We handle a lot of divorce cases in California and with that comes other potential issues to think about.
One of those issues to consider is college planning!
So I asked to the owner of College Planning Experts, Brian Safdari, to address some of these questions you may have when going through a divorce.
How To Receive Free Money For College If You Are Going Through A Divorce Or Already Divorced
Written By: Brian Safdari
The daunting task of submitting and applying for Financial Aid for college can be an overwhelming chore to say the least. Now imagine if you and your family find
yourselves in a divorced situation. That’s right; it just got 3 times more confusing. Numerous questions may be swirling in your head: Which parent do we file under. Do the schools want both parents’ information? Do we have to provide EVERYTHING?
The questions can go on and on.
The good news is that in a divorce situation, you may just have many options in order to receive the most amount in financial aid, assuming you spend some time “planning” and gathering information from a credible source.
First things first are the forms used to apply for financial aid; the FAFSA and CSS Profile. These are the financial aid forms that most state and private schools use to determine financial aid eligibility. From your forms, you will receive a number called your EFC or expected family contribution. This number is used to determine your need. The way a school determines your need is they use your EFC and plug it into the formula Cost of Attendance (The sticker price to attend college including everything) – EFC (Expected Family Contribution (A number that reflects the amount schools think you a can afford) = Need. Our goal is to reduce your EFC to increase your need. The higher your need, the higher your grants and scholarships.
Now, here come the questions; do you know how FAFSA requires what to list about a divorce family? Do you know legally and ethically how to give them the information but not divulge more than what they need in order to get more free money for college? For example, if you are attending a public university, depending on the specific college, you may be able to submit your financial aid form with one parent. You need to dig deep and know the specific strategies regarding their “non-custodial” rules. We had a student attending a public school that the rule was “Who does the student live with 51% of the time”? In this specific situation, we had the student 51% with the lower income and asset family and we were able to receive 26,000 in grants at UCLA, leaving the family with a total cost of $9,000 per year. No too bad, huh?
Another thing to keep in mind is that since colleges are businesses, they want to have you pay as much as possible for college. Also, we know that FAFSA and other Financial Aid forms have a high error rate. Avoiding mistakes and strategically planning will allow you to make college affordable without going broke.
There are three pillars in the college planning process. How to market and position your child to get accepted into the college of their choice. You will be shocked that colleges are not accepting students based on grades and test scores alone, but a big part is what makes your child “unique”. There are specific formulas to implement to increase your chances in getting accepted, even with a low grade point average (GPA). Pillar number 2 is get the most financial aid possible by understanding the financial aid formula we briefly talked about (COA-EFC = Need). All income level families can receive financial aid if you know how to utilize the financial aid formulas. Pillar number 3 is funding college. How are you going to pay your share for college? How much can you afford monthly? What type of loans and resources are available to ensure you don’t have to sacrifice using all your savings or jeopardizing your retirement?
Brian Safdari, founder and CEO of www.CollegePlanningExperts.com made costly mistakes that cost him over $53,000 in student loan debt unknowingly and unnecessarily and attended his least desired college. After the mistakes he made, he devoted his life to share the truth about the higher education system and how to legally and ethically take control of the process in order to send kids into the college of their dreams and ensure the parent do not go broke.
If you’d like help navigating through this difficult and complicated process and want your questions answered, call us at College Planning Experts today to sign up for an College Planning Analysis. We can help you find out how to save thousands on college! This will be one of the wisest financial decisions you’ve ever made. Call us at (661) 295-9946 or visit our website at www.CollegePlanningExperts.com. Please make sure you reference “Tim Blankenship” as we have a special gift for you.
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