This web page from Mr. Murphy is all about financial aid: links to sites, FAFSA, scholarship searches, government aid, etc.
The event section below provide important information that deals with financial aid for seniors that can be accessed. It is updated regularly. There are college information nights, financial aid seminars, recruiting visits, etc., that are part of this calendar. BE VIGILANT ABOUT CHECKING THIS.
Financial Aid "Kit" -- a thumbnail sketch of Financial Aid process. http://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/
Senior Parents -- FAFSA : Be aware that the FAFSA form is required for any type of financial assistance from a college, university, and usually a specialty/trade school. You can secure this online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov The form requires knowledge and usage of previous years' tax information. Changes in this procedure begin in 2016 (this entails 2017-2018 school year for a college student).
YOU MAY SUBMIT THE FAFSA FORM, completed or estimated, anytime after January 2nd; however, beginning in 2016, October 1st is the new early date a family can choose to submit the FAFSA. Go to https://www.fafsa.ed.com to start the process and then submit it. Though it may appear intimidating, the FAFSA is much easier to complete than ever before. You can access a real time, private online chat with a representative. Paper forms can be completed as well; the high school counselor or the college's financial aid counselor(s) can assist you in completing the form You also have a phone option at 1-800-4-FED-AID. There is no cost for any of this.
REMINDER TO SENIOR PARENTS: March 1st (of any year) is the priority deadline for the FAFSA. If you do not file the FAFSA by that date, you may still do so; your application just will not receive the same priority in its processing as it would if you filed prior to March 1st. Beginning with 2017-2018 filings, the family may submit the FAFSA anytime after October 1st of the previous year. See article to the left about FAFSA changes.
Mr. Murphy does not have paper forms of the FAFSA; you have to go online and request them. However, if you wish to download a worksheet that would serve as a rough draft, you can do that online at the FAFSA website: http://www.fafsaonline.com/printable-fafsa-form/ Even if the priority deadline of March 1 passes, families should still apply. Please do not assume that you may not qualify for financial assistance; criteria change frequently.
Financial Aid Myths: 1) "...I make too much money, so I won't qualify for aid." The truth is that there is no income cutoff for aid. Many factors are involved. The FAFSA is a triple application for aid--federal, state, and local (school of choice); 2) "...only students with good grades get financial aid." The truth is that good grades may help, but most federal aid doesn't not involve student's grades. Maintenance of satisfactory progress toward graduation is more important. 3) "...I'm too old to get financial aid." The truth is federal student aid is awarded on the basis of need, not age.
Parents of male children should note that your son must register with the selective service in order to be considered for financial aid. This address is: https://www.sss.gov/Home/Registration
Missouri MOST is a 529 plan that encourages families to save money for college. The link below details how one can begin to save and plan for the future. Some recent changes in the program are included in the informational link below, including new sponsorship of the organization. This program has received strong endorsements from Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine over the past three years. It has been one of the top 5 performing programs in the nation over the past couple of years.
There also is a program regarding private colleges. It is the Private College 529 Plan (www.privatecollege529.com). In both this plan and another, parents may prepay tuition years in advance, protecting against future tuition hikes.
Here are some sites for savings for college that come from a recent edition of Reader's Digest and from a website entitled www.debt.org
http://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/ This site provides information as to how college graduates on the job market are doing and how much debt they have at graduation
http://www.collegeboard.org An all purpose site for scholarship searches, financial aid planning, and comparing aid awards.
http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/best-schools-by-majors Find out which majors pay the highest starting salaries and where top earners went to college.
www.savingforcollege.com This site projects future costs and how much you will have to save, based on your child's age and college preferences.
This is a good link for assessing the value of schools. It is based on research from a non-profit organization: