FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No college wants just an academic automation; catching the eye of colleges and universities takes having hobbies, volunteer/internships, pastimes, social outlets, and passions that demonstrate commitment and leadership. College Planning Network experts can help you and your child choose ‘get-you-noticed’ activities that are both fun and helpful for your profile.
MY STUDENT IS ONLY A FRESHMAN—WHEN SHOULD WE GET STARTED WITH TCPA?
Start by taking College Planning Networks Career Assessment student positioning courses to get your child taking the right high school classes, working at high-visibility internships and volunteer opportunities, actively thinking about their future, and getting ready for the college process.
Not all loan instruments are the same, and some may cost you more than you’d expect. Much depends on your personal financial situation and goals, and each should be evaluated with these in mind. Our certified and licensed professionals can give you an in-depth analysis of the actual cost of each type of loan.
Despite what you may have been led to believe, private scholarships are often not worth the effort. At times, schools will even reduce your financial aid award by the amount of any outside private scholarships. FastWeb.com is a good place to start by having your student do a profile and start applying for scholarships in their junior year.
There are many factors that can affect whether a school is a good fit for your child, including campus population, location, class size, school emphasis, social environment, and of course, average GPA and test scores. Financial factors may play a role as well. For example, is it a historically aid-generous school? Getting to know more about the school is a good way to determine with your child if the school seems like a good match. Don’t be afraid to challenge old ideas to include a wide variety of school choices. With the in-depth knowledge of our team, we can provide you with excellent school options best matched to your child’s interests.
While most schools have helpful college counseling offices that are ready with a variety of information and assistance designed to encourage college-bound students, they are often unequipped to actively help evaluate your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), match historically aid-generous schools to your child’s interests, and maximize financial aid awards. We work directly with many high schools to increase their percentage of college-bound students.
It is a common misconception that getting financial aid is easy. For many, filling out the forms can be confusing and complicated. And, while the forms can be completed by anyone, it takes a highly qualified professional to identify and resolve problem areas that can increase your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), to know which schools are historically aid-generous and match your child’s interests, and to maximize financial aid awards.
It is a common misperception that state and public colleges will necessarily cost you less than private ones. In fact, because it can take longer to graduate (due to the availability of requisite classes, and lack of resources), and their financial aid packages are often less generous, public colleges can actually have a higher ‘effective’ COA (cost of attendance) than private schools. Our Planners can assist you with this institution-specific information.
WHEN TALKING ABOUT RE-ARRANGING ASSETS, WHAT DO YOU PUT IT INTO?
It really depends on the specific family situation as to what I would suggest. A few of the asset classes that are out of the financial aid formula are: business assets, business real estate, retirement plans, and insurance policies.
ARE THE STATE COLLEGE PLANS GOOD INVESTMENTS TO GET INTO?
Depending on your family situation- sometimes they are very good and sometimes they can hinder your chances of getting additional aid by 5.6%. They are Mutual Funds and colleges know that this is money to pay for college and many will reduce aid accordingly.
I HEARD THE FAFSA IS EASY, CAN'T I JUST DO IT ON MY OWN OR ASK THE COLLEGE FOR HELP
Yes you can. But be aware that the US Dept. of Education reported that 77% of FAFSA applications submitted last year had errors or inconsistencies that required corrections and a delay in the process and possible loss of aid.