Tips for Maximizing Need-Based Financial Aid for College

Financial aid plays a key role in bankrolling college for just about every student. Why is need-based financial aid so important and how can you acquire the maximum amount? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t presume on merit-based scholarships – Very few people receive a full-ride scholarship. Don’t shy away from applying for merit-based scholarships, but just remember that you are likely to need some additional aid if you don’t want to pay student loans for years to come.
  • Apply early – Find out the earliest dates that you can apply for FAFSA and other student aid, and get those applications turned in right away so you don’t miss out.
  • Don’t assume your parents make too much money – Financial aid is based on a calculation called EFC (expected family contribution). This will obviously be higher if your family makes more money. However, there are other things that can be subtracted from household income that lower your EFC. You can’t always trust an online EFC calculator, so don’t assume you are disqualified before you even fill out the application. Plenty of money goes unclaimed each year, so you may get something, especially if you are going to a very expensive private university.

Help Planning Your College Financing

College Planning Source helps students and families with both admissions and financial planning. Check our blog regularly for the latest planning tips and contact us for one-on-one support and workshops that can help you to meet your family’s unique needs. To get started, call 858.676.0700, or submit our online contact form.

College Planning Source

College Planning Source

Leave a Replay

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Helping Families with their Educational and Financial Future

Learn more about College Planning, including resources on Admissions, College Funding, and Financial aid. Reserve a webinar spot today.


To ensure the safety of parents, students, and staff, we will be holding our student counseling meetings and our student workshops online. 
We will be conducting meetings via Zoom until further notice.
For upcoming scheduled meetings, our counselors will be contacting you directly regarding the Zoom meetings.
Our staff continues to work tirelessly to prepare our students and families for their college experience. If you are currently on break, get a head start now and take advantage of this time to start college planning. For any questions or concerns, please contact us at 858-676-0700.



Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates and helpful college resources!


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top