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Friday, Apr 17, 2009 5:12 PM

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  • How do you come up with Expected Family Contribution (EFC) money?         

Can someone provide some advice. We just completed the FAFSA and our EFC is $17,500. How do people come up with that amount of money each year? Unfortunately, it is tough for people who do not have much savings and live in a place like in California where home equity is gone!

Are there student/ parent loans that are available?
(Post #1)
4 replies

Friday, Apr 17, 2009 5:19 PM

Your EFC is meant to be paid from savings, income, and as a last resort, loans. Unfortunately most people don't have a clue about EFC until after college applications are done. I have heard someone saved to pay his EFC for 4 years out of savings from the past 10 years with a salary about $30K for most of those years. He managed to save over $60K. So find ways to save some money now.
(Post #2)

Friday, Apr 17, 2009 5:29 PM

There are ways to minimize expenses:

1. Buy used books from bestwebbuys, amazon, ebay, powells and also on campus. That can save you a lot of money.

2. During summer time, the student can earn at least $2,000 to save toward the next school year. If possible, the student can also take an online or site based class at a community college, that can go toward graduation each summer, which will save a bit of time and money.

I know someone's daughter attended a very small community college, and she enjoyed being able to take classes at the CC that her school didn't offer.

3. Going to in-state schools. The in-state tuition helps.

4. Working with Americorps, either during school or during a year off. This can earn money that will count toward school loans ( and loans are deferred during)

5. Some schools also have merit awards that you may not know about until you are admitted.

It sounds overwhelming, but you are not alone.
(Post #3)
1 reply

Friday, Apr 17, 2009 5:32 PM

If you have more than one child, don't forget the other kids. I always feel terrible for kids who write about their financial problems and say that the parents' money was all spent or the loans maxed out for the older siblings. Parents need to develop a long term strategy that considers the needs of all of their kids. If you are having a hard time coming up with money for the oldest, she may have to consider some more affordable options.

Every year there are many hard working deserving kids who have to pass on their first choice schools because the money simply is not there.
(Post #4)

Monday, May 11, 2009 10:50 AM - A Reply to Collin's post (Post #3)

Another way to trim down expenses is to try to take some prereq classes from community colleges or virtual classrooms. But be sure you check with the university's policy as far as how many credits can be transferred as legit credits toward your degree.
Gigi DUG.
(Post #5)

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