Andy Lockwood Financial Aid Guru

Dec 30, 2021

Man have I got a Guru for you!

Andy Lockwood, funny guy, financial aid and college planning guru, and a recovering attorney… we’ll forgive him for that last one. Andy has some great tips and information for you while you get ready for your students to find their theatre colleges and start their BFA programs.

The first question to ask yourself is, what are you trying to get out of college? Something to remember is that this is a 40-year commitment, but not just a 4 year commitment. So, starting early to plan financially for this process is extremely important.

All schools have some form of financial aid available. And only about 25% of students actually end up paying the sticker price, which means there are a ton of discounts being given out. Why not be one of the 75% receiving them? And keep in mind, when you are applying for things like the FAFSA, they will ask to see your 2020 tax returns (it’s a two year look back on income), but this doesn’t mean they won’t take into considerations any changes on your 2021 returns due to the pandemic. If you are declined initially for financial aid, or not enough financial aid, you are able to appeal this decision and show them that change in income.

Another thing to take into consideration is early decisions. Are they binding? You signed a contract, right? Well, technically it wasn’t a contract as 17-year old’s can’t enter into a contract. Usually in the fine print there is something along the lines of “If we admit you, you have to come unless the financial aid package is not adequate.” If for some reason you have made an early decision and later change your mind and no longer wish to attend that school, you can use this excuse! And you absolutely should! If your student and you have realized that the early decision school really isn’t the best fit, you absolutely can get out of it. And you should.

If you are looking for an interesting read (or stocking stuffer), check out Andy’s book “How to Negotiate your Crappy Financial Aid and Merit Aid Offer.” You can also reach out to Andy for more tips and information on his website at

As always, check out our CAP Parents Portal for more information, and for goodness sake if you haven’t already joined, what the heck are you waiting for?


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