This paper (PDF) is designed to be a short, succinct guide to help parents make informed decisions about when, where, and how to assemble a financial aid package that makes sense for their family. It is aimed not at the family trying to figure out how to save for college—although some of its information will be helpful on that front—but rather at the family knocking on college’s door and trying to figure out how to actually pay the bill. It seeks to help that family minimize the out-of-pocket expense of putting a student through college and reduce their reliance on student loans, which can have a damaging effect on their long-term financial well-being.
Starting October 1, 2016, the financial aid process will change for the millions of families who will be sending children off to college. The good news is that, not only will the process be a little bit easier, but families will often be armed with earlier knowledge about potential financial aid when making decisions about where to apply to school. These changes affect all college students applying for financial aid (including federal loans) for the 2017-2018 academic year and beyond.
The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ