Doing all the work to get recruited is one thing, and then when your child is actually offered college scholarship opportunities, your family will be faced with a completely new recruiting dilemma: Which college is the best fit?
Weighing the Costs
Factors that come into play when determining the best college for your child will include scholarships and financial aid allotments. In order to get a better sense of the true costs of your child’s college choices, consider expenses for the entire year. As with any pre-college planning budget, your family must consider all college student necessities, including living expenses, meals, books and transportation.
Find Out Your Family’s EFC
According to The College Board, the cost of college tuition for both private and public institutions is continually on the rise. In order to determine what a family’s contribution costs will be, your child and you will have to first fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). By doing this you will be given an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) number. Don’t worry when you receive your EFC–it’s not the amount of money your family will have to pay to send your child to college, it’s more of an estimate used by the federal government to assist colleges in determining the amount of federal student aid your child will be eligible to receive.
Take the Time to Complete a FAFSA
Not filling out the FAFSA will only exclude your family from collecting any federal financial aid. Sure, it may be time consuming to complete, but after you do it once all of your information is saved and you’ll only have to revisit the application annually to make minor adjustments.
Words of advice: Place your FAFSA PIN in an easy to remember location so that you have no trouble accessing your account information when your college asks for an updated application.
Meeting with College Advisors
Once your child has completed all aid paperwork and discussed sports and academic scholarship options with their coach they can explore other financial contributors. The college financial aid department can assist with the process. Remember that scholarships and financial aid are delegated on a year by year basis; your child will have to sign a new sports scholarship with the college in addition to reapplying for government financial aid annually.