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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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3. Using Financial Aid Tools

Always, always, always apply for financial aid even if you make $250,000 a year.

—Frederick E. Rugg, author of Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges, 25th edition

When kids hit the teenage years, many families begin to worry about paying the college tab. It’s about then that people start obsessing about financial aid. Parents who conclude that they didn’t save enough start hoping that a fat aid package will magically materialize in their mail box. Others who have saved money worry that their industriousness will unfairly jeopardize their chances of qualifying for a handout.

Regardless of which families you most identify with, you probably harbor misconceptions about financial aid. One of the more common misconceptions ...

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