College Planning Program
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE
"Today’s staggering college costs have parents looking for the best ways to pay for college without drastically depleting their retirement plans."
"Over 50% of the kids who start college do not get their degree. With the families who we work with, over 85% of our kids graduate."
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Applying for college can be a stressful time for both students and parents. The many choices, the forms, the time, the cost — it can all become overwhelming quickly. Having a skilled and experienced partner to help you navigate the college-bound process makes all the difference. We are with you from start to finish, turning process into progress, so that in the end, you’re able to select a college with confidence, clarity and certainty.
How We Can Help
We routinely save families $30,000 to $60,000 on their college costs.
We assess a family's unique, and even complicated, financial situation to determine all available and appropriate strategies to maximize financial aid and scholarships. Even families who don't qualify for need-based aid can get scholarships and discounts for college with our proprietary tools and strategies. We are California based, nationwide coverage of research and college funding opportunities!
We take the guess work and anxiety out of the college planning process.
By providing guidance through all aspects of the career search, college search, admissions applications and selection processes, we help determine the best fit colleges - academically, socially and financially for your family . We go the extra mile coaching students to identify their interests and aptitudes in deciding their major and career path. And, we can assist parents completing financial aid forms on time and accurately.
What's the secret?
We teach families what goes on behind closed doors of college admissions and financial aid offices; How colleges make decisions about who gets in and who gets extra the scholarship money; What to do and when to do it!
We are experienced.
We have been guiding parents and students for over a decade so you can feel confident and secure knowing our knowledge and expertise is working for you. We've helped thousands of families and students make the most of their college planning.
Preparing for College
The college admissions process is highly competitive and becoming more so each year. To improve your odds of getting in and receiving the necessary funding to attend, you must know the workings of the admissions process, and how it goes hand in hand with the institution’s financial aid strategies. Colleges are in the business of providing higher education. The key word here is business. Institutions have a very definite business approach when it comes to offering admission and funding to a prospective student.
College is very important as an investment in your children's future to be competitive in the market. We invest in the hopes of a positive return for our children's bright future and planned correctly, it can provide a return of higher income and increased job security in the hopes of overall better quality of life. However, If your student graduates buried in a lifetime of debt they no longer enjoy these benefits for a better quality of life. You CAN send them to college without burying them in student loans or sacrificing your retirement if you have the knowledge, resources and direction to navigate the process. Our job is to show you how to get the best education at the very lowest price, yet you will learn that's just the tip of the iceberg!
College costs keep rising. Let us help you get the best education at the best price!
$25,890* average yearly cost public school (in state)
$41,950* average yearly cost public school (out of state)
$52,500* averg yearly cost private school
4% - is the average tuition cost increase each year
16% - students attend private colleges and universities
80% - students change majors at least once
*$15,000 – included for housing, books, labs, transportation and food
Our Family / Student Services Include:
Our College Planning Service is a complete program we feel is the most comprehensive plan available today. 85% of our students graduate vs the national average of 48%!
Expected Family Contribution
Better understand your family’s monetary involvement
Career Assessment Tools
Discover what major you should pursue based on your abilities and temperament
College Selection / Student Positioning
Ensuring you find the college best suited for your interests and your budget
Filing FAFSA and CSS Profiles
Competent assistance in completing important financial aid forms
Essay Writing Assistance
Client-only web portal
Analysis of Award Letters to show you the exact amount you’ll end up paying
Study and review will help your test scores and final scores
With live and internet-based help, your entrance essay will shine
Tap into the comprehensive resources our application offers
Awards and Appeals
Why You Need To Know Your EFC
If you plan to send your kid to college, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is THE most important financial number in your life. Colleges use the financial information that you give them on the FAFSA® (financial aid application) to calculate your EFC to determine how much tuition you can afford to pay before they offer any grants and scholarships.
Many colleges even use your EFC to qualify your student for admissions and merit scholarships. Your EFC can literally be the difference between getting accepted, put on a wait list, or outright rejected. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER complete the FAFSA® (financial aid application) before you know what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number is.
Topics We Discuss
Here's the topics we discuss during a personal interview or public seminar!
Start EARLY - Early planning is the key
Develop a plan / strategy
About Strategic Wealth Partners and our partners
Prepare effectively while in HS
Financial aid applications
Choosing the right colleges (academic, social and financially)
Types of funding & funding sources
Financial aid strategies
FAFSA and CSS
Keys to your success
Colleges & universities
Award letters / evaluating them / get more money
Common College Myths & Mistakes
Pitfalls are most often myths that someone has heard from a friend or family member, or careless errors made because some people simply didn't spend the time and effort necessary to effectively navigate the process. Regardless of which way mistakes are made, they can be very costly (both in time and money) to both the student and the parents.
Assuming You are Not Eligible for Funding
Although some financial aid is designed to help the financial needy students and parents, there is also an abundance of aid available for other students with families of all income and asset levels. It is important to remember that students may receive financial aid based on their high school achievements (academics, athletics, or other talents) regardless of their parent's income and/or assets. "Financial aid is only for the poor" is the biggest misconception among students and parents searching for college money.
Not Considering a College Due to Cost
This is a very common pitfall. It is vital to remember that the family will probably not pay the schools published cost of attendance, or what we refer to as the "sticker price." In fact, less than thirty-five percent (35%) of all students attending college in the United States actually pay the institution's advertised cost of attendance.
Not Previously Arranging a College Campus Visit
This is a very common mistake; it is something that is taken for granted by thousands of students and parents across the country. It is very important to thoroughly plan the college campus visits and prearrange the itinerary for the entire stay. In addition, the student should make an appointment to meet with both the institution's Admissions Officer and Financial Aid Officer. The college campus visit is a vital portion of the college selection process and must be given a great deal of attention.
Misunderstanding the Student Aid Report (SAR)
The SAR (results of the FAFSA) has several sections and contains several different types of information. It is important that families do not mistake the terminology that may deny one particular type of funding to mean that the student is being totally denied any funding what so ever. For example, the SAR will commonly say that based on your submitted information you are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. This simply means that the student is not eligible for a Pell Grant; however, there are several other forms of funding for which the student may qualify.
DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THESE VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS?
NOT knowing these answers and more can cost you a small fortune!
How to effectively lower your EFC
How to negotiate a better offer
How to evaluate an offer from a school
Schools students loan default rates
What the college yield is and why it's important
Most overlooked part of a college submission
Best time & chance of getting scholarship money
Importance of starting the process early
What's our asset protection allowance
How to PAY FOR COLLEGE
How to compare your offer vs to peers
The different types of funding sources
When is the best time to visit a college
How to successfully navigate through the process
What's required on a FAFSA and CSS applications
Get into the dream college with the lowest tuition
Financial / funding strategies
Why is career planning is important
How do you know your getting the best offer from the college? YOU DON'T! - but we can help. We can tell you what 90% of the colleges would typically offer you so you're not leaving money on the table! Let us help get you the best deal possible.