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High Income but High Debt, Too: Can We Get Financial Aid?

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My husband and I each make six figures, but we're really living hand-to-mouth, believe it or not, because we incurred a lot of debt when we were younger and didn't save for college. We met with a financial advisor who said we are unlikely to get financial aid, which seems impossible to us. We aren't sure what to do. Is it a good idea to look for outside loans if we can't get financial aid due to our income? Or is there a way to appeal since we really don't have much disposable income? We always assumed our debt would be taken into consideration during the financial aid process but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Officially, your “Expected Family Contribution" will be high, as your financial advisor has explained. However, when your child applies to college, you can send a supplemental letter to each financial aid office citing extenuating circumstances not reflected by your income and explaining that your child might not be able to enroll without assistance.

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