College Financial Planning
Wouldn’t you like to know how much you can afford before applying to colleges?
When it comes to paying for college parents and students are faced with making some hard financial decisions. With the one-year cost of college being anywhere from $22,000 to $70,000+ it’s nearly impossible for some families to afford college. Students have a hard time understanding affordability and parents feel guilty that they can’t pay for their student’s college. Here at College Planning 101 we help parents and students understand how much they can afford and how to make college affordable by positioning the student to receive merit based scholarships and, if applicable, position the family for need-based money.
What makes the affordability question even harder to answer for a family is not knowing what their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is. The EFC is the minimum the government and college expect a family to pay per year for college. It is calculated based on the family’s income and assets. Once a family knows what their EFC is it becomes easier to understand how much they can afford. When a client works with College Planning 101 they have a clear understanding of what their EFC is and how it plays into the cost of each college their student is considering.
We have seen families with low six-figure incomes receive need-based aid while we have seen low income families receive nothing in need-based aid. WHY?? Because the low income family did not file the paperwork correctly and the low six-figure income family worked with College Planning 101. Since we take care of the financial aid forms for our families, they were assured that the forms were done correctly.
Knowing your EFC before picking colleges is like getting pre-approved for a mortgage to buy a home. When you understand what you can afford, there is less frustration, disappointment and more savings in the future.
As you can see by the chart below, college costs have out-paced medical costs, investment performance and salary increases. Incomes have gone down 15% while college costs have gone up 25% from 2000 to 2010 and college costs continue to rise.
Disclaimer: Given the nature of the admissions process and the selectivity of many educational institutions, we cannot guarantee admission to any institution nor the amount of financial or merit aid a student will receive.