How to Screw Up Your Chances of Financial Aid

Dear Subscriber –

If you don’t understand how financial aid works, you’re likely to screw up your chances of getting any.

Example:  you might listen to your friends – who of course have YOUR best intentions at heart  – when they tell you “Don’t bother applying, you won’t get anything.”

Or you might listen to your CPA or stockbroker, who advises, “The middle class is screwed.  Financial aid is only for the poor.”

But are they always right?

I’m not going to lie to you, many families – particularly those in affluent areas like Long Island – do NOT qualify for need-based aid. 

But plenty of families get thousands – even tens of thousands – in grants and scholarships…even those who thought they wouldn’t get a red cent.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a family makes a cool mill each and every year. That fact alone doesn’t mean that they can’t get funded. There are tens of millions in merit-based scholarships out there…

…and  they are NOT reserved exclusively for straight-A, “perfect” Mary Poppins-bred kids who put hospital corners on their beds and single-handedly built a neighborhood in a third world country last July.

I’m happy to report almost-daily conversations to the contrary this time of year,  from parents earning deep six-figure and even seven-figure incomes.  Many have kids who are solid B or B plus kind of kids, and they’re telling me things like, “Wow, I can’t believe they gave her $12,000 per year!”  

“She’s getting in everywhere and they’re throwing scholarships at her!”

By the way, these comments are usually from dads, who initially claimed that they didn’t really care about the moolah…Now they’ve changed their tunes!

How are they succeeding?

The main factor is list selection.  Some of the colleges on the lists of these families are the “Usual Suspects” – the same 37 or so that most kids apply to…

…but many are not.

Another factor:  their children are applying to schools that historically have competed against ONE ANOTHER for the same profile candidate.

Yes, colleges will “bribe” kids to lure them away from their competitor-schools.  The trick is knowing which set of schools to apply to, and how to play them off against each other.

I’ll cover how to pick schools, how to negotiate with them and other related topics at my upcoming f.ree workshop.  If you have a junior or sophomore, now is a great time to learn this stuff – before the pressure is on even worse than now!


Hope to see you soon!

Your correspondent,

– Andy Lockwood

P.S.  If you want a little more of the back story how you can beat the colleges at their own game, read this Wall Street Journal  story from last week.

Please, recommend to your friends/family members/co-workers with college-bound teens that they subscribe to The College Success Bulletin Newsletter, gratis.  They’ll thank you!