For those of you with children in college or approaching college, the season for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is here. They’ve eliminated the last-minute scramble to file your tax return! The 2017-2018 FAFSA will use information from your 2015 tax return.
If 1TaxFinancial prepared your 2015 return, we can provide a worksheet that makes completing the form a snap. If you need one — or help filling out the FAFSA, please call. The worksheet can also be completed for new clients with your 2015 return.
Note that if your income has changed significantly from the 2015 tax year, we can assist with an appeal for a professional judgment review in the financial aid department.
But even before you need to fill out the FAFSA, there are things to think about in getting financially ready for your child to attend college. These issues are complicated: college choice, income, and assets are all factors that determine how much you and your child will be expected to pay. Now 1TaxFinancial can help with this process. We have software that can estimate your expected contribution to your student’s education, and provide detailed college-specific information on the colleges your student is considering. Reports start with the “sticker price” of attending each college and the need-based aid you can expect PLUS college-specific merit scholarships, tuition discounts, and other incentives offered. These awards and discounts can be substantial and the information difficult for you to collect. Having the full picture can help you make a better decision on the affordability of the college or colleges you are considering.
If you are a little further away from your student entering college, we can help then, too. We can help you look at the potential costs and the best ways to save to help pay those costs. The sooner you start putting money aside, the better your savings can put a dent in those expenses when your child is ready to start college.
Our basic college consulting service starts at $200, including the analysis of one college as discussed above. Come work with us if your child is 2, 12, 16 or 20, but prime time for the detailed analysis is probably junior year of high school.
Jim Iverson CFA®
Cincinnati, OH 45213