The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filing period opens October 1. While students and families will be applying for aid, they face the fact that financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year will be based largely on 2019 income tax returns.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – the out-of-pocket expectation faced by students and their families – derived from calculations based on 2019 tax returns likely will result in a number higher than can be afforded. Especially so, as millions are jobless, savings accounts have been extinguished, and retirement accounts have been decimated.
The reality – financial aid awards can and likely will fall far short of the amount families need to cover the cost of an education. The awards already fell short of what students and families needed; it’ll just be worse.
Sure, appeals can be made. But, large numbers of students will be appealing. Even if awarded more aid, it may not be enough to place the family where they would have been absent to pandemic.
Even facing such daunting odds, it will help to apply early, as schools themselves face financial difficulties tied to the pandemic. Schools relying on state funding face a large revenue decrease; out-of-state students are staying home, resulting in lost tuition revenue; and, international students face travel issues and may not even make it back, resulting in more lost tuition revenue.
From where will the needed financial aid arise? How can you pay less, borrow less, and protect your retirement – all at the same time?
If your student is not yet a high school graduate, now is the time to engage the services of a professional college planner through Vivensure®. We can assist you with a plan designed to address all financial aspects of a college expense, especially those aspects tied to burdensome student loans and an impacted retirement.