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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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8. Maximizing Financial Aid, Part II

The (financial aid) formula is definitely showing its age. A lot of today’s realities weren’t contemplated by lawmakers when they designed the formula.

—Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org

While talking to a friend one afternoon I watched her work herself into a tizzy about her inability to qualify for financial aid. She hadn’t even applied yet, but she had convinced herself that her daughter’s chances of getting a free handout were zilch. When I asked the stay-at-home mom why, she explained that the family had a decent amount of cash stuffed in retirement accounts, and her small home had jumped considerably in value over the years. Ironically, I suspect her family would have qualified for aid.

There ...

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