When Not to Attend Your Dream School…

When should high school seniors consider their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice schools? When they receive a bad financial aid package, when they would need to rely too heavily on loans, and when they receive a much, much better deal from a comparable school. According to an April 2016 article in the Business Insider: “There’s […]

First Generation College Students

While paying for college is difficult for everyone, for first-generation college students and their families, it can be much more difficult. In addition to worrying about expenses and a completely unfamiliar process, it can be overwhelming to absorb large amounts of new information, collect financial records, pay fees, and submit forms. The initial response of […]

Never Put $$ in Your Child’s Name

When you apply for financial aid, you will complete a needs analysis form. This form tells the schools your current income, your child’s income, your assets, and your child’s assets. The schools will assess these amounts to decide how much you can afford to pay toward the annual cost-of-attendance. Under the federal formula, your income […]

FAFSA Complaints

With hundreds of billons of dollars at stake, this form plays a super-critical part in unlocking money for families. According to the April 18, 2016, Detroit Free Press, “Filling out the form takes hours – – perhaps with a celebratory glass of wine or slice of cheesecake at the end… The US Department of Education […]

Don’t Be Proud, Be Honest

Many parents view their family’s financial information as highly personal, believing the questions asked on financial aid applications are invasive and, frankly, none of the school’s business. As parents, you should be proud of your ability to provide for your family. That pride, however, may cause hesitation in applying for financial aid or lead to […]

Playing Poker with the Financial Aid Office

Many Financial Aid Officers will tell you that they “…don’t negotiate financial aid packages.” Really?!? The simple fact is – schools will negotiate a better financial aid package. They might consider it something else – the “appeals process” or “reconsideration of aid.” Regardless of terminology, it’s a negotiation. Colleges will negotiate. Parents should do everything […]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make with Award Packages


Parents are fearful of mistakes. The fear causes worry and, possibly, loss of sleep. The services we provide protects them from mistakes and sleepless nights. An article in the Wall Street Journal really hit home — here are 7 common mistakes parents make in reading financial aid awards from schools… Confusing “Net Cost” with “Net […]