College financial aid for relatively affluent families

I didn't worry about college financial aid when I was in high school but quickly found out that even though all my older siblings, and even my mother, got full financial aid packages, I did not qualify. Because our family size went down as kids grew up and my parents income increased, I had to work my way through college and take out loans.

Fast forward twenty-something years and I have a family of four that easily qualifies as middle class. As my kids approach the college years, I was convinced that college financial aid was something my family will not qualify for. Fortunately, this may not be true.

If you have used college financial aid calculators to determine your college costs and needs, and felt discouraged, don't stop looking just yet for college financial aid. You should know that even the affluent can receive financial aid. Believe it or not, "a 55-year-old parent with $100,000 in a 529 account would receive only $2,244 less in financial aid" than a parent with $46,000, according to