The financial aid piece of the college admissions process is quite possibly the most daunting and least understood of them all and can potentially cost a family tens of thousands of dollars if they don’t follow the process and complete the forms correctly.
Never Judge a College by its Sticker Price
I always say never judge a college by its sticker price. All colleges are not created equal and some are more generous than others. Depending on the school and the credentials of the student, as they compare to the entrance criteria of a college, a private school that has a sticker price of greater than $60,000 can come down to less than the cost of an in-state college cost of attendance.
Expected Family Contribution and More
I compile in my financial aid package a personalized financial aid profile for a family based on the financial information they provide and the colleges they are looking into. I calculate the families estimated Expected Family Contribution, which is a critical number in the financial aid process, and provide a package that compares each school, side by side, from an estimated net cost perspective for that particular family. This provides the family with an understanding of how a college will view their finances, and how their finances will impact their child’s bottom line cost.
In addition to the above, I also guide families through completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid), which is the federal financial aid form that a family needs to complete for all schools if they would like any federal and institutional aid, as well as the CSS Profile, through the College Board, and a much more complex and detailed form, which is required in addition to the FAFSA for 300+ schools for institutional aid only. Making an error on either of these forms can mean thousands of dollars not being awarded. In addition, I help my families decipher and understand their award letters so they can make the best and informed decision on where their child will eventually attend college.
Helping my clients through the financial aid process takes a burden off of their shoulders and provides them piece of mind in an otherwise complex and confusing world.