculates your financial need, based on the cost of attending your school and a number known as the expected family contribution. That number is supposed to be what a family could contribute toward education, says Kim Cook, executive director of the National College Attainment Network, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit whose mission is closing equity gaps in higher education. It looks at a student's eligibility for the Pell Grant, among other things, which goes to families with incomes below $50,000. The expected family contribution also considers work-study, but these programs are up in the air now because they take place on campus, Cook says. More from Invest in You:College students may qualify for unemployment aid Prices go up every year. That doesn't mean you have to pay moreCollege...
    Nuggets talk to Michael Porter Jr. about his coronavirus population control comments My Day Started and Ended With This Beauty Bakerie Lipstick - Heres How It Held Up Saving for college during the coronavirus pandemic: What you need to know about 529 plans Americans have close to $400 billion in 529 college savings plans, but Covid-19 has caused parents to hit the pause on contributions; some are withdrawing funds. Experts say financial anxiety and distress are disrupting the two keys in saving for college: starting early and staying invested. Families should be saving $250 a month for in-state public college, $450 a month for an out-of-state public college and $550 a month for a private college. © Provided by CNBC It's easy to put off saving for college, especially during a pandemic. Financial uncertainty may have you concerned, or you are just trying to get by day-to-day.  Load Error In fact, 16% of parents saving for college paused their contributions to their 529 college savings plan because of financial concerns related to Covid-19, according to a survey by the...
    SAN ANTONIO – John Emanuel was weighing his college offers and financial aid packages just as the pandemic hit. Then his mom lost her job. “It’s unfortunate because it affects him, the student, the person who worked hard to go to your school, and now the final decision is based on whether mom can afford to pay it or not,” Forangel Emanuel said. Many families’ circumstances changed just as they were making college commitments. For families who were financially pinched by the pandemic, there are ways to to get more aid even if deadlines have passed. “My mother getting laid off was something that we could use as a reason to get more aid,” John Emanuel said. Students can appeal a financial aid offer even if they’ve already accepted a package, according to money experts at Consumer Reports. “Contact the financial aid office and ask the financial aid officer to take new information into consideration and adjust the award,” said Consumer Reports money editor Penny Wang. You can also ask about emergency grants from your school. Enrolled college students who...
    ‘Why should we ­reward colleges with more funds for raising their rates?’ Applications for college financial aid are down dramatically this year. Yet given the economic crisis, it’s a safe bet that more students will need financial support. With the lockdowns removing regular access to guidance counselors and other resources to help them, these struggling students, including the children of front-line workers, won’t know where to turn for help to navigate the complex maze of financial applications. They need a reformed system, and the pandemic is a great opportunity to rethink our federal financial-aid system — especially by adding transparency for students and accountability for colleges. The most obvious problem is with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid itself. With over 100 items on the form, many students and parents find it overwhelming, if not downright baffling. Surveys show many applicants don’t have enough information to complete the application or find it too time-consuming. This, even though everything the government should need to know to make determinations can be found on a family’s tax return. We could eliminate the...
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