Let’s talk about paying for college, there is so much that could be discussed here but I’ll keep it short & simple and give you nearly 50 great colleges to consider, at the end, that have proven they meet whatever the family’s financial need is.
Let’s begin with the FAFSA! As you go through this process this will be one of those abbreviations you will become familiar with. The FAFSA was designed to provide a picture of the family's finances and from the FAFSA, colleges are able to see what is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your family's financial strength which is calculated according to a formula (from the FAFSA) and established by Congress. To take that even further (Because this part if very important to understand) … the financial aid staff (at the college you are applying to) starts by deciding what your cost of attendance (COA) will be at that school. They then consider your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). They subtract your EFC from your COA to determine the amount of your financial need and therefore how much need-based aid you can get.
NOTE: There is a lot more to the EFC number and how it’s used so if you have specific and detailed questions, please just ask me but understand there is a lot more to it but this should get you started.
I’ve found something really cool - below are 50 colleges that have shown they meet 100% of each student’s (who applied and was accepted) need.
What does that mean and how do you get there. You have to be able to get accepted at the college, you have to build a relationship with the coach, admissions and eventually financial aid where they know that you’ll actually attend their institution, if accepted. So this takes time, energy and knowing which school is right for you. So once again, get started early, get on campus, get to know coaches, admissions representatives. This will get people on the inside pulling for you and helping you through the process (assuming they like you). If you just apply and hope … no matter what your grades, difficulty of classes taken or test score, you won’t be maximizing your financial aid muscle.