College Planning Success Course
Frequently Asked Questions
How much on average do families save by using your college planning course?
We can safely say that our families save a minimum of at least $10,000 overall by following our course plan. However, this is a very conservative number. Our estimate is so modest because it is impossible to decipher what path our families would have taken without us and how much they specifically would have overspent.
If the family/student had not gone through meaningful career research to graduate in 4 years (instead of 6 years), had not selected the best colleges based on preferences and maximum merit-based aid, had not employed the financial strategies we recommend in those years leading up to college and had not strategically filled out the FAFSA using our guidelines, those families would have likely overpaid anywhere between $50,000-$150,000.
When is the best time for my family to begin your college planning course?
We have built our course so that a family can come on board with us at any time throughout high school. However, not all entrance years are equal when it comes down to saving money throughout this process.
Freshman & Sophomore years: This is the best time to come on board with us. This gives the student and parents plenty of time to work through all the action items necessary, without an overload of stress. Another perk of coming on during freshman or sophomore year is that the student has begun to take ownership of this process early on. The earlier the student begins thinking about and working through this process, the better the results will be overall.
Junior year: This is still a great time to come on board with us. The downside is that there are a lot of action items to complete with limited time which leads to more stress for the student during an already stressful year of high school. The students that came on board with us during freshman or sophomore year have been working on completing many of these actions items before junior year, which means they are more prepared for and less overwhelmed by the remaining junior year tasks to complete, which have to be completed alongside the heavy workload of junior year coursework. However, all action items are able to be completed during this year if you come on board as a junior.
Senior year: This is late in the game, but there are still maneuvers that can be made through our program to get better results and save money during senior year. Signing on during senior year means that the family/student has missed out on the 1-3 years leading up to senior year and all the planning that happens during those years, but the lessons that are still relevant for a senior year family to save money include: “A How-To Guide for Filling out the FAFSA,” “Tips for Finding & Applying to Third-Party Scholarships,” “Using Your Award Letter Comparison Sheet,” “To Appeal, or Not to Appeal?,” “Financial Aid Overview,” and “Strategies to Pay Less for College.” In addition to these more concrete money-saving lessons, we still recommend that your student work through the career assessments and dig deep into some research based on those results.
What are the top five areas where you can save us the most money?
- Career research guidelines that will help your student streamline this process, graduating college in 4 years from a 4-year program, instead of the national average (6 years). On average, this two-year savings is roughly $45,000.
- Creating the best college list for the student, based on both preferences and where the student will receive the most merit-based aid (free money!). We advise the student to apply to 5-8 colleges total, which gives you options based on price when it comes time to make a decision AND leverage to potentially appeal for additional aid.
- After you receive all 5-8 award letters from the colleges the student was accepted into, you will have all of the information and tools to analyze those award letters to see if you have room to appeal for more aid. On average, our families appeal for an additional $1,500-$6,000 per year, which leads to a four-year savings of $6,000-$24,000. Remember, these appeals are not only need-based appeals. Even with a high EFC/SAI, you can strategically use awards from other colleges as leverage to request more merit-based aid from specific colleges.
- In the years leading up to filling out the FAFSA, we will give you a long list of strategies to employ in order to best position yourself for the lowest possible EFC/SAI. You will select the best strategies for your family based on your own specific financial situation.
- The How-To Guide for filling out the FAFSA will outline the best practice strategies we recommend to get the lowest possible EFC/SAI, and therefore receive the most amount of aid possible.
Can I cancel my membership at any time?
Absolutely! This program is meant to be affordable and flexible based on your needs. You can cancel and restart your membership at any time.