College Success Bulletin Special Report:
Surprising Facts About Who Applied for College Financial Aid From Your High School
Many parents assume that they will not qualify for any financial assistance at all, because they earn too much or live in a decent neighborhood. But this data may surprise you.
A survey of 2012 federal financial aid filings by high school breaks down exactly who filed for assistance this year – what a great tool to snoop on your neighbors! 🙂
The statistics confirm what I already knew – that a LOT of your neighbors are filing the FAFSA (the federal financial aid form). Check them out:
• Friends Academy: 23 of 54 Seniors filed – 42%
• Jericho High School: 152 of 286 – 54%
• Plainview Old Bethpage JFK: 234 of 417 – 56%
• Syosset High School: 341 of 534 – 63%
• Great Neck South: 195 of 288 – 67%
• Half Hollow Hills East: 273 of 372 filed – 73%
• Chaminade High School: 322 of 438 – 73%
• Portledge School: 23 of 29 – 79%
• St. Anthony’s High School: 456 of 560 – 81%
I admit that even I was a little surprised by some of these statistics – were you?
If I weren’t a college advisor, I would not have guessed that Portledge and St. Anthony’s – two private schools – would have such a high percentage of filers. Even Friends Academy – thought by many to be a snooty enclave of the spoiled rich – had 43% of its class seek assistance.
These statistics prove that financial aid is most definitely NOT only for low income families. And that you should not feel shame or embarrassment about seeking tuition discounts. Maybe you should feel embarrassed about overpaying if you DON’T ask for a discount?
What do the parents at Portledge and St. Anthony’s know that the rest of you don’t? Probably that it IS possible for families who earn enough to afford private school to obtain grants and scholarships. They are probably targeting high “sticker price” private colleges, if I were to hazard a guess.
Now let’s look at the other side of the coin – who is NOT applying! After discounting the fact that a minor percentage of high school graduates do not go to college, and that a small percentage of ultra-affluent parents reside in the above districts, I would estimate that another 15-20% of the non-filers would have benefited from applying for financial aid.
In other words, every year, thousands of families leave five-figure awards on the table, unclaimed, simply because they do not bother applying. This is an easily avoidable error.
Speaking of errors, I can safely promise you that, out of the families who DO file, a ton are making costly errors. A few years ago, FAFSA estimated that 93% of the forms went in with mistakes. I hope that number has dropped, but I can tell you that it’s rare for me not to spot an error – of commission and/or omission – when I review old filings.
The CSS Profile, an additional form favored by most competitive private schools, is twice as long as FAFSA. I see a ton of errors on old Profiles, too.
I doubt you are OK with needlessly overpaying for college. If I’m right, here are my offers to you:
1. Sign up for my new College Finance Audit. It’s priced at $247, but you can save 100 clams through the end of the month by entering the coupon code “July2011” when you order.
We will pull data from the Department of Education on three colleges you pick, to determine your projected financial aid award and whether you can do anything to lower your costs, and more.
2. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation. I’ve blocked out four slots for next Monday am. We’ll shoot you a quick questionnaire to return before the consult, but you can ask me about anything you want. E-mail Lisa to get on the calendar. Just mention that you received this issue of the College Success Bulletin and we’ll waive the fee if you’re one of the first four.
If you have a high school Junior – or Senior – there is no time like the present to get serious about college planning. Many families start working with me in Sophomore year -the longer you put things off, the fewer options you have.
It’s silly to put this off any longer because you don’t think you’ll qualify for anything. Sign up for the College Finance Audit or a phone consultation today!
– Andy Lockwood
P.S. I’ve heard from a handful of folks that they’ve been sharing my emails with their friends. I sincerely appreciate it! Please feel free to forward this or any e-mail to a friend, family member, coach or colleague who could use this information!
P.P.S. Look up your high school’s financial aid statistics here: http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/datacenter/fafsahs.html
P.P.P.S. To book the 20 minute phone consult, reply to this email and Lisa will get you on the calendar. Click here for the College Finance Audit.
Andrew Lockwood, J.D.
Lockwood College Consulting
497 South Oyster Bay Road
Plainview, New York 11803