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Princeton Financial Aid and the FAFSA

Rtgrove123Rtgrove123 Registered User Posts: 1,798 Senior Member
edited January 2010 in Princeton University
Ok, well quick question. I just finished filing my FAFSA was was completely stunned. It said my parents could afford to pay $99999 a year for college (I know...it caps out at 50K technically...but it says we could pay more than that). I believe that number spawns mostly from my parents retirement. My parents make about 140k at year total, but have about 400k in retirement. Does pton care about retirement money? We have very little invested beyond retirement and my parents really are completely unwilling to withdraw money from their account to help pay for my college. So, are schools like Pton completely out of the question on the off chance I get accepted.

Post edited by Rtgrove123 on

Replies to: Princeton Financial Aid and the FAFSA

  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,997 Senior Member
    Retirement accounts should not even be reported on FAFSA. If they are savings just "earmarked for retirement" they would be reported. But if the are official retirement accounts (IRAs, 401ks etc) FAFSA specifically excludes them from having to be reported.
  • R124687R124687 Registered User Posts: 1,513 Senior Member
    FYI - Princeton (becaue I didn't notice this until pretty late)..Princeton has their OWN financial aid application form.

    But..to answer...it depends on where the money is. If you have a "savings account", and SAY it's for retirement...well, gosh...someone has to pay for your education and, since you have the money, regardless of what you HOPED to use it for - then they expect you to use it. If you save for a new car but your furnace breaks in the meantime...that "car money" goes elsewhere.

    I have $8,000 in retirement and a very bleak future as regards earning potential (long story). But I don't expect any/much aid. That's just too bad for me. I didn't have the possibility of saving, but that doesn't mean the college has to put my D through school. Right now, she's probably going to end up at a state Uni...Princeton qualified or not. We can't all afford an elite school. Though it sounds like you can. Your parents can make the hard decisions - use this for college and try and save more if they can. Save this for retirement and you get an expensive undergrad vacation. Etc. I know people who lived an extremely frugal life to put their kids through expensive colleges, and worked every day until they died. That's def what I'll be doing IF I decide I can pay for one of my D's expensive selections. So your parents "planned" for retirement, but not for college. ? Think about it, that's pretty easy for someone to say ("Yeah, I have a quarter of a million dollars but I want to stop working so I can't pay the bill can you pay it for me"?). Truly - you are NOT alone!!!! Many of us are all living out this same scenario.

    It's NICE that schools want to use their endowment to hep out some people, but it's not an entitlement.
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