Financial Aid Advice

Joe4Cy

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2010
286
360
63
Urbandale
www.comedyxp.tv
My oldest is setting off for college this fall after taking a gap year. He's going out of state as well. To a Big10 School. Forgive me, I failed him. (To be fair, he does cheer fo the Good Guys, when he chooses to watch. Doesn't really follow much sports ...yet.)

All that aside, I haven't had to deal with or jump through the financial circus in ...30-ish years. We've completed the FAFSA and are waiting to hear back. He's applying for scholarships.

I'm asking what else do I need to know? I feel I don't know what I don't know. Like, if I get a bank loan, do we take one out for his entire college career or on a year-by-year basis? Where else could we look into for financial assistance?

Anything I need to know will be highly appreciated!
 
  • Like
Reactions: khardbored

Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2009
24,190
26,832
113
Behind you
My oldest is setting off for college this fall after taking a gap year. He's going out of state as well. To a Big10 School. Forgive me, I failed him. (To be fair, he does cheer fo the Good Guys, when he chooses to watch. Doesn't really follow much sports ...yet.)

All that aside, I haven't had to deal with or jump through the financial circus in ...30-ish years. We've completed the FAFSA and are waiting to hear back. He's applying for scholarships.

I'm asking what else do I need to know? I feel I don't know what I don't know. Like, if I get a bank loan, do we take one out for his entire college career or on a year-by-year basis? Where else could we look into for financial assistance?

Anything I need to know will be highly appreciated!
Congrats. I've been through the financial aid process, our older daughter graduated ISU last May, our younger daughter is about to finish her first year at ISU.

Completing the FAFSA is the best first step, unfortunately you're catching it in a year of major changes and flux. Keep in mind you'll need to complete the FAFSA for each year your son is in college. It usually opens up for completion on October 1 of the year prior to the one you're filling it out for, this year was different because of all the changes, it didn't open until January.

Everything that follows here is from our experience, with an in-state public university. So I'd imagine with out-of-state, it's going to probably be doubled. Unless he's going to a school that offers in-state rates to students from contiguous states.

Not sure of your financial situation, but the income requirements to qualify for any need-based aid, which includes scholarships and grants (that don't need to be paid back) and work-study opportunities, are pretty rigid. Our family is anything but wealthy, but we didn't come close to qualifying for need-based aid. This is what can pose the biggest challenge to middle income families... they make too much for need-based aid and are left with a sizeable gap (Estimated Family Contribution or EFC) that they need to cover somehow.

Another thing to keep in mind is that federal Stafford loans are capped at $5,500 per year for first-year students. So that's $2,750 per semester. Both of our girls' total cost per semester was around $11,000 for tuition, room, board, fees, etc. So obviously that leaves >$8,000 per semester that needs to be covered. I'd say keep applying for as many scholarships as he can to help offset that.

The cap on federal Stafford loans increases to $6,500 for the sophomore year, and then $7,500 for the junior and senior years.

I don't have any experience with private loans in addition to federal Stafford loans, but I imagine you would secure those on a year-by-year basis and not one loan for all four years. But I could be wrong.
 

FriendlySpartan

Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2021
6,436
6,996
113
37
My oldest is setting off for college this fall after taking a gap year. He's going out of state as well. To a Big10 School. Forgive me, I failed him. (To be fair, he does cheer fo the Good Guys, when he chooses to watch. Doesn't really follow much sports ...yet.)

All that aside, I haven't had to deal with or jump through the financial circus in ...30-ish years. We've completed the FAFSA and are waiting to hear back. He's applying for scholarships.

I'm asking what else do I need to know? I feel I don't know what I don't know. Like, if I get a bank loan, do we take one out for his entire college career or on a year-by-year basis? Where else could we look into for financial assistance?

Anything I need to know will be highly appreciated!
Out of state tuition is ouch, out of curiosity which school if you don’t mind disclosing, also congrats to him!
 

jcyclonee

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2006
22,545
25,142
113
Minneapolis
You are sort of lucky in that the FAFSA was significantly easier this year than in the past. Typically, you apply for loans on a year-to-year basis. You can do it semester-to-semester if your child only goes for a half year. The funds are disbursed directly to the school a little before the due date. Excess funds (such as off-campus housing) that is included in the loan will be disbursed from the school's financial aid office to the student.
 

Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2009
24,190
26,832
113
Behind you
You are sort of lucky in that the FAFSA was significantly easier this year than in the past. Typically, you apply for loans on a year-to-year basis. You can do it semester-to-semester if your child only goes for a half year. The funds are disbursed directly to the school a little before the due date. Excess funds (such as off-campus housing) that is included in the loan will be disbursed from the school's financial aid office to the student.
That was the hope, and maybe it was for you, but it took me twice as long to complete this year. It was anything but streamlined and easier IMO.
 

gocy444

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 15, 2008
2,502
4,963
113
Ames, IA
I have a lot of friends in their early 30s who went out of state or the private route that really wish they went to an instate public school instead. I don’t know your financial situation or what scholarships your kid is getting, but going $100k into debt for school is foolish. My Iowa State degree has gotten me the same role as plenty of people from more prestigious universities.
 

Three4Cy

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,048
2,614
113
West Des Moines
If you plan to help your son pay his student loans, I would recommend that your son takes out the loans in his name vs. you taking out private loans or money from the bank, and you can pay them. However, it will depend on what loans your son qualifies for after his FAFSA is processed.

For both of my daughters, they took out the loans in their name, and we helped pay them back. The loans go on their credit report, so by paying on them it will help them after college with a better credit score. Between what my kids had/have saved (one still in college) my oldest grduated debt free, and my youngest will graduate debt free. Our graduation gift to them was/is paying on their student loans.

Depending on your income, your son may only qualify for so much each year in student loans, if that amount isn't enough with any money you have saved, scholarships, etc. then you may be able to take out a Parent Plus loan in your name.

Hang on until his FASFA is approved and you will have a much better picture of what you need to do.
 

Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2009
24,190
26,832
113
Behind you
I have a lot of friends in their early 30s who went out of state or the private route that really wish they went to an instate public school instead. I don’t know your financial situation or what scholarships your kid is getting, but going $100k into debt for school is foolish. My Iowa State degree has gotten me the same role as plenty of people from more prestigious universities.
$100,000 is around the cost of attendance at an in-state student at a four-year public university. Out-of-state publics or privates would probably come in at or around $250,000 for four years, minimum. Federal Stafford loans cap at $26,000 total over four years.
 

gocy444

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 15, 2008
2,502
4,963
113
Ames, IA
$100,000 is around the cost of attendance at an in-state student at a four-year public university. Out-of-state publics or privates would probably come in at or around $250,000 for four years, minimum. Federal Stafford loans cap at $26,000 total over four years.
$10,000 per year in tuition. Get a job to pay rent, no reason to take a loan out for that.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: cycloner29

ClonerJams

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Sep 26, 2022
4,780
10,584
113
Just kind of blanket advice and obviously not applicable to every situation, but going to CC for two years and then to an instate public school makes the most fiscal sense. Obviously that doesn't factor in every situation including scholarships.
 

JP4CY

Doesn't quickly stand up when the plane lands.
Staff member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Dec 19, 2008
66,489
81,548
113
Testifying
Just kind of blanket advice and obviously not applicable to every situation, but going to CC for two years and then to an instate public school makes the most fiscal sense. Obviously that doesn't factor in every situation including scholarships.
Or even coupled with in-state. I had plenty of friends that took the physics/math classes in Boone.
 

hiltonisheaven

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
1,057
973
113
Ankeny
Just kind of blanket advice and obviously not applicable to every situation, but going to CC for two years and then to an instate public school makes the most fiscal sense. Obviously that doesn't factor in every situation including scholarships.
This is what I’d do if I had a do-over.
 
  • Puke
Reactions: isufbcurt

synapticwave

Active Member
Mar 9, 2007
951
146
43
Austin, TX
www.longshotgames.com
I have a lot of friends in their early 30s who went out of state or the private route that really wish they went to an instate public school instead. I don’t know your financial situation or what scholarships your kid is getting, but going $100k into debt for school is foolish. My Iowa State degree has gotten me the same role as plenty of people from more prestigious universities.
Impossible - there is no such thing
 

CycloneDaddy

Well-Known Member
Sep 24, 2006
7,466
6,325
113
Johnston
If anyone knows the secret to securing scholarships let me know. Son is finishing his 1st year at ISU and I paid 99.9% of full cost.

I have a 6th grader … Im planning on ISU being $30k per year, that seem right?
 

Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2009
24,190
26,832
113
Behind you
If anyone knows the secret to securing scholarships let me know. Son is finishing his 1st year at ISU and I paid 99.9% of full cost.

I have a 6th grader … Im planning on ISU being $30k per year, that seem right?
You're probably not far off. But there's a lot that goes into it, as you probably know. Both our daughters were/are in sororities, that's obviously an added cost but the benefits are way worth it IMO. Our older daughter did study abroad for 2 months in Norway, our younger will probably want to do it as well in her last year or two, that's obviously added cost. But for sure just the tuition/fees will continue to go up every year.
 

CycloneDaddy

Well-Known Member
Sep 24, 2006
7,466
6,325
113
Johnston
You're probably not far off. But there's a lot that goes into it, as you probably know. Both our daughters were/are in sororities, that's obviously an added cost but the benefits are way worth it IMO. Our older daughter did study abroad for 2 months in Norway, our younger will probably want to do it as well in her last year or two, that's obviously added cost. But for sure just the tuition/fees will continue to go up every year.
I dated a sority girl for 1 year … she probably is the reason I graduated from ISU. I legit had to miss questions on certain test because their test files were that good.
 

Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2009
24,190
26,832
113
Behind you
I dated a sority girl for 1 year … she probably is the reason I graduated from ISU. I legit had to miss questions on certain test because their test files were that good.
Lol, love it. Hey it almost worked for this guy.

b-e1602455642717.jpg
 
  • Haha
Reactions: CycloneDaddy

FriendlySpartan

Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2021
6,436
6,996
113
37
Just kind of blanket advice and obviously not applicable to every situation, but going to CC for two years and then to an instate public school makes the most fiscal sense. Obviously that doesn't factor in every situation including scholarships.
Great financial advice but you lose out on a ton of networking, connections and development going this route. 100% the right financial play but you miss out on a lot doing this.
 

Latest posts

Help Support Us

Become a patron