get Admitted, Pay less, and Graduate Without Going Broke

Helping Students and Their Parents Prepare for College

The College Planning Process

1. Getting admitted to the right-fit college: Why that's so important.

Matching the student with the right-fit college is key to college success both in getting accepted and in graduating on time. Choosing the wrong college will result in an unhappy experience that could cause the student to transfer or even drop out. In either case, tens of thousands of dollars could be added to the parents' bottom line cost or wasted entirely. There’s more to consider in making a college list than just choosing schools that offer a degree in the chosen major. AP&G can help find the colleges that best fit the student academically and socially and best fit the parent financially.

2. Paying less: How do you get the most and right kind of financial aid?

First of all, you need to know the factors that determine financial aid eligibility and the part each factor plays in the process. There are two types of financial aid: gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help (loans and work study). Gift aid is based on merit and/or financial need, and it does not have to be paid back. We can show you how to put yourself in a better position to receive more gift aid and lower your college cost. To get financial aid, you will need to fill out a FAFSA and/or CSS Profile form. These forms can be confusing, and filling them out incorrectly can cost you thousands of dollars in aid. We will guide you through the FAFSA and CSS Profile to help ensure the forms are submitted correctly. College has become so expensive that even wealthy families can’t afford to make mistakes. We’ll make sure we’re doing everything possible legally and ethically to get the most gift aid for your child.

3. Funding it: How are you going to afford the cost of college and still be able to retire?

That’s where strategic college funding comes into play. We’ll work with you to make sure you’re maximizing your chances of getting scholarships and grants by focusing our time and energy in the right places. But no matter how much financial aid you receive, there will still be a balance to pay for college. We’ll determine the best options for you to fund the remaining cost of college without sacrificing your lifestyle or your retirement so you don’t have to work into your 80s. Wouldn’t you like to have peace of mind, save thousands and pay as little for college as possible?

Then let AP&G guide your student through the college application process and you through the maze of the college financial process. We will show you the secrets that colleges don’t want you to know. We create customized plans that will show you how to get the most financial aid, merit aid, grants, and scholarships for your children. Our goal is for you to be able to pay for your children’s college educations and still maintain your lifestyle and save for your retirement. Are you wondering how that’s possible because you haven’t saved enough money to put your kids through college? We will help you find the money to pay for it. Think you have too much money to qualify for financial aid? Think again. The high cost of college may make it possible to qualify.

Do you have a college funding plan in place?

Let us review your plan to make sure it will do what it’s supposed to. In most cases, it won’t. It may be due to the lack of understanding of the interaction of the three pillars of the college planning process. At AP&G, we refer to them as getting Admitted, Paying less, and Graduating without going broke. Each area is overwhelming in its own right, but what makes it even worse is that each pillar affects each of the other pillars. Parents may have many different advisors giving them advice—a financial advisor for investments, a lawyer for estate planning, a CPA for taxes, and a high school college counselor for college admission. They may not realize the adverse effect their recommendation can have on your college's bottom line. Having the right funding plan becomes critical in the special case of divorce. If you are in the process of a divorce, please contact us as soon as possible. Most financial advisors and attorneys are not familiar with the college process and can inadvertently create a settlement that could add thousands of dollars to your college costs. We will make sure that does not happen to you! It takes a college planning professional to maximize your financial situation during college years and minimize your out-of-pocket college cost.