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Question of the Day 7/18/2016
Create a Debt Elimnation Strategy
College Funding Mistakes are More Expensive than the Cost of College
The FAFSA Does Not Provide Free Money, But...
When is 5.6% not 5.6% - Will Your College Savings and Scholarships Be Used Against You?

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529 plans, Private School, Financial Aid, FAFSA
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Question of the Day 7/18/2016

Question:

I have a college student who’s in in their second year of college. We did receive some financial aid but we are still $10,000 short. Where can we get more funding? 


I’m going to answer this question from a realistic proactive perspective for all of those who have college bound children and have yet to graduate from high school and address others who are also facing this scenario.I have very good news for all of you.

Let’s talk about how the aid process works: 

Every school has an internal protocol for funding and admissions.

Create a Debt Elimnation Strategy

 




Create a Debt Elimination Strategy for the Student and the Parent.
 
High school seniors are now moving into the award letter season. This is time when colleges begin to send the summaries of funding that include a complete scope of what is being offered.


Despite the best efforts of the students in obtaining great grades and test scores, the majority will have an estimated $10,000 - $50,000 per year shortfall in funding depending upon the choice of the schools that the student has applied to.

College Funding Mistakes are More Expensive than the Cost of College


Step One – Uncover the mistakes that are being made and correct them immediately!
 
The first step in the Pay Zero for College Planning System is assisting both the parent and the student in identifying the mistakes that they are making. Lack of knowledge is one of the leading causes for falling into catastrophic consequences that takes decades to recover. Here are the top 5 mistakes I have encountered.

1.      Looking for Money

Many of the calls that come into my office sound like a 911 emergency call.

The FAFSA Does Not Provide Free Money, But...

Despite what many people believe and are lead to believe, the FAFSA (FREE APPLICATION for FEDERAL STUDENT AID) does not give away money nor does it provide free money. The FAFSA is a disclosure document that schools use to determine how much federal funding a student will qualify for as well as other funding. Each school uses their own internal protocol to make an offer to a student during the award letter process.

Many factors that are used to determine funding have nothing to do with income. For example, even if after completing the FAFSA and it determines that a student qualifies for a PELL GRANT, the FAFSA does not provide free money.

When is 5.6% not 5.6% - Will Your College Savings and Scholarships Be Used Against You?


 
This is one of many stories I have heard from parents over the years.
A hard working couple spent more than a decade saving money for their son. Year after year they made the sacrifices necessary to assist their son in paying for college. During the son’s senior year of high school, he acquired a full ride scholarship. So what do you thing the parents were thinking? Yeehaaaa!! We get to keep our hard earned savings. Our son’s hard work paid off! We can use our money to supplement retirement needs, maybe take a trip, or even remodel the kitchen!

Single Mom Uses a Planning Strategy to Find Her Own Money!!!

 
Many believe that financial aid is a handout system where a student is sent to college with no plan to pay for it and when the financial aid office requires payment, the parents begin a community fund raiser looking for thousands of dollars in quick cash. Most every time this futile effort leads to the student being embarrassed because they are forced to go back home and yet with no plan to pay for college and no plan to further their education.


The notion that there is free money or that someone can get a student money leads both parents and students into believing in a fictitious scholarship Santa Clause, financial aid fairies, and other quick fix myths that lead to nowhere but disappointment and financial ruin.

Is Your Student’s High GPA Masking Their True Incompetence?


GPA, otherwise known as Grade Point Average is considered the common indicator for student academic performance. Typically, a 4.0 is the highest average that a student can achieve. It represents an A Plus.  Getting an A in a course subject sounds good, right? Wait! Hold on! That A could be masking a student’s incompetence without the parent and student knowing. Striving to maintain a high grade should be every student’s objective. But, there is so much more to be considered.

The problem is that grade point average is often not a true indicator of a student’s performance, potential, or college competitive readiness on a broad comparative scale.

The Eighth Grade: I Have Time to Waste


When a student enters the 8grade, there are less than 4 years left to become college ready. Our standard of college readiness means:

The student's grade point average and test scores are above their preferred college admissions and scholarship requirements.

A track  record of leadership and community service has been established.

There's a clear understanding of the connection between career readiness and college selection.

There's a clear plan of how college is going to be paid for.

Graduating from a Private High School Has Its Advantages but Full Ride Scholarships are NOT Guaranteed!!

 
 
Nearly 6 million students attend private schools across the United States. All for different reasons. Many parents who have decided to go this route are taking out loans to finance this experience. In my practice as a Certified College Planning Specialist, parents have repeatedly ask me is it worth it to send their student to a private school.
 
Obviously, my answers can be varied depending on the why they have made the decision. However, experience has shown that regardless of their why parents should not expect that a private school experience equals a guaranteed 100% funded scholarship for college.

College Planning Urban Legends

                              
         College Planning Urban Legends

 
 
Reliance Upon Outdated information

“When I graduated from college back in 19…..“ this is what parents say to me after they realize that the government and the school are expecting them to invest in their child’s education.  Many parents are assuming that the funding process is the same as it was 10, 20, 30 years ago when the cost of college was cheaper and there were far more federal dollars available.