As one who currently has two in college, and will have three in college next year, the math you cite is accurate with regards to the EFC calculation. However, the reality of what college or university costs net, is a separate issue all together.Walkure wrote: ↑Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:34 pmInterestingly, having multiple children in college simultaneously is potentially the cheapest way to do it. Example: family has a FAFSA annual "EFC" of 90,000 per year. They will be expected to cash flow / sell assets up to that amount before qualifying for any aid. Supposing they have two children aged four years apart who each attend a school with $60k tuition, they would pay full freight for eight years. 8 x 60,000 = total cost of $480,000. Now suppose the children are 1 year apart. During the years both are in school, the EFC gets divided by two so for each child the family is expected to pay $45,000 and the school chips in $15,000 of need-based aid. 60k oldest's first year + (3 x 90k) combined + 60k youngest's last year = $390,000 total.Broken Man 1999 wrote: ↑Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:12 pm No argument from me! We told daughters repeatedly that we would pay 100% for an in-state public university. And, we would do our best to pay for an out of state public university or a private university. Having multiple children in college simultaneously can really put a hurting on a parents budget. Still, we muddled through. Each DD attended the university that was their first choice, and no one ended up with student loans.
One option we guaranteed, one option we did not.
Broken Man 1999
That's a savings of $90,000 by swapping three years of pain for six of slow drip, drip, drip. Of course, by the time folks consider this their childrens' ages are a given...
While the EFC can be a handy calculator, how a school uses (or doesn't use) that calculation is individual based on the school.
IF (and it's a big IF), a school chooses to "meet full need" ( the difference between the family's EFC and full cost of attendance or COA. Only about two dozen in the country do meet full need), the school can choose how to make up that delta. Could be scholarship, could be grant, a combination of the two, or more likely, loans and work study, are a big part of that package to make up that difference between the EFC and full COA.
Hence, while the net cost to attend for each student is less if you have more than one in college simultaneously, it's definitely more than half for each vs if if only one were in at a time. Also, it's way more than a third if three are in school simultaneously. In our case, with two in school, the 'COA for our oldest went down about 30% when our middle one entered college. When I spoke with my oldest ones financial aid counselor, she said when our third is in at the same time, we can only expect about another 5-10% decrease in his costs. So he won't even get to half with three in school. When I had a conversation with our middle ones financial aid counselor, I was told to expect about a 30-40% decrease. Go figure.
Most schools aren't "full need" schools, and many are a far cry from full need schools.
Here is the list (all 21 of them) of schools in the country that will meet full need, but with loans as part of the aid package: https://blog.collegevine.com/schools-th ... cial-need/
A few more (7) meet full need without loans if certain low income threshold is met ( some are really low: ie: family's income of $40k-$60k/yr. See same link for those schools).
Paying for higher education has become a financial game. One really needs to examine the wording and drill down to specifics of each school, to figure out what each school will cost in the end. Hence, I will continue to recommend anyone considering the chore of figuring out the cost of school for planning purposes, to plug your anticipated financial numbers and family situation at the time each child will enter school, into each potential schools' net price calculator.