WHY DO WE NEED YOUR SERVICE?
The financial aid process is very complicated. Just as you need an accountant to prepare your tax return, you need an expert to prepare your financial aid forms. In fact, even more so since the procedure is lengthy, needs constant input and review and is subject to strict time frames. If at any time you fill out any forms incorrectly or don't file or reply in a timely manner, you may get less financial aid or none at all.
DOESN'T THE AMOUNT OF AID DIFFER FROM COLLEGE TO COLLEGE?
Yes it does. In fact, every college has its own campus-based funds. Frequently, we can negotiate with a college and they will attempt to meet the offer of a rival school. However, the funds are available on a first come, first serve basis. Some colleges request financial applications as early as November 1st for next fall's aid.
IF I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID, DO I HURT MY CHILD'S CHANCE FOR ADMISSION?
Absolutely not. The handling of admissions and financial aid is done by two separate and distinct departments at almost all colleges. In any event, colleges generally prefer students receiving financial aid since they know they won't be forced to leave due to changes in their parents financial status.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AID?
We can tell you how much aid you have available to you immediately. The actual process is a long and arduous one. It can take six to ten months and require completion of ten to fifteen forms. We are with you every step of the way until you get your award. Even then, if we think the award is inadequate, we will appeal it for you.
DO YOU PHONEY UP THE APPLICATIONS TO GET THE AID?
Never. The principal of this organization is a C.P.A. and would never jeopardize his license. We answer all questions honestly and accurately. Our business is conducted in a totally truthful, moral and ethical manner. We are effective because we are experts in obtaining the maximum financial aid available to you within this extremely difficult system.
HOW MANY COLLEGES DO YOU APPLY TO FOR ME FOR AID?
You can apply to as many colleges as you like. There is, however, a fee charged by CSS in Princeton for listing additional colleges on your FAF and each college charges its own application fee. As far as we are concerned, we will process up to eight colleges for the same fee. That will include the estimated costs, family contribution and financial needs computation for each college. We also include completion of 5 individual college financial aid forms. After that, there is an additional charge for each form.
DOES IT MATTER WHICH STATE MY CHILD GOES TO COLLEGE?
Not usually. Financial aid which is federally funded is available anywhere. Campus-based funds vary by college, not by state. States have small amounts of additional financial aid available that is for residents only. We are experts in obtaining financial aid from all of these sources for all states. If there is money out there, you can be sure that we will obtain it for you.
MY CHILD IS GETTING A SCHOLARSHIP, WHY DO I NEED FINANCIAL AID?
All colleges require that you apply for financial aid even though they give your child a scholarship. The reason is that they will take what ever the federal government offers before absorbing any scholarship costs. In addition, scholarships may not cover all costs and may be cancelable if your child doesn't perform to the college's standards. If any of these things do happen, by filing for financial aid, you are able to protect your child.
MY SON OR DAUGHTER IS NOT GOING TO COLLEGE UNTIL NEXT SEPTEMBER, WHY SHOULD I DO THIS NOW?
The earlier that you take advantage of our free consultation, the better. Our recommendations can be acted upon sooner and thus you will get more financial aid. In addition, the financial aid process is extremely long. You must file early to get the maximum aid possible. Much of the campus based funds are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. When the funds are gone, there is no more available. Besides, you do not know how much financial aid is available to you. We can tell you that and you can choose a college based on an academic decision, not a financial one.
DOESN'T THE HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELOR / TEACHER DO THIS?
No. In many cases, they are not allowed to. Besides that, they must attend to each student's curriculum and graduation requirements and help all college-bound students with applications and transcripts. There just isn't the time or personnel to deal with completing the more than ten forms necessary per student even if they were experts in financial aid, which they are not.
I HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD IN COLLEGE. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
Aid is based on computed family need. The more students in college the more aid available to each of them. If you have more than one student in college/graduate school, your cost will be reduced significantly. In most cases, both students will attend school for the price of one.
WHY CAN'T I FILL OUT THE FORMS MYSELF OR HAVE MY ACCOUNTANT DO THEM?
The forms and procedures are very complicated. If you fill out the forms improperly or incompletely, or fail to respond within the proper time frame to the proper places, you will receive far less than the aid we can obtain for you. We have the expertise to maximize the amount of aid you can receive. We hold your hand every step of the way and guide you through the maze of financial aid. Your accountant may attempt to complete your forms but accountants are not aware of the federal formulas that can legally increase your award. Besides, no accountant has time to complete the many forms due at the height of their tax season. In addition, the forms are extremely difficult and, unless your accountant knows the more than 70,000 pages of federal regulations, you become the loser!
CAN I PAY YOUR FEES OVER TIME?
Yes. You can start the service with a deposit. This is required to start the paperwork. The balance can be paid monthly until the time the Financial Aid Forms are filed with College Scholarship Service, which is not before January 1.
Thank you Lynda for teaming up with me on our mission to get ambitious, hard-working kids into top colleges, and for helping parents be able to afford it.
Frances Kweller and her amazingly talented team at Kweller Prep