Category One families typically have a low enough income and asset base to qualify for need-based aid, regardless of the school they choose, as long as they complete the process accurately and on time. We help families in this category by navigating them through the College process, focusing specifically on the Financial-Aid portion of the process.
Many parents submit their financial aid paperwork incorrectly. This can result in missed opportunities for aid, when completed incorrectly to the family's detriment. When incorrectly completed to your benefit, errors are normally discovered, and applications are "bumped," adding 4-6 weeks or more of processing time and resulting in going back to the bottom of the processing list. Since most financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, even the smallest of errors on the forms can drastically affect the amount of aid a family can get.
It is also vitally important for this category of family to make sure the right information goes in the right place, and that they do not disclose information they are not required to disclose.
We also help Category One families by negotiating with Colleges on their behalf to get a better Financial Aid package with the maximum amount of FREE money possible (as opposed to loans)!
Families in this category are usually considered to be "middle-class" or "upper middle-class", who typically do not consider themselves "rich" by any means. This is the most common category for families. These families are going to get a different amount of financial aid dependent upon the College of choice and how they have positioned their income and assets at the time of application for aid. We help families in this category by expertly guiding them through the entire College Process with a focus on Student Positioning Strategies, College Decision Strategies, Cash-Flow Strategies, Tax Strategies, and sometimes need-based strategies.
Like Category One families, we help this category by completing all forms correctly so that they get submitted on time without errors. For Category Two families, the amount of aid can be less than Category One families. So, getting these forms completed correctly and on time can save them thousands of dollars.
If a Category Two family isn't awarded a fair aid package (deemed from past experience and reporting to the Department of Education) from a College, we will also help families appeal and negotiate for a better offer.
For Category Two families, we also want to take advantage of every strategy out there to make sure their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is as low as possible, by legally arranging their financial affairs to qualify for more aid and lower out-of-pocket costs.
Like Category One families, we want to make sure Category Two families get as much FREE money as possible from the colleges applied-to, as opposed to Colleges only offering self-help money, such as loans and work-study.
Lastly, Category Two families must have a realistic College Funding Plan in place to pay for their expected out-of-pocket College costs. There IS going to be a bill for the family, and a viable plan to pay it is essential, without forcing the family into expensive and unnecessary debt!
If you think your family falls into this category, there is often MUCH you can do to lower your College costs! Contact us to explore the possibilities available to you.
Families in this category are normally Upper Middle to High Income, and/or High Net Worth, who typically will not qualify for any Need-Based Financial Aid. These families, often find it difficult to absorb (or stomach!) a $30,000-$70,000 per year hit to their cash flow to pay for College, without negatively impacting their lifestyle. We partner with many Category Three families to help them maximize the most tax-efficient and cost-effective means by which to pay for their children's education.
Just like Category Two families, we help this group by successfully navigating them through the Financial Aid process, by completing all forms correctly and as early as possible in the process so that they can move into the fray for other sources of aid while those sources are still plentiful.
Category Three families require ultra-personalized planning tailored to their family’s individual situation. We help these families implement a proprietary combination of Student Positioning, proper School Choice guidance, Cash Flow Strategies, and Tax Reduction Strategies that can help them save thousands of dollars. In addition, we help Category Three families appeal and negotiate for better scholarship and award offers consistent with Student Positioning Strategies for the family.
We love to help Category Three families use the rules to create "CFTR Scholarships". This is where we help create a cash flow solution that can save them several thousands of dollars a year in taxes during the years they have children in college.
Our main goal for Category Three families is to ensure all their children get sent to College comfortably, without neglecting any of the other financial goals they have set (such as paying off a mortgage, supplementing retirement, legacy wealth planning, etc.).
You don't have to pay full price for College! Don't let the way the system is set up make you pay too much. Come meet with one of our experts to find out how you can control the process, instead of letting the process control you.