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College admission scandals have been making headlines recently and The Doctors welcome NASFAA Policy Analyst Jill Desjean and family law attorney Allison Corley to discuss the great lengths some families are going to access financial aid.
The panel discusses how some parents are giving up custody of their children, to either friends or other family members with a lower income, in order to qualify for more financial aid. While these parents might think this tactic is in the best interest of their child's future, these tactics are impacting other deserving students, many of whom come from low-income households and often depend on financial aid in order to attend college.
"This is a finite pool of money. There are limited funds, and they are often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. So, if 1 student who doesn't need that money gets it, it means another student who does need the money, doesn't," Jill explains. Adding," You're really robbing them of an opportunity."
So how can parents and students fairly lower college fees without gaming the system and going to extreme measures? Jill suggest the following:
- Consider a wide range and type of schools when applying
- Use The Department of Education College Scorecard website to help you find schools you might have never heard of
- Apply to merit-based scholarships
- Meet with your high school guidance counselor about finding the right school match and then meet with the college's financial aid administrator
- Remember family's finances can be complex and additional aid could be awarded after meeting with a college financial aid administrator, due to things like uninsured medical expenses
Find more resources and information at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.