Fordham University Success Story

Our client wanted my thoughts on their son’s initial award from Fordham. Based on the numbers and knowing what the school is capable of,  we felt they could do better and recommended to negotiate. After the college received a letter we drafted, they increase the 2nd award by $3,500 of a Fordham Grant for the first year.  Contact our offices if we can give you a complimentary review of your financial aid offer.

Fordham-Updated-Offer Fordham-Original-Offer

Five Tips On How To Transfer Colleges Effectively

We get a few questions every semester from students and parents interested in the details of transferring their financial aid to a new and different college or university.  Below are some of the most common pieces of advice we offer.  If you think your financial aid position might have changed please contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.

  1. Make sure that all of your credits will transfer or you may have to repeat the course(s) you have already taken
  2. After checking out course transfers, inquire about financial aid packages. Not all colleges will offer generous awards
  3. Ask about “in house” scholarships at your new school that you may qualify for
  4. Ask the admission office for an application fee waiver. FYI, many colleges will have earlier application deadlines
  5. Student loans do not transfer so resubmit your FAFSA immediately.

Pell Grant Changes Affect Students

Congress wants to weaken the Pell Grant program that helps parents and student afford college tuition.  The Pell is important form of financial aid that allows millions of low income students to pursue their college education. What about  the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)? The author does not elaborate on this Grant. Many students who are Pell Grant recipients will qualify for FSEOG. Many critics claim that  programs like Pell increase the cost of college. Not true. What has increase the cost of college over the years is the vast availability of Federal  Loans especially the Parent Plus Loan which parents can borrow as much as they want minus the aid originally offered each year.

If you are looking to maximize the financial assistance for your student to attend college, please contact our office today to learn how we can help.

Congress Wants to Weaken the Pell Program. Here’s Why They Shouldn’t.
News Source: huffingtonpost.com

How Much College Can You Afford?

Many factors come into play when comes to how much college tutition a family can afford. What colleges is the student applying to? What is families’ liquid asset situation like? How much was saved for college. What financial aid forms are required? Many colleges require more forms than the FAFSA. Who is completing the forms? Families that utilize a trained expert in the process will historically retain more aid.

The bottom line here is the correct interpretation of the questions and know what information you do not have to disclose. The more mistakes made, the less aid offered. College Aid Consulting Services has been assisting families for 25 years to avoid the mistakes and maximize the Financial Aid available to them.  Contact us today to learn more.

529 Plans Are Good For Parents

Many families do save for college but do not do it correctly for a variety of reasons. One is that they don’t save enough for the appropriate school that the child deserves to attend (private schools). They underestimate the true cost of education. Another mistake, saving the wrong way, a general savings account. Parents should utilize 529 plans. Also, many parents are saving in the child’s name, BIG MISTAKE.

Another reason many parents are exhausting their assets for education is that they are being shortchanged by the financial aid process. Unfortunately the process is convoluted and not user friendly. Less financial aid, more money out of the parents pockets. Contact our office if you like more advice on funding your student(s) education.

Tips For Students On How To Pay For College

Through the years we have seen a number of things students can do to lower their out of pocket cost for their education. First students should always walk into the financial aid office the first day they are on campus and ask if there are any “in house” scholarships they can apply for. Many times there are and students are not aware that they exist.

Other tips include: pursue outside scholarships keeping in mind that they should never pay for a scholarship service. Set up a 529 plan. Whenever possible purchase used textbooks and sell them when they are finished with them. Utilize work study on campus whenever possible. Keep credit card debt at a minimum and always pay it down on time. Choose the right meal plan. Set up a student checking account. Most of them are free. Keep organized regarding their spending habits. Get the right cell phone plan. Utilize alternative transportation. Consider being a resident advisor. Many colleges will offer free or reduce room and board.

If possible, retain a trained expert in the financial aid process. These people can save families thousands of dollars in their 4 year education. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

The Future Of FAFSA Financial Aid

Apparently there is a move to reduce the size of the FAFSA to a postcard. I do not see this happening. However, if it does, colleges who now require only the FAFSA will create their own financial aid form or utilize the CSS Profile which will ask for more personal information than the FAFSA which will go against the family. Regarding using “prior-prior” tax data, many families will not benefit by this. The proponents of this state that it will allow families an earlier insight of what to expect for financial aid. However, this will not work for families that will have fluctuations in their situation.

Instead Of Simplifying The FAFSA, Let’s Just Get Rid Of It
News Sources: Forbes.com

Appealing College Financial Aid Awards

This article and video we found on CNBC does not mention the fact that a family can appeal or negotiate for a better college financial aid award in many cases. Unfortunately parents who learn that they can appeal don’t know how or when to do so. With over 24 years of experience and assisting thousands of families, we know what to expect and what not to expect from various colleges in the US. If you would like one of our staff to review your award(s), please contact our office.

Just how affordable is that college education?
News Source: CNBC

We Review Grant & Scholarships Offers

It’s that time of year. Over the last two weeks excited students have started to receive their financial aid offers from colleges that they may want to attend. Unfortunately, for many students the excitement is short-lived. The reason, many of the awards are not generous and are not meeting the majority of the need in gift-aid (grants & scholarships). Moreover, some of the awards only contain loans. For our clients in one of these situations, we initiate an appeal process resulting in an improved award consisting of more gift-aid. Let’s be clear here. I don’t expect the college to meet 100% of the need. However, I do expect certain things from various colleges. With over 24 years of assisting families, I know what an individual college can offer and what they cannot. Regarding appealing an award. Many parents do not know that they can negotiate for a better award and if they do know, don’t do it correctly. If you need a better financial aid offer, contact our office for a no fee evaluation.

After The College Acceptance Letter

The USA Today article makes 5 good points. The first one is #1 on our list of 12 Things You Have To Do Before Going Off To College. Students should always check on the status of their FAFSA and or Profile online and call your school’s financial aid office to ensure their loans, grants or scholarships have been processed. If you want the complete list of our staff’s 12 things, please contact our office.

5 ways to start preparing for college once you have the acceptance letter
News Source: USA Today

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