As a parent of an upcoming high school senior and two-time college graduate with student loan debt, myself, I was astounded to find out that financial aid packages can be challenged. When I graduated high school in the 90’s, my parents had no clue about financial aid as it relates to higher education. Though my father was a college graduate, himself, he had received a full music scholarship and had no idea about student loans or Pell Grants. I had chosen to goof off most of my high school career and wasn’t offered any scholarships. Mostly because I hadn’t applied for any, not because I was incapable of making good grades (after all, I had been in Gifted and Talented and AP courses my entire life), but more so due to the fact that school was just a way to bide my time and I didn’t care to put forth any effort. And college…well, it was a means to finally get out of my parents’ house, so I didn’t take that seriously either. My mother wasn’t a college graduate and had preferred to take the entrepreneurial route, so there was no hope in her assisting with financial planning for my education. So there you have it–a college-bound student from a household with two gainfully employed parents with no clue about applying for financial aid plus FAFSA paperwork filled out by a high school senior looking for a way out of her parents’ home (or more appropriately, prison) without and inkling about paying for college, equals an award letter with ZERO federal aid and several thousands in expected family contribution (EFC)!!! Had I or my parents known then, that an award letter is not the end-all-be-all answer to request for federal aid, I could have saved a whole a lot of time, aggravation, and most of all–MONEY! Continue reading this article from from www.mainstreet.com to find out how to increase your child’s chances of getting the most financial aid possible.