Not sure if this is better asked in the admissions forum, but:
I am getting conflicting information from school counselors and from a variety of FA officers at the schools to which my child is applying.
After doing a few EFC calculators, I know for certain my family is not going to qualify for any need based aid this year, or next. After that, I’ll have two kids in college, in theory, and situation might be different.
School counselors have encouraged everyone to file a FAFSA regardless of anticipated need. Two aid officers from colleges said essentially the same (both of these schools are FAFSA only, and don’t take CSS profile at all). They basically implied that it will be easier to apply for aid in the future if we submit a FAFSA at the time of application.
BUT, for a few of the CSS profile schools, if I’m reading between the lines correctly, they’ve implied that submitting one could potentially impact admission chances.
My child has checked the box on common app stating “Does NOT plan to apply for need based financial aid.”
Here’s my question: If that box is checked, what does an admissions department actually do with that information? Meaning, would a need-aware (or any?) school’s admissions even see the FAFSA or CSS submission if my child didn’t indicate “plan to apply for aid?”
Should we NOT submit either FAFSA or CSS profile to any of the need-aware schools on the list?
Or, do they just look at the profile and see the EFC and categorize as full pay regardless of what boxes were checked or not?