You really should incorporate planning for financial aid as soon as your child is born. When applying for financial aid something that at the time seemed trivial can have a significant impact. The name on a savings bond or which tax form you use file your taxes are some easy examples.
Sophomore year of high school is when you need to finalize planning for financial aid. What families don’t realize is that even though they fill out the financial aid applications during senior year, they are actually using tax information going back to the student’s sophomore year. So if your child is a junior in high school, the financial aid process has already begun. When your child is a sophomore you still have time to change some of the variables that impact the financial aid formulas.