1. What is the average total cost of a public and private college?
A four year education at a NJ state college can run over $120,000 and that is for one student. This figure assumes a total cost of attendance (Tuition, Fees, Room and Board and miscellaneous Fees). “In its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2015-2016 academic year averaged more than $23,000. A moderate budget at a private college averaged greater than $43,000.”
2. How can we help you?
We determine how much money you, as a family, would be expected to pay. In many cases we can reduce your eventual out of pocket costs. Additionally, if the school does not provide you with an appropriate level of aid, we can help you appeal. We also provide a thorough merit scholarship search. Finally, we help you develop a game plan to pay for a large portion, if not all of the college expenses.
3. My child is a senior. What can we do?
There are many things we can do. First, we can put your student through a comprehensive Student Assessment program so that they have the best chance to get to the right college and graduate on time. Second, we can help you put together a plan to pay for college. Third, the searches for merit scholarships can be very fruitful. Finally, we can help you appeal when the offer of aid is not appropriate
4. I have heard that tax-deferred retirement plans do not count against me when calculating financial need. Is that true?
That is true. However, any dollars that you contribute to such a plan get added back to your income for that particular year and can negatively impact your need-based aid.
5. What age is appropriate to start the college planning process?
We recommend starting as soon as possible in order to achieve maximum results.
6. I think I make too much money to get financial aid. Is there any planning that can help me?
Absolutely! First, graduation rates at four year colleges are approaching 6 years on average. We can help your student get to the right school and graduate on-time. This can be the most cost effective tool of your planning. Also don’t assume that you make too much money to get aid. You might be surprised. Our merit scholarship search program is a powerful planning aid. Even if your child is not a straight A student there may be scholarship dollars available.
7. I hear that the financial aid forms can be complicated. Is that true?
Yes. In fact, a significant number of individuals tend to make errors on these forms. These errors can cause delays in getting aid offers processed and/or limit the awards.
8. I own a home. Will that count against me for financial aid?
In many cases this can be a huge issue. The answer is that some schools will look at the equity in a home and some will not. We know which schools will include the home as an asset and which will not.
10. This process sounds expensive. How much will this cost me?
The planning process is much more affordable than you may think. In most cases the work we do pays for itself many times over. Our plans are customized and each case is evaluated on an individual basis. The first step is to attend a no cost educational workshop where you can decide if planning with a professional is right for you.