When you announce your child is getting ready to go to college, you’ll get a ton of advice. Sometimes you’re asking for the advice, other times it’s just being offered (whether you want it or not).
At the end of the day, usually someone is assisting your student through the process. It might be you, the parent. It might be a relative, a counselor at school, a financial planner – you’re getting advice from SOMEONE about all of this.
The question is, is it really the right advice?
How can you tell if it is good advice? Well the first thing you should consider when someone is offering advice is what were the results the person offering it got?
So, let’s say your office mate offers you some advice about colleges, since his oldest just went through the whole college “thing” (since he’s been through it once, he’s sure that makes him an expert, of course).
So you should ask at least a few questions, like:
How many colleges did your oldest apply to?
How many rejected your oldest?
How much in scholarships did your oldest receive?
If your oldest didn’t get into all of the colleges he or she applied to, why do you think that is?
What could have been done differently?
These are just a few of the many questions you should ask so you can get a better sense of the quality of the advice being offered. If you don’t feel comfortable asking these types of questions, then why are you going to blindly follow the advice offered?
The greatest indicator of the quality of any advice is RESULTS – and not just “one time only”. Is the person you’re looking to as an advisor consistently and repeatably getting these results? Anyone can get lucky, once in a while. A true expert can produce repeatable and verifiable results over and over again.
Your Smart Plan For College Assignment:
If you’re looking for help with the college process, here are 10 great questions you should ask anyone whose advice you’re considering following.
1. Will you help us position our income and assets to get the most money possible from the colleges??
2. Will you help us find colleges that are a good match for our student, and an affordable fit for us??
3. Will you walk our student step-by-step through the entire college process, including applications and fine-tuning the essay?
4. Will you prepare and explain our financial aid forms, line by line?
5. Will you verify our aid package and advise us on cost effective ways to pay our share?
6. Will you identify opportunities to appeal our financial aid awards?
7. Will you assist us with appealing the financial aid awards if it makes sense to do so?
8. How about providing strategic advice – based on our particular situation and our education and financial goals?
9. Can you help us understand how the college admissions and financial aid game is played?
10. How much, on average, does a family save on a college education as a result of working with you?
You are looking at investing anywhere from $93,000 to as much as $240,000 on your child’s college education. Given the importance of that education to your child’s success, perhaps getting some advice on how to get the most out of that investment makes some sense, right?
Jeanmarie Keller has helped thousands of students get into colleges they love while making sure their parents save a fortune on the bill. Jeanmarie is the creator of the Smart Plan For College System which teaches her client-families how to get noticed in the admissions office, get in at the colleges right for them and how to get the money they need to help pay the bill.
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