Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished asks Financial Aid Strategist Todd Weaver to list his three favorite financial aid tips for parents. ‬

1. Know your expected family contribution (EFC)
2. File financial aid forms on time or early.
3. Get to know your student’s financial aid advisor from the college he matriculated.
Tutoring and Test Preparation
Todd Weaver’s company is called Strategies for College.
To see more of Todd’s work on financial aid, please visit his informative blog College Search Game plan.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Alexis: Hey everyone. Alexis Avila at Prepped and Polished here in Boston.
Today I’m with Todd Weaver, senior associate of Boston firm, Strategies for
College. Todd has a BA from Vanderbilt and an MBA from Northeastern as well
as several years of experience working in the financial aid office in
Northeastern University. So Todd, what financial aid tips do you have for
parents?

Todd: Tip number one. Know your expected family contribution. Parents and
students should log into college websites, and plug in their data to what’s
called a net price calculator. As of last year, all colleges are now
mandated to have a net price calculator on their website that allows a
family to plug in their financial data.

Sometimes a little bit more information than just that, like a student’s
grades and test scores, etc. To then learn what that particular college is
going to expect the family to pay as a net price. So not the sticker price,
but what your family is going to pay as the net price. That’s you EFC dry
run, so to speak.

Tip number two. File your forms for financial aid on time, or early if you
can. When I worked at Northeastern in the Financial Aid office, I can’t
tell you how many times people lost their financial aid when they didn’t
get their forms in on time. You need to check out all of the college
websites for financial aid to understand what the application deadlines
are, what forms are needed, and get things in on time.

Tip number three. Get to know your student’s financial aid adviser at the
college they matriculate at. What this is going to do is help you and your
student make sure that things are done in a timely fashion for each of the
four years that your student is in college. Not five years, just four. This
person will be an advocate for your student in helping them understand what
the repayment terms might be after college, what some of the loan
forgiveness options are. Perhaps, even talk to them a little bit about
income based repayment terms. IBR, which is a new program that the federal
government put out.

So the take away from these three tips is start early and know what your
family is up against in terms of the financial aid ramifications from each
college that your student is considering.

Alexis: Fantastic. Thanks so much, Todd, for your time. Parents, sign up
for Todd’s free informative blog, College Search GamePlan.com, and check
out his firm’s website, Strategies for College.net. Thanks, Todd.

Todd: Thanks, Alexis.

Which financial aid tip did you find most useful? Do you find the financial aid process cumbersome?

Post your tips/comments below.

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