...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Monday Memo: Updated FAFSA Information available NOW for 2016-2017

Updated FAFSA information available NOW for 2016-17

The FAFSA tables are updated every fall, in preparation for the next year’s financial aid cycle, which begins on January 1. We have it NOW! Our team has already included the updates for 2016-17 in the College Affordability Shaper.

What is the College Affordability Shaper?

It is a parent and student questionnaire based on questions in the FAFSA and the College Board Profile. Once completed, families see their Estimated Family Contribution, both for public and private colleges.

Why is this important?

Knowing how a college is going to asses a family’s financial strength is a very important step in the college planning process. Families need to know what the costs are and what they can afford. The GuidedPath College Affordability Shaper delivers the information families need to guide them in making decisions.

What’s different in the FAFSA calculations for 2016-17?

The calculations for the FAFSA are set by congress each year. Each year the following parts of the FAFSA are updated:

1. Income Protection. Income is protected based on the size of the family and the age of the parents. This number is increased each year. It is also dependent on the STATE the family lives in. California has a higher tax rate, which is considered in the FAFSA calculations.

2. Asset Protection. Savings are protected to a certain amount. It is lower for a single parent that for two parents. The 2016-17 annual increase in asset protection was reduced.

3. Automatic Zero Family Contribution. If your family makes less than $25,000 or benefits from federal programs such as food stamps or social security, then you may have an estimated family contribution that is automatically calculated to be “0”.

4. No Assets Included in Family Contribution. If your parent income is $50,000 per year or less, you might qualify for financial aid based on income alone. Your savings (or your parents’ savings) are not going to be considered a part of your Estimated Family Contribution.

How do I use the College Affordability Shaper?

Check out the changes to the FAFSA calculations now. Log into your GuidedPath account. Select Surveys. Find College Affordability Shaper. Click on Section 1 and start completing the form. Learn more about the College Affordability Shaper.