Hope Kid Sis doesn't mind a hand-me-down sorority sweater. If you can persuade your close-in-age kids to attend the same college, you might be able to cut back on some tuition costs. Many schools offer discounts for siblings in attendance at the same time.
If you have two children attend the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., for example, the younger sibling may apply for a GW Family Grant and pay half-tuition -- a huge discount considering GW's $45,735 price tag for 2012-2013. (Unfortunately, this sibling deal cannot be combined with any other scholarships or financial aid.) At Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., the family discount gets a second sibling 10% off tuition. And if a third sibling attends, that student would get 20% off (and our kudos to the parents). Having multiple kids in college can also get you a break with college aid.
With the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if you qualify for need-based assistance, your family's expected contribution to college expenses would stay the same regardless of how many students you're covering. So, if your expected contribution is $60,000 total, and you have two children in college, then you'd be expected to pay $30,000 for each (with aid filling in the gaps); if you have three scholars enrolled, you'd pay $20,000 each. "It's kind of like you get two for the price of one," says Jodi Okun, financial aid specialist and founder of College Financial Aid Advisers.
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