President’s Two New College Affordability Proposals
A college education has become one of the most expensive family costs in recent years. If you have multiple children this could easily cost over a $500,000. Parents and students need to get the best advice but many do not realize that the college financial aid offices cannot provide all of the information you need to lower your cost of education. The best financial aid advisors have a very specific skill set that is not easily found.
When selecting a financial aid advisor that person needs to bring together the financial aid process, college saving plans, educational tax strategies, various financing options, and knowledge of the student loan repayment process. I would also recommend that the advisor be a fiduciary which means the advisor needs to act in the client’s best interest.
It is important to discuss with the financial aid advisor how they are compensated. It is our opinion that the advisor be paid through a fee-only agreement. You need to ask if they are compensated by any of the financial solutions they are recommending. At College Affordability, we are fee-only financial aid advisors and receive no additional compensation from our recommendations. You need to ask for full disclosure on the advisor’s compensation.
Due to increased complexity, the college’s financial aid offices can no longer provide all of the answers you need to lower your cost of education. They are limited to only the financial aid process and the only some of the student loan options. An expert financial aid advisor can bring a variety of strategies and suggest alternatives that can save you money over the college funding years.
A big error that many families make is they focus only on the financial aid process and the expected family contribution (EFC). A good financial aid advisor will go beyond that process and recommend a variety of strategies that combine investment, tax and financing options. These strategies can help families that qualify for need based aid and others who do not qualify for financial aid. Paying for college is not just financial aid.
The student, parents and financial aid advisor need to review this as an investment in the child’s future. The goal should be to maximize a family’s resources and lower their cost of education.
Please visit the other information on college affordability to help you through this process.