March 2012: Smaller Out of Pockets Costs, Updating Your FAFSA & More

Greetings!

Happy March! For those of you with juniors or seniors in high school, you don’t want to miss out on the extremely valuable and timely information in my College Funding Workshops. My next one is Tuesday night at the Redwood Shores Library, so mark your calendar! Visit www.westfacecollegeplanning.com to register and to read helpful articles, financial aid tips & tricks and more.

This month’s newsletter provides helpful information about why a private school can cost less out of pocket than public colleges and how to update your FAFSA with the correct numbers now that you’ve filed your taxes.

The college planning process is full of difficult questions and potentially expensive pitfalls. Whether your student is already in college, is a senior in high school or just starting their elementary school years, planning for college can never start too early. Give me a call at 650-587-1517 to schedule a complimentary private consultation to take the first step on the path to creating a clear college funding plan.

All the best,
Beatrice Schultz
Westface College Planning
College Funding Specialist

Featured Find: Banner Fundraising Year for Wealthy Colleges

Colleges have significant money, even though the government does not, which is why private school can cost less out of pocket than public colleges. Here’s an article explaining more:

For the 99 percent of colleges, it was a pretty good fundraising year.

For the 1 percent of super-wealthy elite, it was a much better one that catapulted them even farther ahead of the pack.

The latest annual college fundraising figures out Wednesday show donations to colleges and universities rose 8.2 percent in fiscal 2011, crossing back over the $30 billion mark for just the second time ever, and improving many schools’ financial footing after several lean years due to the economic downturn.

But the very richest universities accounted for nearly half the growth: Of the $30.3 billion collected by colleges and universities nationwide, $8.2 billion – or 27 percent – was raised by just the top 20 institutions. At those universities, fundraising was 15.3 percent higher than the year before, widening an already yawning wealth gap at the top of higher education.

Read more in The Daily Journal.

Upcoming College Funding Workshops: Seating may be limited – Register to ensure your spot!

Did you know most families qualify for more financial aid than they ever thought possible? Our 1-hour College Funding Workshops provide steps you can take right now to assure you don’t overpay for college, that you clearly understand the process and how to maximize your aid qualification!

We hope to see you at one of these upcoming workshops:

  • College Funding Workshop: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Community Room at Redwood Shores Library, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City
  • College Funding Workshop: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 6:30-7:30 pm in the Community Room at Redwood Shores Library, 399 Marine Parkway, Redwood City

Parents and students are welcome! Please visit our workshops page to register.

Senior Scoop: Steps for Students & Parents to Prepare for College

March is the month to make sure that all your colleges have the final correct income and tax information for your financial aid applications.

After you submit your tax return to the IRS, you will need to correct any income or tax information that is different from what you initially submitted on your FAFSA. You have the option of automatically retrieving your income and tax data from the Internal Revenue Service and having it automatically transferred into your FAFSA. The online application will walk you through the process, which requires that you provide your PIN and confirm that you want to retrieve your IRS data.

Do not update the asset portion of FAFSA. The assets remain the same and are not to be changed from the initial filing. The only things you change are things that are reflective of your accurate and filed 2011 tax return and any mistakes you might have made.

If you completed the CSS Profile for any of your colleges, send a copy of your 2011 filed taxes directly to each college that you included in the CSS Profile.

Be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this!

Advice & Insight: Connect With Us For The Latest News

Are you following Westface College Planning online? Here are just a few things you missed:

Yet another reminder it’s best to avoid student loans if possible and, if you do need one, make sure your student understands the terms of the loan and has a reasonable expectation of repaying it: https://ow.ly/9bun7.

Planning to borrow from your 401(k) to pay for college? Think twice before you do! https://ow.ly/8XCz9.

Follow us on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn so you don’t miss any additional updates!

About Westface College Planning
At Westface College Planning, we are committed to helping parents through the process of making the right financial choices for their college bound students.

If you are a typical parent with college bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed by all the research necessary to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education.

You are not alone!

Our information packed one-hour workshops will help you:

  • Understand the true cost of college and how to afford it.
  • Learn the specific steps to take immediately to maximize financial aid.
  • Receive valuable information on scholarships and gift aid qualification.
  • Gain awareness on how to accurately compare the true cost of schools, public vs. private.
  • Develop best practices for school selection, and more!

More information at westfacecollegeplanning.com.