7 Tips On Lowering College Costs

7 Tips On Lowering College Costs

We all know that the cost of a college education is off the charts and for many families affording a college education can be a real challenge. Here are 12 tips that families can use to save money in the process:

  1. Compare housing options
  2. Don’t buy new textbooks
  3. Consider dual enrollment
  4. Get a tuition discount
  5. Attend a college with fixed-price tuition
  6. Utilize a work study program
  7. Graduate on time

Two bonus tips…

  1. Consider a community college in the first year or two
  2. Consider being a resident advisor. Many colleges will offer free or reduce room and board

Explore all of your aid options. With that said, parents need to be savvy when it comes to the financial aid process. The more they know about the process, the more likely they will retain more gift-aid. The more gift-aid, the less loans needed. Regarding loans, never turn down a subsidized loan(s) if offered and more importantly if needed.

Parents should consider retaining professional guidance. A trained expert will assure the family will retain the most financial aid possible. Also students should always pursue outside scholarships which will help to lower their out of pocket cost for a four education. Once on campus, the student should walk into the financial aid office to ask if there are any “in house” scholarships that they can apply for. Parents should set up a 529 plan early on.

If you wish more tips or information on how to lower college costs, please contact our office.

Should A Family Hire A College Admissions Consultant?

college admissions consultant
I highly recommend that most families retain a college admissions consultant when their child is looking to get into a top private college or ivy league institution. The college admissions consultant can be of benefit in many ways including test preparation and college selection, to essay and interview coaching and providing a strong application package. The cost can range from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the level of services offered, needs of the student and the types of colleges they are pursuing. Ideally like good financial aid planning families should start the process in the Sophomore or Junior year in high school.

In addition most students will benefit from college admissions assistance even though they may not be a top student.

It’s important to differentiate that a college admissions consultant and financial aid consultants have different areas of expertise.  If you would like us to recommend a top college admission consultant for your son or daughter, please contact one of our staff.

When Financial Aid Offers Doesn’t Meet Expectations

College Financial Aid Offers

Since early March our students started to receive their initial financial aid offers from various colleges. Like previous years, many of the financial aid offers are not meeting the appropriate need for the student based on one of the three formulas that colleges utilize. We review all of our student’s awards and if we feel the college can do better, we will then initiate a proven approach of communication with the college(s) to increase the amount of gift-aid originally offered. Over the last two weeks our students have been receiving their amended awards that contain more financial aid.

Families who do not utilize professional guidance are more likely not receive a magnanimous award(s). If you would like our staff to review your award letters, please contact our office. The bottom line here is, the more families know about the true aspects of the financial aid process , the less money out of their pockets for a college education.

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Why Hire A College Financial Aid Consultant?

Occasionally I am asked, why do I need to hire a college financial aid consultant when I can do it on my own or get help from the high school? My answer is always the same. Yes, you can do it on your own. However, what results do you want in your attempt to obtain more free money? Average or optimum? If the bottom line is the cost for your family, you need an expert. It is common sense here. The family is left at the mercy of two people in the process, the high school guidance person (who is not an expert about anything regarding financial aid) and the college. If would like more common sense advice regarding how to approach the financial aid process and make it work for you, contact our office.

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