A question we receive often at Campus Bound is from families wondering what the best ‘strategy’ is for applying for financial aid. When you google financial aid strategies you are inundated with personal opinions about the financial aid process. Some of these articles are curated by professionals with years of experience in the field while others are written by individuals without credentials. Either way, it can be hard to know who to listen to and what information is valid.
Generally speaking, it’s important to look for articles that set a tone of accuracy and honesty. Even still, some of the ‘strategies’ you will be met with often are not applicable to 98% percent of the population.
Most items you find online unfortunately fall into the ‘fiction’ category, but one thing you can do as a family is to prepare ahead. As your children are growing up, refrain from putting assets into their names. Many popular savings plans such as a UGMA/UTMA, put a family at a disadvantage as the funds in these types of accounts are considered a student asset which is weighted to a greater degree in the financial aid formulas. Unlike UGMA/UTMA’s, the value of a 529 owned by the parent or dependent student is considered the parent’s asset for financial aid purposes.
Our goal at Campus Bound is to help you decipher the fact from the fiction and identify the best course of action for your student and your family. Reach out to us at any time to schedule a consultation with a member of our staff to help take the first steps for learning your personalized approach.