Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Help from an Expert on Financial Aid Questions

Here's a seven-part series, a financial aid Q&A that, if you are patient in reading through it, you are bound to find useful.

It looks at a number of issues related to the FAFSA as well as more arcane financial aid questions.

One thing we should all remember: if financial circumstances change (loss of job, substantial decrease in salary or loss of a minor's Social Security benefits when he turns 18, for example) it is difficult to make this clear on the FAFSA form, particularly if the event occurs mid-year and is not reflected in tax forms. That's when you call the financial aid office of a school your child is interested in or has been accepted by. And you ask for a professional judgment review, aka a special circumstances review or financial aid appeal. Once the college has the required documentation of this change in situation, it will make an adjustment to the FAFSA form. By the way, colleges are not required to make this adjustment but have been strongly encouraged to do so, in a letter from the Department of Education.

Happy reading!

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