Skip to content

How to Maximize College Financial Aid (Step 2 of 4)

Continuing from our blog last week from a Wall Street Journal article: Step 2: Realize Capital Gains Parents of high-school sophomores (class of 2020) should take brokerage investment account gains now (prior to the end of 2017) because FAFSA uses 2018 as the “base year.” The FAFSA calculation adds a family’s adjusted gross income to…

Read More

How to Maximize College Financial Aid (Step 1 of 4)

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published an article on the best timing of making important personal financial moves to maximize financial aid in your child’s freshman year of college. Most parents make the mistake of waiting until their child’s senior year of high school, but that is too late, you should start no later…

Read More

How Does Illinois Test for College-Readiness?

Is there a chance that Illinois high schools will soon change back to using the ACT instead of the SAT? The Chicago Tribune reported that on October 18th the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) unanimously set a minimum SAT proficiency score of 540 in the math portion and in the reading and writing section.…

Read More

When to Complete your FAFSA

The U.S. Department of Education posts state deadlines for FAFSA completion on October 1st of each year for the coming school year. See the 2018-2019 schedule. DOEd recommends that Illinois college students and families complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after the October 1st start date because Illinois colleges determine financial aid awards until…

Read More

CFAST is on Twitter!

Logo of College Funding Awareness & Service Team

We have been posting our Blog on Facebook and LinkedIn for awhile. Now check us out on Twitter @myCFAST. what topics you’d like to hear about.

Read More

College Tuition Reduction

InsideHigherEd.com recently reported that 8 out of 1,200 U.S. small colleges are implementing a “tuition-reset strategy” next year to reduce tuition, room and board fees to college students, as a strategy to grow enrollment while containing costs. In this article, they warn students and parents to be cautious about this marketing tactic, as it is…

Read More

Student Aid Report

What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)? It is is a paper or electronic document that gives you basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid and includes your answers to the questions on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You typically receive your SAR within two weeks after completing the FAFSA,…

Read More

Your Federal Student Aid ID

If you are starting the college application process and are getting ready to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, you will first need to create your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID with user name and password to gain access to U.S. Department of Education websites, such as, FAFSA.gov and StudentLoans.gov. Your…

Read More

Understanding College Financial Aid

Colleges put together student financial aid packages based on the information that you and your parents provide on the FAFSA and college application. There are many types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships and loans, to pay for college. Both grants and scholarships are considered free money, meaning they typically do not have to be…

Read More

College Planning Network 9/11/17 Webinar

FOR ALL CFAST CLIENTS WHO ARE CPN MEMBERS Juniors: Join us for an Expert Session on the PSAT Process Jim Patterson offers advice for Parents and Students to engage in learning facts, strategies and techniques about the PSAT. He will cover: The What’s and Why’s regarding the PSATAcademic competitions tied to the PSATThe format of…

Read More