Trans World Assurance Blog

The ABCs of Financial Aid (Part 4) by Trans World Assurance

Posted on Wed, Aug 17, 2011


transworld college clockFrequently Asked Questions

1. How much income is “too much” to qualify for Financial Aid?

Short of filling a FAFSA form, in a need-based situation, a wildly-generalized guideline for private colleges is that an annual income of less than $100,000 to $125,000 will frequently qualify for at least some financial aid (if no significant qualifying assets are involved).

2. Will my assets disqualify me for Financial Aid?

That depends upon the type of asset and the type of school – public (state) or private. Home Equity, Annuities, Retirement funds and Life Insurance are not counted toward the EFC at public schools — but might be, for need-based aid, at some private schools using Institutional Methodology.

3. Why bother saving – it only counts against me?

Families with that mind-set can “spend it” and have to borrow to pay for college – or they can save and “lose” 5.6% of parental assets per year. Spend $20,000 and have to borrow the $20,000, plus thousands more in interest. Or, save $20,000 and have $18,880 available for college?

4. How can I calculate my EFC?

A quick, fairly accurate version is at

5. Should we only consider colleges that we can “afford”?

No! Colleges have huge variations in the amount of Financial Aid they’re willing to give – and how they “Package” it.

It’s urgent to start saving now. The clock is ticking.

(Photo courtesy of Campbellsville University.)


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Tags: Trans World Assurance, college planning, college funding, save for college, financial aid