Through our process, we help families tap into the largest pool of free money, second only to Federal (income based) funding. We do not typically recommend spending countless hours searching for private scholarships as the primary college funding resource.
Ideally, when you see the “blue line on the stick”. 😊 It is strongly recommended that parents begin to save as early as they possibly can. Our goal is to help parents save up a boatload of money for college and never have to use it. For student positioning, we recommend beginning at the start of high school freshman year. For financial aid eligibility, the last chance to maximize financial aid eligibility is during the “Base Year”, which occurs between January of Sophomore year through December of Junior year.
During the pandemic, scheduled standardized test dates were cancelled and colleges relaxed admission requirements. However, other factors in the application packet were more carefully considered such as leadership in extracurricular activities, exceptional or unique talents and abilities, demonstrated and committed community service, etc. For merit aid qualification, we discovered that standardized tests, although optional for admission, weighed quite heavily in merit aid award decisions. Our recommendation is to consider standardized tests as a requirement to be considered for merit aid as well as admission to selective colleges.
It is required by the colleges that all financial resources are reported. Most colleges practice Scholarship Displacement, which requires colleges to displace any need-based awards offered by the college with outside awards received, thus not reducing the remaining out of pocket costs for the family. For example, if a student is awarded a $2500 scholarship from their church and their financial aid package includes a need-based scholarship for $5000, the college will reduce the scholarship by $2500 and apply the private scholarship towards the balance. The rationale is that the student’s need was reduced by $2500, and the displaced funds can be used to assist other needy students.
The Detroit PROMISE is not a full ride scholarship. Please see an excerpt from their website and visit FAQ | Detroit Promise for more details.
“Covers: The Detroit Promise arranges last dollar funding for eligible students to cover the costs of tuition and mandatory fees. This means that any Pell and/or TIP funding must be applied to a student’s tuition and fees bill first. If there is an eligible balance remaining at a four-year institution, the institution will arrange for the remainder to be covered by gift aid (often generously granted by the institution itself) and a contribution from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (through the Detroit Promise*)
Does not cover: The Detroit Promise does not cover books, housing, supplies, meals, or non-mandatory fees. Students are responsible for these costs and should regularly apply to other scholarships to help cover them.”
Emancipation is a legal process that is not recommended or intended to be a college planning strategy. Although laws vary by state, in general, to become emancipated the student must prove such things as financial independence, sufficient maturity, and adequate independent living arrangements.
There are two types of financial aid: need based aid and merit aid. Regardless of income, parents should assist their children with completing the FAFSA to receive merit aid, including athletic and academic scholarships. Through our financial positioning process, many higher income earning parents are pleasantly surprised that they can also qualify for need-based aid by using recommended strategies to reposition income and assets.
If both parents live in the same household with the student, both are required to report income and assets as requested on the form, whether biological parents or stepparents. If parents are legally divorced or separated, the parent(s) with whom the child lives for more than half of the year should report their income/assets.
Around 40% of all undergraduate students earn their bachelor’s degree in 4 years. Around 37% of all students transfer. Approximately 80% of all undergraduate students change their major at least once. This data is evidence that most families do not know how to get their child into and through the college that is the best fit for them academically, socially, and financially. Most families overpay and the number one reason students don’t finish college is that they run out of money. Parents simply don’t know what they don’t know.
Families utilizing our process receive an average of ~$106,00 offered in free money, with an additional $4800 through award appeals. 85% of our students graduate from college in 4 years. Parents can expect to Send Your Child to College and Leave Your Money at Home!
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