12. Maximizing Financial Aid

Faced with backbreaking colleges costs, parents desperately try to appear impoverished for financial-aid purposes. But that is trickier than it seems.

—Jonathan Clements, former Wall Street Journal columnist

How do you qualify for more financial aid?

That’s a preoccupation of many parents. There are ways that families can increase their eligibility for more need-based aid, but frankly these ideas can only impact aid at the margins. Whether a family qualifies for need-based aid most often depends on their income. How much income you earn in a year is the biggest factor.

That said, it’s important to understand the basic rules that schools use to determine who qualifies for financial aid. Two families could enjoy the ...

Get The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.