college students reading in library Our knowledge and expertise of the Federal Laws (Federal Methodology) and Institutional Guidelines (Institutional and Consensus Methodology) allows us to appropriately guide families through a convoluted and evasive process. This ensures the student of receiving the best financial aid award legally possible. This is important to families in that the educational system will not provide this assistance to families. In addition, families cannot and should not rely on colleges or a majority of internet sources for the appropriate information. Our firm’s professional assistance will enable students to apply to the appropriate schools based on their academic profile and are more likely to offer the student a better financial aid award.

We strive to make the financial aid application process as efficient as possible. Some of our services we offer are listed below:

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) analysis of the Federal, Institutional and the Consensus Methodology. The EFC is the amount of money that a student and his/her spouse and/or family are expected to pay toward his/her cost of college attendance (commonly referred to as the family’s “ability to pay”).
  • Recommendations to reduce your EFC – We present the family’s situation for need analysis in the most favorable terms legally allowed taking advantage of strategies with the goal of obtaining the lowest EFC and maximize the amount of aid you are eligible for.
  • College cost statistics – We provide you with important cost statistics, including your expected out-of-pocket costs, for each college you are interested in.
  • Complete FAFSA – The FAFSA must be completed if you want to qualify for any financial aid. The proper completion of this form should not be minimized. The U.S. Department of Education says the majority of people fill out the FAFSA in such a way that they do not receive all the aid they are eligible.
  • Register for and complete the CSS Profile – We determine if you are applying to a school(s) that requires the CSS Profile form. This profile is required by most private schools. We complete the registration and the Profile form. This form asks the same questions as the FAFSA, but requires more details about your financial situation.. It can also have custom questions from each school.
  • Complete any institutional forms – Many schools have their own forms that need to be completed in addition to the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
  • Confirm accuracy of the Student Aid Report – We independently determine your EFC and verify the government figures so you don’t overpay. We then assist with the process of revising your SAR if and when it becomes necessary.
  • Analysis of Financial Aid Awards – We analyze your financial aid awards and rate the top schools your student is deciding among. We determine if an appeal is in order.
  • Direct Appeals process – If needed, we will draft a letter to the financial aid office for you to submit, and give you instructions on how to appeal to the schools to maximize your financial aid award.
  • College Selection Strategy (optional) – We assist you in selecting colleges that are academically appropriate and more likely to present the student with a better financial aid package. It is to your advantage to apply to a minimum of six (6) colleges.
  • Monthly CACS Newsletters and updates to keep you on track.
  • Ongoing direct access to our staff at all times – we are here to assist you in any way we can.

In summary, the theory of financial aid holds that assistance should go to those who need it the most; in practice, assistance is more likely to find its way to those who know how to apply, when to apply, and where to apply. Our goal is to ensure financial peace of mind for families throughout the financial aid process.