The College Advice Tool

College Search and Specialized Queries

For financial advisors to succeed in the future they'll need to focus on client attraction, delivering differentiated advice and building deeper client relationships.

This is why CFS' new ADVICE TOOL is so significant for you and your business. It will help achieve all three and more!

The advice tool yields vitally important information that can help clients make better-informed college selection and planning decisions that may substantially reduce their out-of-pocket college costs and IMPROVE their retirement savings outlook!

And, if you're their asset manager, you'll help them keep more of their assets (that might otherwise be liquidated to cover college costs) intact, growing, and available for retirement!

Below are the searches/queries that you'll have access to through your dashboard, once you subscribe to CFS' college-planning sofware AND activate this add-on inside the dashboard for the prevailing fee. Read the tips associated with each query to see the compellng benefits to the client AND your business.

These reports deal with graduation rates and other ...

Four Year Graduation Report

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

A poor 4-year graduation rate can significantly increase college costs due to extended time in school. Why is the graduation rate so low? The answer may determine whether or not the school is a viable option for consideration. In addition, evaluate the clients insurance coverage and additional requirements in light of estimated college costs for 4 OR MORE years.

College Costs

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

College admissions strategies can help find comparable schools at significantly reduced costs. Is this school the right choice based on cost as one of the primarily consideration? Financial Aid, Tuition Discounts and College Planning strategies (especially with CFS standard software) can help bring the sticker price down. In addition, CFS’ Your College List service is an ideal opportunity for the client to ensure that the schools being considered - especially high-priced private and out-of-state public universities – are a good fit for the student , for the right reasons and at the right price for the parents. Learn more about Your College List and share the informational flyer with the client that has a college-bound HS junior or senior.

Most Expensive Room and Board

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

A high room and board cost can make purchase/resale of rental property in the college town, during the college years an attractive alternative, especially for high income/net worth clients. The rent from roommates will provide some if not all the mortgage expense, while the property will provide interest expense, depreciation, utilities, taxes, common expenses and appreciation for resale or charitable donation after your college student graduates. The tax savings and any profit incurred will help offset the total costs of college. The savings on the cost of room and board can be significant. The average annual cost of room and board for four-year public universities is currently almost $11,000 and for a private college exceeds $12,000! As room and board costs increase annually, so can annual rent, creating more profitability. This strategy is even more attractive when the owner of the condo is in reasonably close proximity to the property so they can actively manage it. There may be a risk that the student drops out of school forcing the parent to sell early or find someone else to manage the condo. This is an important consideration before implementing this strategy.

Best schools for financial aid

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

Need-based financial aid can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket college costs for middle and upper-middle-income families and at a minimum you should be able to estimate your clients’ EFC and help ensure that they can at least cover that amount. The report provides the EFC estimate for the client.

All schools don’t offer the same financial aid packages. Therefore it can actually end up costing your client more to send their child to a school with a lower cost of attendance than another option with a higher cost if the lower-cost school offers an inferior financial aid package. Your clients should know each school’s history of giving money before they ever apply, so they’re not disappointed when they get a bad financial aid package from their child’s top school choice.

Use the information provided in this query to springboard into the EZ College Planning OR comprehensive college planning reports to learn if the client is likely to be a financial aid candidate as well as identify any strategies that can help them enhance their financial aid eligibility

Learn more about Your College List and share the informational flyer with the client that has a college-bound HS junior or senior. One of the benefit of YCL is the Merit Max report that will estimate the families financial aid package at schools that emerge as good candidates as a result of this service!

Best schools for tuition discounts

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

Even in cases where the family is affluent and not a candidate for need-based financial aid, there is another little-known form of financial aid often given to these families. It is the tuition discount. This query shows that average amount/% of tuition discount that the named school reported giving to incoming freshman that is NOT need based (in other words, given to families that did not qualify for need-based financial aid). High-performing students from affluent families are in great demand by colleges - especially expensive private ones. In order to entice these families to send their student to their particular institution, the colleges will often offer a tuition discount which comes in the form of a grant or scholarship. The more desirable the student is to the school the greater the discount may be. Schools where a student is a candidate for preferential packaging or tuition discounting are great candidates for applying - either because of high interest in the school or possibly as a leveraging candidate which may cause the first choice school to sweeten the pot to match a better offer. This is another excellent setup for Your College List because it will yield a list of schools that would likely compete for the student for a variety of reasons. Share the informational flyer with the client.

Schools that Require Filing of CSS Profile

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

Knowing what type of financial aid forms a particular school requires is very significant for a family. Schools that require the CSS Profile use a different methodology to determine a family’s financial aid eligibility. For families considering these schools, admissions strategies as well as financial aid planning take on even more importance since Profile schools are generally much more expensive than schools that only require the FAFSA.

Use the query to springboard into the EZ College Planning OR Standard Software. Both will take into consideration the Profile requirement when determining EFC, financial aid estimates as well as financial aid planning opportunities and strategies.

For divorced families the query will reveal whether or not a non-custodial parent will be required to contribute to the family EFC calculations which could significantly increase EFC and decrease aid eligibility.

Therefore, families in this situation may want to exclude schools that require the non-custodial form.

This is also a great springboard into the Your College List service AND FAFSAssist, CFS’ financial aid form filing service. The Profile forms are extremely complicated and mistakes can significantly impact the family’s out-of-pocket costs.

CFS recommends you encourage all clients that are considering Profile schools to evaluate the merits of FAFSAssist.

Share the Your College List and FAFSAssist flyers with the family that has a college-bound junior or senior.

Top 20% of Applicant Pool

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

Students who are in the top 20% of the incoming freshman applicant pool are more likely to be accepted by the college. These students are also likely to have a greater percentage of their financial need met by the school and are likely to receive a higher percentage of Gift Aid relative to Self Help than the averages reported by the school. For families that won’t qualify for need-based financial aid, they may receive a tuition discount. High performing students from affluent families are in demand by colleges, especially expensive private ones. In order to entice these families to send their student to their particular institution, the colleges will often offer a Tuition Discount which comes in the form of a grant or scholarship.

Schools where the student is at the top of the applicant pool are good candidates for application. Also, adding schools into the mix of schools being applied to can be part of a leveraging strategy where financial aid award letters from a school can be used to encourage other schools to increase their aid award. The best leverage a family has with a school is a better offer from a competing school. This is another excellent setup for Your College List because it will yield a list of schools where the student is at the top of the applicant pool and they would likely compete for the student and provide financial inducements for them to attend. Share the Your College List flyer with the client.

Unlimited Availability

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

Unlimited availability means that, provided the student has fulfilled the requirements to obtain the scholarship, the student will receive it and there is no limit to the number of recipients! Qualifying for this scholarship will reduce out-of-pocket college costs by the amount of the scholarship amount. Families can use this information to identify candidate schools. The family can also use this information to put the right schools into the application list for leveraging purposes. Your College List can help validate the suitability of schools and scholarships in the list for the student.

Schools with Merit Based Scholarships Based on SAT Score

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

This query returns the list of colleges in the state along with school-based merit scholarships the student is eligible for based on SAT score. The scholarship information enhances your ability to help the client leverage merit-based (based on academic performance) scholarships (free money) from the school to minimize their out-of-pocket costs! With this content in the reports, you can further help your clients save ON the cost of college.

Potential Scholarships with increased SAT

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

In addition to revealing the scholarships that the student may already qualify for, this query returns additional scholarships that the student may qualify for by increasing test scores, GPA, etc. This additional information can help the family decide if investing in test preparation courses may be a prudent decision. You can use this query as an opportunity to collaborate with test prep providers in your area. They can refer clients to you to help justify their test prep services and you can refer clients to them for help in raising test scores.

Scholarships at Selected School

Tip: How to use this information with the client:

This query returns the list of school-based merit scholarships the student may be eligible for at a named school. You can run a college-planning report for a listed school to obtain all the details related to the scholarship. Use this query as a carrot for your college planning service – whether it is a value add or a fee-based offering. With this content in the reports, you can further help your clients save ON the cost of college.

Please select a state to continue.

Like what you see? Call 1-919-469-1996 or license the widget today!