Students spend years of their lives focusing on getting into their dream college, but once they get in, families must face a brand new issue: How are they going to pay?
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators analyzed research from the Lumina Foundation and found that even if low-income families saved 10 percent of their discretionary income for 10 years and students worked 10 hours a week while attending college full-time, they still couldn't afford 95 percent of colleges. Even wealthy families were unable to afford 48 percent of schools.
While many may not realize it, it is possible to negotiate for more financial aid. "The era of financial aid appeal has arrived in full," Ron Lieber writes in The New York Times, "and April is the month when much of the action happens."
Here are three steps you can take to maximize your financial aid offers: