Financial Aid Optimization

Strategies to lower the sticker price of college.

Planning for:

business owners, income planning strategies, asset planning strategies, gifting strategies, tax planning strategies, school based scholarship strategies, tuition discounting strategies, strategies for grand parents, and funding strategies are just some of the areas that create significant out-of-pocket cost savings. 

Puzzle Piece

How To Save ON and Not Just FOR College Costs

We can help you become an informed "buyer" of college education by helping you make better, smarter and more informed college planning and funding decisions. We'll reveal how, with your help, you can apply the following seven keys in your efforts to save on the high costs of college education and pay for college without going broke in the process. 
Key #1
Many Middle Income and Upper-Middle Income Parents Pay Much Less Than The Advertised Cost For Their Children's College Education
In many cases, these parents are eligible for some forms of financial aid since the financial aid formulas take into consideration so many variables (the cost of the school, the age of the parents, the number of children in college, etc.) -- not just your income level. Do not assume you won't be eligible. 
Key #2
High Income Families Can Reduce Their Out-Of-Pocket College Costs
The worst thing a high-income earner can do is pay for college with after-tax income! Doing this can double the real cost of college for you! So a $65,000/year private college bill equates to $130,000 of income you had to earn - for just that ONE year of school! 
Although there may be no need-based financial aid opportunities available to the high-income family, there is a wide variety of little-known college planning and funding strategies that can yield great benefits. 
 
Key #3
High School Guidance Counselors & "Financial Aid Nights"
Aren't Sufficient ​
Financial Aid Nights held at the high school and conducted by a local college are not sufficient to help families successfully navigate through the minefield of financial aid and avoid the pitfalls in order to achieve a best outcome. And they won't be there to help you negotiate the best possible financial aid package. Guidance counselors are completely overloaded. They spend, on average, only 35 minutes with a college-bound student. 
Key #4
A Private College May Cost You Less Than A Public University
 
Regardless of what school your child applies to, you will have to pay at least your "Family Contribution", which is the minimum amount of money you will be expected to pay before you can qualify for any need-based financial aid at the school. Many families attend private colleges for out-of-pocket costs comparable to the in-state public university. By the way, it's far more likely for your student to graduate in four years from a private college than a public university. More time in college means more college costs!
Key #5
How To Pick Colleges That Will Give You The Best Financial Aid Packages
 
Some schools are well endowed and have the ability to award significant amounts of money to students. Other schools have very little money to give away. It's vitally important for you to know this information about the schools you are considering - before you ever apply to the school.  
Key #6
You Must Submit The Complicated Financial Aid Forms Accurately & On-Time -- Or the Outcome Can Be Calamitous
Simple mistakes can actually cause your forms to be rejected. If this happens, you'll have to resubmit your forms for reprocessing which means you go to the back of the line. Although financial aid is not necessarily awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, it is imperative that you get your forms in accurately and on time. If you don't submit them correctly the first time, you are at risk of losing thousands of dollars that may have been available to you otherwise. We can help to ensure this doesn't happen to you!  
Key #7
You May Not Have To Stop Or Curtail Your Retirement Savings Contributions In Order To Pay For College
Most parents don't think they will be able to maintain their retirement savings contributions and put their children through college at the same time. In some cases that may be true. However, in many cases it may be possible not only to maintain retirement contributions during the college years, but to actually increase them!
 
It is not unusual for families -- with expert help -- to be able to redirect some of the college funding resources (income and assets) back to their retirement savings! 

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