...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Juniors: How do you get money for college?


government building

Edge Tip:

How do you get money for college?

Are you reading about college financial aid online or chatting about it with your friends?  Are your parents  wondering how much your college education is going to cost them? Paying for college is a specialty of GuidedPath Edge.  We are here to help you with this.  We will be covering a number of topics on college costs over the next few months.  Let’s start with some basics.

Beginning and Ending Premise of College Funding

Colleges and the government say the primary responsibility for paying for college is with your family. Yet, many students need additional help beyond themselves and their families to meet college costs. Financial assistance given to you as a student to help with college costs is defined as “financial aid.”

The Financial Aid Process is made up of 3 Parts.

Part 1: Cost of Education

It costs money to go to college.  Your college budget includes 5 categories:

  1. Tuition and Fees
  2. Room and Board
  3. Books
  4. Transportation
  5. Personal Expenses

Part 2:  Family Contribution

The “Family Contribution” is calculated using a formula set by Congress. The family contribution formula is a complex system that takes into account many family factors.  The primary factors are:

  1. parent income
  2. student income
  3. parent savings and assets
  4. student savings and assets

Other factors that are of prime importance in the financial aid calculations are:

  1. parent age
  2. size of family
  3. number of children in college

Your financial aid analysis will assess each of these factors and their influence in your family’s situation.

Part 3:  Financial Aid

Financial Aid is based on “financial need.” Financial need is calculated the same way by all colleges or programs. It is figured by taking the difference between cost of attendance and the expected family contribution:

cost of living formula

Next week: How you can pay less for a more expensive college.

Your Edge:

Complete the College Affordability Shaper Survey in GuidedPath Edge.  Review the results with parents.