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Student Loan Debt Clock
We make too much money and will not qualify for financial aid. What type of planning can be done for us?
Some of the families we work with qualify for little to no "need-based" financial aid. We are able to help those families by creating a plan that involves a cobination of academic student positioning along with financial and tax planning strategies. Many families, having both under and over a six figure income, are surprised to learn that after this strategic planning, they too can qualify for financial aid.
Why should we consider working with a College Planner?
Working with a college planning specialist is much like working with a Certified Public Accountant on your taxes. A professional college planner can make you aware of planning tips and strategies most people don’t even know exist. Just like a CPA uses the Federal tax rules, a college planning specialist uses the Federal education rules along with experience in the college financial world to plan and implement a combination of strategies that can tremendously benefit your family and your pocket-book. The services that we provide help relieve you from the stress and anxiety that is typically associated with the thought of paying for and getting into college. Along with the financial side, student preparation is equally important. Knowing what the student should be doing and when they should be doing it go hand in hand with the financial planning. What good is planning how to pay for it if the student has no idea what they want to go to school for or vice versa? A college planning specialist working with you throughout this process is an extremely valuable ally to have on your side.
College is often the highest expenditure for many families and it is, in some cases, more than the purchase of their home. Would you ever purchase real estate without seeking the advice of a professional? Of course not. Paying for college should not be any different. There is crucial information you need to know about the college funding process before you begin.
Can my financial advisor or Certified Public Accountant do this type of planning for me?
Typically the answer is no. Their areas of expertise are either more long term for retirement or very near term like accounting and tax preparation. They generally do not focus on financial planning for college. Most do not have the experience to know if or where they might make mistakes on financial aid forms potentially costing you tens of thousands of dollars. They also probably will not help you with school applications and do not know what students should be doing during their high school years to prepare for getting into the school of their choice. A college planning specialist brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table in all of these areas. There are several financial advisors and Certified Public Accountants that refer clients to us because they respect our specialization in college funding planning and student services based on the belief that the services we provide greatly benefit their clients.
What do you charge for your services?
Our fee schedule is based on your individual needs and is determined on a case by case basis. During the initial consultation, we are interviewing you just as you are interviewing us. We want to be absolutely sure that we can be beneficial to you before a working relationship is established. Rest assured all consultations are held in the strictest of confidence.
Do you help find grants and scholarships for our student?
We will help your student find grants and scholarships. We also guide students on how to best qualify for them by reviewing their entries or essays before the are submitted. These are normally private scholarships that are offered by civic clubs, foundations and corporations. Always remember they account for only about 2% of the total financial aid out there. We do try to help a student qualify for as many grants and scholarships as the student applies for; however we are NOT a "scholarship search" company.
Do you give out scholarships or loans?
We are not a lending institution or a scholarship fund. However, depending on the individual needs of your family, we will identify and recommend the best college financial tools that suit your family's situation.
Is it true that colleges will negotiate or discount tuition?
Colleges generally deny that they "negotiate" with parents. Always keep this in mind: schools use financial aid to entice a student to come to their school. If you are in a situation where the offer from the school your student wants to attend is noticeably different from other schools in teh same price range, you can ask for a "review" of your financial aid offer. If you approachthem with humility and in good spirits, they may sweeten their initial aid offer. This is not the time to go in with your guns blazing. If the school really wants your student because of a special skill, talent or scholastic achievement, this process can be easier.
Can a student overcome a weak SAT or ACT test score with class rank and good grades?
While overcoming a weak SAT or ACT score is possible, experience has shown us that is is extremely difficult to accomplish. The reason for this is that the SAT and ACT are used to level the playing field between different high schools and even different areas of the country. The tests are an integral part along with your students GPA, class rank, recommendations and other criteria that determine if and what schools your student can get into and how much financial aid you qualify for. If any of these parts are out of line, just like a table missing a leg, it is very difficult to get it to stand on it's own. The SAT and ACT scores (depending on which the school chooses to accept) are used two times: once for admissions and second during the financial aid process. The tests can be taken several times and we recommend taking them as many times as possible. Contact us for information on the resources we have available.
Are home-schooled students at a disavantage when applying for admissions?
Typically home-schooled students are more likely to go to college since education is very important to both thier parents and them. This is not a disadvantage as long as there is clear documentation of your student's education. This is a case where more detailed records will make the process go more smoothly.
There were no hidden agendas, no gimics to purchase anything, found out where to look for scholarships - Michelle B
Good overview - I have a freshman and had no idea about the financial aid process - Deborah K
Offered actual strategies, workshop was straight forward, the strategies were very helpful, the complexityof this challenge motivates me to learn more; free workshop was key - Stephen M
Good advice, good specific tips, I liked the myth killing and you had some very good information on things I did not know - Doug F
Very casual (no pressure) but very informative atmosphere - Steve L