It is getting to be financial aid and college application season for the high school class of 2019. (Did you know the FAFSA window opens up on October 1st?) Congratulations on this milestone! I remember it vividly in my own life. I was the first one to go to college in my family and the application and financial aid process was overwhelming. I went through that process on my own. With that in mind, I have a personal mission to share with you. There is so much information and misinformation out there about saving for and applying for college and college financial aid. I have, therefore, intentionally expanded my business offerings to include college funding strategy.
Using the College Pre-Approval™ process, I help families create a comprehensive college funding plan to maximize financial aid, minimize taxes, and save for a comfortable retirement all at the same time. It is my mission for families to have accurate information when they are making the college buying decision. The cost of college can range between $100,000-$300,000 for a student (if not more). When you factor in the interest rate of student loans over the years, the cost of college is more expensive than the investment of buying many homes. During your life, you may buy 3-5 homes, however, you only have one opportunity per student to get the college funding and planning process correct. Why would you go into this process with blinders on? Do you realize what the goal of a school's admission process is? It is two-fold: 1)to get the best freshmen class admitted to that specific school and 2) to get those students to pay as much as possible to attend that school. When you know this information you can make an informed decision. Your goal should be to go to the best school (private or public) that best serves your student for the lowest cost possible over the four-year time frame.
My wife and I have a large family and are on the cusp of going through this process ourselves. It is daunting to consider the emotional and financial cost to our family. I am sure you are feeling this way as well. How do you sift through all of the options for your student? I recently heard from a family that they did not even know where to start looking for financial aid. I know that is a question many families have. They complete the FAFSA and they wait on bated breath to see what the school will offer. Why not make your college buying process a proactive one? Turn the tables around and be an informed consumer.
Step By Step Financial is set up to help you with these questions, concerns and fears. We offer a College Planning Financial Review. The goal of this service is to provide information and education for you through the 4-year college buying process. I have linked below to this particular service we offer. It is perfect for families with college-bound students, who are currently in high school. Obviously, the earlier we can work with you the better informed and the more proactive decision-making you can accomplish, however, this service is beneficial for all college-bound families.