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

College Financial Aid Bait & Switch

Many colleges who play the bait and switch game claim that they don’t. I am not going to name names here, however our clients who pursue colleges that do will know. With our 24 years of experience, we know what to expect from the majority of major colleges in the US especially what they can offer in gift-aid. If a family is dealing with the bait and switch game, there are ways to deal with it. Contact us today to learn more.

College freshmen need to beware of bait-and-switch aid offers
News Source: The Fiscal Times

2015 College Financial Aid FAFSA & the CSS Profile Deadline Is Approaching

Many families have yet to file their financial aid forms. A crucial deadline is approaching. For numerous colleges, February 15th is the deadline for FAFSA & the CSS Profile. Every year at this time, parents come to us to review their forms. Historically in 95% of our reviews, we find a minimum of 3 mistakes if not more on each form which will cost a family thousands of dollars. Today, I corrected 3 FAFSAs for a family that had 2 mistakes for each child that would have resulted in no financial aid. Now they qualify. If you want a professional review of your forms to make a difference, contact our office right away.

Everyone Should File FAFSA For College Financial Aid

The writer is right on regarding FAFSA. Everyone should file it. In some cases it will stimulate unexpected sources of aid. However the article makes no mention of other financial aid forms that would be required by many schools. The CSS Profile and the college’s own institutional form. Families should never miss the college(s) deadline. If they do for some reason, there are a couple of ways to deal with it. Contact our office for more information. and no obligation consultation of your situation

It’s financial aid season for college applicants, a time when deadlines rule
News Source: Bangor Daily News

Be Strategic When Filing FAFSA For Financial Aid

The article entices you to file the FAFSA immediately. As I have stated countless times, this is not so good advice for many families applying for student financial aid. There is one main reason here. Contact our office for more information.

New Year’s is the best day to apply for college financial aid
News Source: CNN Money

Chances Are You Can Afford Private College

Students with high academics should always apply to prestigious private colleges. Many students who deserve to attend these schools never apply to them due to “sticker shock”. We have found over the years that many of our students end up attending a private school for around the same price as a state institution. Why? Two reasons; first, private schools have more endowments to tap into. Second, professional guidance. Our clients go through the financial aid process in the most efficient way possible. Knowing how to play the financial aid game is key. Contact us today to learn more.

When you should apply to a college regardless of the cost
News Source: USA TODAY College

Good Question: Can You Borrow Too Much Money For College?

It’s always a pleasure to talk to the WCCO team. I would like to share a couple of things that we did not have a chance to cover.

  1. Students should always utilize subsidize Federal loans (Stafford or Perkins). Why? There is no accruing of interest during the duration of their education and the first payment is not due until 3-6 months after graduation.
  2. Regarding private loans, they should be used as a last resort. If they need to utilize one, always shop around. There could be some good terms out there.

Ron Ramsdell, the founder of College Aid Consulting Services, says every student’s situation is different, but you can certainly borrow too much. “The key is families need to plan ahead.” He said families need to consider a few things like the real cost of college, how much money a student can get in scholarships and gifts, how much parents can and will help, the amount of assets from other family members like grandparents and a student’s starting salary upon graduation.

FAFSA4caster Does Not Tell The Whole Story

Regarding the FAFSA4caster, for many families, it is useless when it comes to their bottom line. For example, if the student is applying to colleges that require the CSS Profile, the FAFSA will play no part in their eligibility for institutional grants. With that in mind, they will be in receipt of financial aid awards based on different figures resulting in disappointment. Keep in mind, the CSS Profile will assess more information than FAFSA. In addition, the majority of financial aid estimators on the colleges’ web-sites are not accurate; therefor useless. If you wish a true calculation of your aid eligibility, contact one of our staff.

What you need to know about financial aid for college
News Source: