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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
After borrowing the 2009 version from the library, I purchased this 2012 edition. I am impressed with the book's emphasis on planning ahead. It is easy to read, suggestions are plentiful and I highly recommend it for parents with children in middle school or just starting high school. My first takeaway from the book was learning about the first base income year which starts when the child is midway through their junior year of high school. Second was learning how to improve the chances of getting financial aid by planning ahead. Note that this book is revised and updated each year to stay current. There's also a website to find the most recent changes in advice to families.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
A relative told me about this book. So glad that I bought it. It will really help with filling out the FAFSA form,figuring out exactly how much it's all going to cost and where to look for alternative funding. The part about your starting to plan early will help with my other much younger child. If you child is a sophomore you need to be reading this - don't wait like I did. I waited way too long to start planning. Wished I would have bought this book about a year ago. I could have saved myself some headaches on the base income for the FAFSA. Now at least we have suggestions on how to adjust things to take advantage of all this book has to offer. Even took it to my accountant to discuss my taxes. He is getting a copy of the book too. Wish we would have had stuff like this when I was in high school. It would certainly have helped my parents out alot. It has updates every year because things are changing so fast so be prepared to get the most up to date version that is out. Good stuff, thanks so much author!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2012
I cannot possibly convey how much this book helped myself & my parents to navigate the ridiculously complex waters of the FAFSA and PROFILE. Our financial situation is complex and we were entirely unfamiliar with the federal system. My parents used this book step-by-step and found it explained every mystery. It even lets you know when something you think doesn't make sense in fact DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! A huge relief when you're staring, cross-eyed, at a section that seems redundant or illogical. They speak in plain terms, go in-depth into each question on both forms, and give great examples.

There are a wide variety of financial aid assistance manuals. This is the only one I would buy if I had to do it over again. HIGHLY recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
It doesn't matter how much money you have or how much you expect to pay for college - this book is essential reading for anyone looking to maximize opportunity. Many of the tips in the book are counter-intuitive (like how students can get financially punished for working during college?!?) but the reality facing incoming college students and their families.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
Lots of useful tips. Don't wait until your child is a Junior or Senior to read this book - there are lots of helpful tips starting at an early age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2012
Very thorough, this gives parents an idea of what to expect when it comes to paying for college. It explains how college financial aid officers "think". It also provides line by line instructions on how to complete aid forms. Have your tax return nearby and read this sooner rather than later!
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on June 6, 2013
The book has many ways to save for college, it didn't help me much but that should not take away from the information in the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
I got this book prior to my Freshman year in college. I actually filled the FAFSA before I got this book, but this great book helped me to know where I can get more aid and ended up landing me more aid. I didn't go to high school in USA, but if I was the long and short term planning are really helpfull. The book is clear, organized and basically leads the way step-by-step through the rigorous financial aid process, plus it updates annualy so all the information is up to date! I already pre-ordered my 2013 copy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
I have been aware of this book for nearly 20 years. It would have been a great help to me if it had been published when I went to college. If you have children going to college, especially if you are planning to apply for aid (and, as this book says, you should),do yourself and your children a favor and invest the amount of the purchase price. You could save yourself and your children tens of thousands of dollars. If that doesn't get people's attention, I don't know what will.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2012
Great book easy to read and understand, a must have if you have kids going to college in the near future.
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