January 3, 2007

Should people with rich parents fill out the FAFSA?

Posted in FAFSA, The Financial Aid Process at 9:22 AM by Joe From Boston


I hear this question a lot. In my opinion, the answer is an unqualified YES!!!

Why, you may ask? Well, lets look over a few points –

  1. It can’t hurt. If you’re wealthy enough to pay for college, filling out the FAFSA won’t penalize you, you simply won’t get any federal loans. Which you wouldn’t anyway.
  2. If your situation changes, it can help. Say something suddenly happens and your situation changes drastically to the point where you really need loans. Submitting the FAFSA even while “rich” can help document your changed situation in case anything should happen.
  3. Scholarships. Even rich people try to get scholarships, for example for recognition in a given field. Many scholarships want you to file the FAFSA. True, most of these are need-based scholarships, but it really is better to have all your bases covered.
  4. Teach your kids the value of a dollar. Yeah, it’s a bit hokey but it’s true. I’m remembering in particular one of my husband’s college roommates. He’d call home every semester or so and ask for a few thousand dollars! He didn’t understand the value of money as he’d always had lots and never had to pay for anything himself. He actually thought there were no poor people in the United States!!! We managed to inject a little bit of reality into him, thankfully, but I can’t stress enough that it’s important for your child to learn budgeting BEFORE they go to college. This includes people with an unlimited supply of funds. Filling out the FAFSA with your child can be an important educational tool in learning where money comes from, where it goes and how to budget it.
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