How Multiple Kids in College Affects Financial Aid

By Lauren Prokesch

A U.S. News and World Report article states that in 2023-2024, families with multiple kids in college will not be allowed to apply for discounts due to the FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020. FAFSA could cause costs to double for families that are sending two children to college simultaneously. Families filling out the FAFSA starting October 1, 2022 will still see questions about number of kids in college, but now that will have no influence in determining how much aid a student is eligible for. Out-of-pocket costs for families will be the same for each child after financial aid is taken into account, rather than a previous discount for multiples like twins and triplets. Families were given the unhelpful advice to save more money, take out loans, and send their children to cheaper colleges where their kid’s grades will stand out and increase scholarship possibilities. This puts many middle-class families at risk, as tuition rates go up each year, and due to this act, anticipated aid will go down.

The FAFSA Simplification Act is also replacing the EFC with the SAI (student aid index), which will most likely not affect low-income families. If families already have a zero EFC, they qualify for a Pell Grant of the maximum amount, so it doesn’t matter how many children they have, they will still be eligible. This act also increases the allowance for income protection, which will benefit the lower class because more of their income can be excluded when considering financial aid amounts.

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