College MoneyTrying to get the right amount of financial aid to fund my daughter’s first year of college has been a real chore. Filling out forms, scanning documents, and keeping on top of request after request for this, that and the other. But today it finally paid off.

Her initial award was good. Not great, but good. But once I filed my 2012 taxes, which showed a modest income for a family of four, more than half of her aid got stripped away. They said we made too much money. Gone was the Pell Grant. Gone was every grant. The only aid she had left was what the government awarded her through our FAFSA.

I’m unemployed, and we make too much money? Something was rotten in Denmark.

We spoke to a woman at the financial aid office, and she suggested we submit a reduction of income request. It would be the only way the university could determine whether or not we qualified for additional aid as they would now have a true blueprint of our family’s financial status.

We waited, and waited, not sure how big of a hit we were going to take in trying to pay for this first year of school. Today, we got our answer, and boy, oh boy am I relieved.

Both of her grants were reinstated, and for larger amounts. Much larger. Between that and the money in her 529, we won’t have to pay another dime out of our pocket for her first year.

I cannot tell you what a load off my back this is. That is, until I start worrying how I’m going to pay for her sophomore year.

I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Maybe it’ll be paved in gold.

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