Parents: Plan ahead for the best financial aid options

Parents: Plan ahead for the best financial aid options

posted in: Parent Corner | 0

Talk to a financial advisor during your student’s sophomore year (or earlier!) to discuss your family’s financial aid position. College is a big investment so it’s important for you to be informed early on. Early preparation can help prevent unnecessary anxiety around financial issues once college time rolls around.

Your student’s “qualifying” period for financial aid happens the calendar year BEFORE they graduate from high school, so it’s important to get yourself informed & organized early! Make sure you’re aware of all of your financial aid options in advance and educate yourself on the different types of college options out there, financially speaking. (Where your student attends college is a HUGE factor when it comes to determining the “real” cost of their education…but that’s for another blog). We’ll explain the financial aid process and make sure you’re consistently on track when it comes to meeting deadlines. It’s also a wise idea to attend financial aid events at your student’s high school, although it’s important for you to make sure the event is being put on by financial aid officers (from colleges), rather than companies who tout themselves as “financial aid experts,” but who in reality are selling financial instruments. Always ask who the presenters are!

People who do their financial aid & college match homework to execute a solid application plan have the best shot at qualifying for “free” money in the form of grants & scholarships. Preparation is key. By setting aside some time to do your homework, you can be informed about what aid options exist and know the best ways to get help paying for a good chunk of your student’s college education.

We educate our families on the process of financial aid and refer them to a financial planner, if needed. Many families are unaware that so many financial aid opportunities are available and that’s where we come in. We inform and educate families on how the process works. We can refer you to a financial planner who can clearly guide your family — ensuring you get all the support you need.

Financial aid deadlines are critical: we supply a financial aid checklist so families know what they need to do and when they need to do it. Deadlines are crucial when it comes to qualifying for financial aid & scholarships, so we keep our families informed about when things are due. Applying early gives you the best shot at getting the best aid that’s out there.

Call us today at (818) 207-0263 to find out more about how we can help your family understand how financial aid works.