We provide parents of college-bound students with guidance in ALL areas of the college financial planning process, including how to make college more affordable by managing the financial aid process on your behalf, working closely to identify all of the grants, loans, & scholarships available, and submitting all of the multiple forms and paperwork that are associated with this process.
We guarantee that everything will be done 100% accurately and on time, and that we will use every strategy available to legally lower your family’s out-of-pocket college costs as much as possible! As described below, we can help those in three different categories of financial need.
What’s Your College Funding Category?
No matter what your income or financial situation, you will fall into one of three categories while going through the financial aid and college funding process:
Category 1. Those who will definitely qualify for need-based financial aid no matter what school they choose. This group has a low enough income and asset level that they will qualify for need-based aid.
How can we help?
We help this category by navigating them through the entire financial aid process. According to the Department of Education, over 70% of parents submit their financial aid paperwork incorrectly and have their forms “bumped” in the process – typically adding 4-6 weeks of processing time. Since most financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, even a tiny error on the forms can drastically affect the amount of aid you get. Also, it’s not just filling out the form correctly that matters – it’s making sure the right information goes in the right place and that you do not disclose information that you don’t have to! We also help this category by negotiating with the colleges to get a better financial aid package with the maximum amount of FREE money possible.
Category 2. Those who will qualify for need-based financial aid depending on the school they choose, AND how their income and assets are arranged. This group is the middle to middle-upper class, who make a nice living but definitely don’t feel rich by any means.
How Can We Help?
We help this category by once again, completing all forms correctly so that they are submitted on time without errors. For this category of people, the amount of aid may be less so having these forms completed correctly and on time can save them thousands of dollars. If you aren’t awarded what we deem as a fair aid package, we will also help with negotiation tools to appeal to the college for a better offer. For this group, we want to take advantage of every strategy out there to make sure your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is as low as possible by legally arranging your financial affairs to qualify for more aid & to lower your out-of-pocket costs. We also want to make sure you get as much FREE money as possible, while minimizing the SELF-HELP money (i.e. loans).
Category 3. For families who, no matter what, will not qualify for any need-based aid. This group is the middle-upper to upper class who make a very nice living but after taxes and lifestyle, coming up with a $35,000+ annual after-tax Family Contribution doesn’t seem very likely without cutting back drastically on things they may not want (or be able) to cut back on.
How Can We Help?
We will help this group by navigating them through the financial aid process; however, that is not where we really bring value to this group. Our goal for this category is to make it so ALL of your children get sent to college COMFORTABLY without neglecting all of the other financial goals you have set (i.e. paying off the mortgage, supplementing your retirement, purchasing a second house somewhere warm, etc…)
How Will You Pay For College?
Did you know that the current average cost for 4 years of college is $60,000-$200,000… per child? What is your current plan to pay for this expense?
Example of a typical family’s college expense:
|Private University||Over 4 Years||Public University||Over 4 Years|
|Total Cost of Attendance||$40,000||$160,000||$20,000||$80,000|
|Scholarships or Grants||-$10,000||-$40,000||-$5,000||-$20,000|
|Cost to Family||$30,000||$120,000||$15,000||$60,000|
Midwest College Planning offers FREE workshops throughout the year for parents of college-bound high school students in the Columbus area, as well as additional workshops nationally. We follow the workshops with a free personal consultation to review your individual college financial situation. If you are not able to attend one of our workshops, and would still like a consultation, contact us today to schedule an appointment. If you are a parent of a college-bound student, you can NOT afford to miss these workshops.