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Financial Aid

We will help you navigate the financial aid process each step of the way.

We provide independent, confidential expertise to save you time and money paying for college. We assist college-bound students and families throughout the financial aid process to maximize all available grant, scholarship, work and loan options.

The financial aid system can be a tricky web to navigate through. This is where we come in. With the right outlook, tools, and organizational strategies, the financial aid process can be streamlined. We work with you and your family from start to finish of the financial aid process, from FAFSA and CSS Profile guidance, to award receipt and review.

While neither the FAFSA and CSS Profile are tremendously difficult to take on, you will indeed need to set aside a good piece of time in order to fill out all the necessary forms. The answers you and your family provide on these forms help provide a financial snapshot of four things:

  • Parent or parents' available income
  • Parent or parents' available assets
  • Student's available income
    Student's available assets

This information is also used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC is an estimate of how much your family can contribute towards college tuition. A good tip to remember is that a family’s EFC will remain the same regardless of whether you choose to attend a public school that costs $18,000 a year or an Ivy League school that costs $62,000 a year.

Another important factor giving you the “big picture” cost of a higher education is the Cost of Attendance (COA). At any college, the cost of attendance will include:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Room and board
  • Personal expenses estimate
  • Books and supplies
  • A travel estimate (air/train/driving expenses to and from home)

The basic formula that financial aid officers use to determine your family’s individual need is to subtract your EFC from the cost of attendance at their school.

Cost of attendance − Expected Family Contribution = Need (Financial Aid Package)

Your financial aid package is intended to meet your need. It will consist of three types of aid:

  • Grants and scholarships
  • Federal work-study
  • Student loans

While this seems straightforward, that may not always be the case. Your EFC might be more than you can realistically afford because some private schools use supplemental data (like home equity) when awarding private aid to students. This could mean that your EFC may be different at a more selective school.

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Our Clients Say:

"It was such a joy to watch Grace complete her college applications last night. I am SO incredibly grateful for your help, guidance and support through this process. Not only did Grace enjoy working with you, but you made for a peaceful and joyful college application experience. (In other words, no stress and no nagging her to get stuff done.) I especially appreciate all the new-to-us schools you brought to her attention — except for our state school, all of the schools she's applying to are a direct result of your expertise, tools and conversations with Grace. There are some really wonderful schools on the list, and I'm excited to see where her college journey takes her. Thank you so much for your patience and flexibility in honoring her timing and flow on this. You quickly got her going even though we started late in the process. With deep gratitude and appreciation!"

- Shanno J., parent