We offer the full range of important services to families who are trying to make college more affordable. All services are offered both as individual sessions or as part of a package.
College Savings Consultation
Geared to families with younger children, this service provides important information about the different college saving options and the potential effect of each on future financial aid eligibility and the overall cost of college. Since we are not financial advisors, we do not offer investment advice or sell any financial products but instead give you objective information about the potential impact on college costs of the different investment strategies. If you have financial advisor, we are happy to include them in this conversation. Fee: $250
Standard College Cost Review
The Standard College Cost Review provides you with an accurate assessment of your eligibility for financial aid as determined by both the Federal Methodology (FM) and the Institutional Methodology (IM). This process will help you determine the actual cost of specific colleges for your family before you invest a lot of time and money applying to schools that will cost more than you are willing or able to pay. Conversely, this review might show you that schools with very high sticker prices are actually affordable for your family once the financial aid discounts are applied. Fee: $250
Letters of Special Circumstances
For families in the process of completing financial aid applications, we help draft letters of special circumstances that provide clear information about special circumstances that are not adequately addressed by the standard financial aid forms. As higher education professionals with significant financial aid experience, we have read thousands of these letters over the years and have a keen understanding of the kind of information that should and should not be included. Fee: $250
We will complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile forms for $200 each or $350 for both. We are required by law to remind you that the FAFSA form is a free form (just like your tax return) and that you are under no obligation to pay someone to help you complete it. That said, just an accountant saves you time and ensures that your tax returns are completed accurately and in a way that maximizes tax savings, we can save you time and to ensure that your financial aid forms are completed accurately and in a way that ensures you qualify for all the aid for which you are eligible.
Standard Application Package
We will complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile and help you draft an appropriate letter of special circumstances. Fee: $500
Award Letter Review
Financial aid award letters vary widely in format and content making it difficult parents and students to figure out how much each school will actually cost. We will help you decode and compare all your financial aid award letters so you have accurate information upon which to base your enrollment decision. Fee: $250
Financial Aid Appeals
For families who have already received a financial aid award decision, we help draft letters of appeal that provide clear information about special circumstances that may result in an increased financial aid award. As higher education professionals with significant financial aid experience, we have read thousands of appeal letters and have a keen understanding of the kind of information that should and should not be included. Fee: $250
For families who have chosen a college and are now facing the first bill, we review all possible sources of funding for college, including income, college savings, other assets, tax credits, educational loans, work-study and interest free payment plans and help you develop a payment strategy that optimizes your resources. Fee: $250
Comprehensive College Cost Review
The comprehensive review bundles all our key services and provides your family with ongoing support beginning early in the college search process and ending when you have made an informed enrollment decision.
This planning process for assessing and reducing college costs begins with an in-depth look at your family's college aspirations, financial strengths and special circumstances.
First we itemize all the actual college costs - disclosed and undisclosed - for up to six colleges and then we provide estimates for all potential discounts (i.e. scholarships and grants).
Finally we review all potential sources of funding for college, including income, college savings, other assets, tax credits, educational loans, work-study and interest free payment plans.
The process includes a careful review of your tax returns and other relevant financial documentation needed to calculate eligibility for need-based aid using both the Federal and Institutional formulas. It also includes a basic academic assessment for determining potential merit aid eligibility.
In many cases this review will uncover opportunities to increase financial aid eligibility or reduce college costs in other ways.
All the relevant information is displayed in our proprietary College Cost Planning Report and provided to you for review and comment. Once you have reviewed the report, we schedule a follow up conference to discuss all findings and recommendations and to answer any questions. Additional conferences are scheduled as needed.
The fee for this service is $975 (excluding forms completion) and $1275 including forms completion.