You Do Not Have to Pay Full Price for College!!Submitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on July 20th, 2017
By Stephanie Goldberg-Mauro, Founder of College Planning 101
So many families pay more than they should for college. Why? Because they don’t know what they don’t know. The information on the web is daunting and confusing, making students and parents feel overwhelmed. While your high school’s guidance department is an integral part of high school, they are limited with financial and academic knowledge of the college process.
How does a family not pay full price for college? As stated in the first article (Spring 2017), understanding their expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is the dollar amount a family is expected to pay for college based on their income and nonretirement assets. If you know you do not qualify for need (income over $150,000 and significant non-retirement assets) you still do not have to pay full price if you have a strong academic student AND know how to position them to the right college.
What if you don’t have a strong student? A community college is a great start. If your student doesn’t want to go to a community college, then a state college that will accept them is your most cost effective option. If you live in NY and make under $100,000 in 2015, $110,000 in 2016 and $125,000 in 2017, you’ll qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship. This can provide up to $5,500 in grant monies towards tuition. If your student doesn’t want to stay in NY after graduation, it will turn into an interest free loan.
HOW DO YOU POSITION YOUR STUDENT?
Every college teaches to a different level - RPI teaches to a 1390/1600 SAT score while Long Island University (LIU) teaches to a 990/1600 SAT score. So, if your student has a 1250/1600 SAT score, they will get merit money from LIU. If they have the right GPA, they would get into RPI but you’d pay full price. Most colleges admit students by GPA and offer merit money based on SAT or ACT Scores as well as attributes and athletics. Calling the college and asking what scores qualify for merit money and what GPA is required for admissions are great questions and gives your student a goal to shoot for.
Keep in mind that if you qualify for need-based money too, the colleges do not have to fill need. All the Ivy’s offer 100% need, but no merit. Every other college in America can offer as little as nothing and up to 99% of need met. But again, they do not have to fill need. If they really want the student, they will fill need and provide merit scholarships.
Looking to the south, central and mid-America can provide a lot of cost efficient college options because they want east coast students to create the diversity that all colleges try to achieve. Some of these colleges are not that expensive to begin with too! One last piece of advice…Visit, Visit, Visit!!! while students are on campus. This helps your student understand if they fit into the college on a social level. Colleges call a visit “Demonstrated Interest” and this can sway a college to admit your student over one who has not visited.
How do you not pay full price for college? Research! Ask questions! Visit!
I always tell my students; it’s not “does the college want you”, it’s do you want to go to that college because it’s going to give you the education and experience you need to get a job right out of college. You do not have to pay full price for college!!
Stephanie Goldberg-Mauro Founder, College Planning 101
With over 15 years of financial services experience, Stephanie has always made customer service her number one priority. In 1995 she began her career with Cigna Financial Advisors where she worked with the company’s top two estate planners as a Staff Consultant. This is where she learned the importance of customer service and where she gained her financial services knowledge. Prior to starting College Planning 101, she was a Vice President of the Life Division at Frenkel & Company in New York City.
Reach Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This article appeared in the Summer 2017 Newsletter. To download the newsletter, click here.