Paying for College

How Will Financial Aid Officers Treat Pension Earnings?

Question: My son is a high school senior. I am employed this year and will also be employed his freshman year in college. But, by his sophomore year, I will be retired. Will the pension that I receive be looked at differently for financial aid purposes than the income I make while working? I don't mean the amount that I make but "how" that the money is generated. In other words, will the fact that it's a pension and not a salary work in our favor?

"The Dean" was in the throes of sending you some bad news in response to your question but wasn't 100% certain that it was right. So instead, I checked with my financial aid guru, Ann Playe (former associate director of admission and financial aid at Smith College.) She confirmed my suspicions, saying, "The 'how' is not relevant, which is why many who retire to equal income get a rude shock if they think they will get a break on college just by virtue of being retired."

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