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
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.
– 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.
Looking for Money
Many of the calls that come into my office sound like a 911
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.
This is one of many stories I have heard from parents over
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!
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
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.
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.
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
Reliance Upon Outdated
“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.