I received a call from a client this morning who gave me the good news that her son was accepted to his top choice university with a $15,000 merit tuition scholarship. He’s still waiting to see if he gets better offers, but his parents are feeling pretty good about things so far.
Others aren’t feeling so good. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal indicates that colleges are seeing more and more families of current students–as well as newly admitted students–file appeals for extra aid.
Here’s a quick snippet (though I recommend the entire article):
The formula for financial aid, set by the federal government, requires colleges to look at a family’s tax return from the previous year. But with rising unemployment and a sinking stock market, many families’ fortunes have changed considerably since they last filed taxes. At the same time, the value of 529 college-savings plans deteriorated by as much as 40% in 2008, according to Pittsburgh-based financial-aid expert Mark Kantrowitz.
Though certain assets, such as retirement plans and home values, are sheltered from the federal-aid formula, losses there can still have a trickle-down effect — if, say, a family was hoping to leverage home equity to pay for college.
No doubt about it: it’s going to be a tough year for parents and financial aid officers alike. Oh, and for students, too.