Financial Aid for Middle Income Families

Paying for college tuition can be a significant challenge for middle class families.  While daily living expenses consume the majority of after tax income, there are several ways in which families with modest incomes can lower tuition costs to make college more affordable.

For more specific data on the tax deductions, I have also attached the most current IRS Tax Benefits for Education form.

IRS Tax Benefits for Education

Financial Aid Process for Middle-Income Families

College Planning Tool

The College Board has created an exceptional resource which allows students and parents to plan for college.  This site website offers the following the following tools:

  • Finding colleges which are the best fit

  • Explore different careers and majors

  • Paying for College

  • Admissions

  • Creating a plan 

College Aid for Families with Above Average Incomes

Qualifying for financial aid can be a challenge for families earning over $150,000 per year. This first article lists some potential options for tax deductions ( the HOPE credit is now the American Opportunity Tax Credit), scholarships, and loans.  For more specific data on the tax deductions, I have also attached the most current IRS Tax Benefits for Education form.

Read full article here.

IRS Tax Benefits for Education

Improving ACT Scores to Earn Additional College Aid

Mark Skoskiewicz gives examples of the impact of ACT scores on college financial aid packages. Although actual amounts vary by college, Mark explains how test score increases of as little as one point can translate into thousands of dollars of additional aid offered to students.

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Base Year Calculations for Student Aid

Shannon Vasconcelos, former financial fid officer at Tufts University and Boston University, discusses the significant change that has been made for calculating the base year of a student’s financial aid package. The “base year” is the tax year in which the assets and income for both students and parents is calculated. This is critical planning information for all families!  The article was written for the website

Colleges Awarding Scholarships Based Upon ACT or SAT Scores

As competition for students increases, many selective colleges are awarding significant merit scholarships based upon ACT or SAT scores. According to the article, students who score in the top 10% of all test-takers (28 or higher on the ACT, 2000 or higher on the SAT) can expect significant merit-based aid.

Read the entire article here.