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Old 01-31-2008, 10:38 AM
 
42 posts, read 128,202 times
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Anyone on the forum retired while they still had kids in college? Or more importantly, with college aged kids who were on scholarships? How did you handle it? Did the change in your income (assuming it went down) trigger an increase in the amount of the scholarships? I know you have to reapply for most need based scholarships each year, and they want all your financial info to see if you still deserve finaid. Do they look at the reason for your drop in income and assume that if you can afford to retire you shouldn't need aid? I may be in a situation where I almost have to take an early retirement (55) and this is my only concern, although it's a big one!
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:57 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,545 posts, read 39,924,861 times
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My experience is that since FAFSA is figured with your income "in the rears (up to 18 months)" the expected family contribution (what they think you can afford) will not go down for a couple years, if ever. And if your assets are high enough to live on, they may not go down at all. It seems "No-Income" does not equate to "reduced Expected Family Contribution". Your kids will probably be through by then. You can submit a notice of 'change of income status' through your financial aid officer, and they can recalculate the aid package.

It is a tragedy that this qualification process is so undiscerning as to think ALL your investments and equity (excluding qualified $$ / IRA, 401k...) are available to use for funding college, AND that kids are not 'on-their own' at age 18 (which mine were). They dinged us through student age of 23, and I hear it is now 25 (or married,,,), FAFSA seems to think the parent is funding living expenses and college. (wrong)

My kids were really upset that my own FAFSA loan / grant amounts available were much higher than theirs, when I went back to college 'retired/laid off' at age 49. They had a greater need, but the formula still calculated as if I was contributing to them. (wrong, again !!)

Ironically I reran my FAFSA after I lost my unemployment income (for 're-training') and my expected contribution went up, and available loans down...?? I tried doctoring the numbers to determine why, but I never succeeded in getting a better deal. I think Assets are weighted higher as Income is reduced.

The kids were flat broke when applying for FAFSA, as I had them put all possible earnings into their Roths prior to and during college. I figured school loans were cheap money and they could pay the deferred interest with investments from the loans and worse case withdraw some Roth $$. They were able to consolidate for 2.7 and 4.7%, so are in no hurry to pay those off. Looks like mine will be closer to 7%, so I will not borrow for long. I might do a short stint in a public aid agency (if it will give me health benefits) as you can get a lot of your student loan forgiven if you choose to do that.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,165 posts, read 8,689,130 times
Reputation: 6166
Smile College aged kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by janb View Post
My experience is that since FAFSA is figured with your income "in the rears (up to 18 months)" the expected family contribution (what they think you can afford) will not go down for a couple years, if ever. And if your assets are high enough to live on, they may not go down at all. It seems "No-Income" does not equate to "reduced Expected Family Contribution". Your kids will probably be through by then. You can submit a notice of 'change of income status' through your financial aid officer, and they can recalculate the aid package.

It is a tragedy that this qualification process is so undiscerning as to think ALL your investments and equity (excluding qualified $$ / IRA, 401k...) are available to use for funding college, AND that kids are not 'on-their own' at age 18 (which mine were). They dinged us through student age of 23, and I hear it is now 25 (or married,,,), FAFSA seems to think the parent is funding living expenses and college. (wrong)

My kids were really upset that my own FAFSA loan / grant amounts available were much higher than theirs, when I went back to college 'retired/laid off' at age 49. They had a greater need, but the formula still calculated as if I was contributing to them. (wrong, again !!)

Ironically I reran my FAFSA after I lost my unemployment income (for 're-training') and my expected contribution went up, and available loans down...?? I tried doctoring the numbers to determine why, but I never succeeded in getting a better deal. I think Assets are weighted higher as Income is reduced.

The kids were flat broke when applying for FAFSA, as I had them put all possible earnings into their Roths prior to and during college. I figured school loans were cheap money and they could pay the deferred interest with investments from the loans and worse case withdraw some Roth $$. They were able to consolidate for 2.7 and 4.7%, so are in no hurry to pay those off. Looks like mine will be closer to 7%, so I will not borrow for long. I might do a short stint in a public aid agency (if it will give me health benefits) as you can get a lot of your student loan forgiven if you choose to do that.
This is one thing I did right. I would suggest going to a college assistance firm. It cost me $900 but what I saved - WOW! They work through all the above and gave us good pointers - for example - if your child is going to school in August 2008 - make sure there are no assets over $100 in their name as of December 31, 2007. Also, we were told the max they could earn was $4500 per year so we made sure they worked for us (free, of course) and then someone else for the rest! Our daughter got grants where she went and those never have to be paid back!

As far as the question goes, our children get very quiet and moody when the word "move" comes up - our daughter recently came home for a visit and she noticed her bed was closer to the wall than when she left it. Hmmmm.....
that's why we are thinking 2nd home at this point. We could always rent one out.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Oriental, NC
917 posts, read 2,091,165 times
Reputation: 449
We had 1 in college, 3 younger still at home. The second year the expected family contribution went WAY down. But then ss is our only money really...no retirement funds. He's all through now and has a job at the school he graduated from.
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: West, Southwest, East & Northeast
3,446 posts, read 6,587,867 times
Reputation: 868
Yes, while in graduate school at Columbia Law School (NYC), which cost me about $250K.
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