College Funding and Financial Aid Services
The cost of this goal has skyrocketed in recent years. We have developed an expertise in the area to help families lower their total cost of educating their children and grandchildren. Our process brings together the Financial Aid Process, College Investment Plans, Education Tax Incentives and various Loan Options.
Often misunderstood, paying for college is not just the financial aid process. Knowing how the financial aid process, investments and tax strategies work together can lower your cost of college by thousands of dollars. Another myth is that the financial aid officers have all of the answers. Due to recent changes these professionals are limited to the advice they can provide to you. They are limited to which financing option to use and how to maximize your current investments.
How to Pay for college?
We help families develop and implement strategies to reduce the overall cost of private school and college so that they can ultimately have more money for retirement. Amrein Financial is a member of the National College Advocacy Group (NCAG). This is a non-profit organization focused on the various areas of college financial aid and college funding.
For most families this is an 80,000 to over 200,000 dollar decision per child, so we approach this as a major family investment. We have developed our own software that analyzes the projected costs of each college; recommend how assets should be titled, give advice on college tax strategies, college investment vehicles as well as various loan options per school.
This is done to optimize your position for financial aid and minimize your out of pocket expenses.
We believe our analysis and service is one of the most comprehensive in the industry.
Our educational funding analysis includes the following:
• Expected Family Contribution Analysis (EFC - Result of completing FASFA & CSS Profile)
• Projected Education Cost and Saving Analysis
• College 4-Year Cash flow and Tax Planner (Up to 8 Schools)
• Executive Summary with Investment and Tax Recommendations
• College Cost Summary with Debt Analysis and Payment Projection per college
• Financing and Loan Option Analysis with Projected Monthly Loan Repayment
• Family Education and Retirement Time Line Review
• Scholarship and Grant Report (Up to 8 Schools)
• Career and College Major Process
• Salary and Career Demand Information Report
Depending on your specific situation we have developed services based on the needs of prior customers.
Listed below is a brief description of our college funding services:
College Family Plan: This program is for families with children up through high school. It will focus on the child closest to college and will include the impact of other children. The report is custom to your situation and will include all of the above reports and two meeting. The first meeting is a data collection meeting and the second is a report review.
In addition you have phone access for 6 months after the initial meeting. This report includes the analysis of 4 colleges.
Complete College Plan: This program is the same as the College Family Plan but focuses on the high school Junior or Senior Parent. This program increases the number of schools up to 8 and includes the completion of the financial aid forms.
Way to Pay: This is a post college decision analysis specifically design for the graduating high school senior or the current college student parent. We review your financial aid position and analyze the specific financial award letter from the school your child will be or is attending. This report is specific to only one school. It will address the appeal award letter, the best way to utilize your asset and various financing options in paying for college.
Loan Repayment and Consolidation Analysis: This program is still in development and will be available in the early fall of 2010. Effective 7/1/2010 there is a series of new loan repayment plans that will be available to students and parents based on the Federal Government centralizing all Federal College Loans. We are currently reviewing these laws and developing an appropriate analysis.
As stated before we believe this is an investment and treat it as such. Within our service we try to get parents to focus on the outcome of the education and not just the admissions. Our analysis helps both parent and child understand the financial commitment they are going to undertake. We show our clients the four-year cost of education, projected debt and the monthly loan payment of that debt upon graduation.
Along with the increased cost, significant college saving options and tax incentives have developed. These include 529 Saving Plans, Coverdell Plans, Opportunity Credit, and the Higher Education deduction just to name a few. We help our client sort through this maze and develop a plan to minimize their out of pocket costs of educating their children.
Words of Concern:
As you go through this process you open up your entire financial life. Some financial advisors use the college financial aid process as an opportunity to sell other financial products. You need to be very careful on the advisor you select if you need professional assistance. We are fiduciary and fee-only financial advisors. Our recommendations generate no additional income to us and avoid any conflict of interest for you.
You also need to view this as a four year financial commitment. The college education process is big business and you need to recognize that aspect of it. The colleges will only present the financial information to you on a one year basis. The financial aid offices are limited in what information they can help you with regarding the best ways to pay for college.