The third category of services we offer is Financial Aid or College Finance. As I’m sure you are aware, college is expensive! Many middle class families struggle to pay for a college education without taking out huge loans. At College Insights, we know where all the money is so we can leverage each student’s situation to get the most funding. Last year, all of our middle class families went to college for free! You’d be surprised by all the places you can find money if you know where to look.
As I’m sure you are aware, college is expensive! You can expect to pay $120,000 for four years at an in-state university at a minimum. Many middle-class families struggle to pay for a college education without taking out huge loans. At College Insights, we know where all the money is so we can leverage each student’s situation to get the most funding. You’d be surprised by all the places you can find money if you know where to look and have a strategy.
Financial Aid Explained:
Did you know that 20%-30% of award letters are missing FREE money? That means you could be putting yourself into debt because of a mistake made by the school!
Financial Aid is a commonly misunderstood term. Any money used to pay for the costs related to paying for college is considered “Financial Aid.” That could be grants or scholarships (free money), loans, paid employment, or money saved by the family to help a student meet their college expenses. Such aid can come from a variety of sources, such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations. Unfortunately, most financial aid comes in the form of loans.
What We Do:
Did you know College Insights has the only Certified Financial Aid Advisor in the state of Washington? We are here to help you understand the process, help you fill out the proper paperwork, and confirm you receive the money that you deserve. On average, we are able to help students save $3,500 a year! That’s $14,000 over a four-year education! We will walk you through filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile, or do a full Financial Aid Review.
FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an online application that families must fill out to be eligible for federal financial aid. The FAFSA is used to determine a family’s eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loans. Both public and private universities use the information collected on the FAFSA to create a student’s financial aid package.
CSS Profile: The CSS Profile is similar to the FAFSA in that it is used to determine a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). However, it is primarily used by private colleges and universities. The university uses the information provided from the CSS Profile to award institutional grants and scholarships, along with loans and other aid forms within the student’s financial aid package. The CSS Profile, however, is a much longer, more complicated, and more frustrating document than the FAFSA.
It seems like financial aid and the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) are made to be complicated, and the CSS Profile only complicates things even more. To make sure the process runs smoothly and that you pass verification, you can work with one of our Financial Aid Advisors to make sure that you are awarded the money you qualify for, understand what you are paying, and what your options are for payment. Note that, universities will only require a FAFSA or CSS Profile, not both.
A Financial Aid Review includes:
FAFSA Completion: Help with gathering required financial documents while we do the rest
CSS Profile Completion: Help with gathering required financial documents, understanding how the CSS profile changes your award in the context to your unique family situation, and complete the CSS Profile on your behalf
Review of Award Letters: Discuss final awards from accepted schools and what they mean
Financial Strategy Session: Understanding your options
Professional Judgement Letter: Drafting of letter to financial aid office if needed and going through the appeals process with you
Double Checking: Make sure no money is missing from your award letter and that the university did everything correctly on their end
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the financial aid process or the required paperwork, please reach out to us for a free consultation.
“I don’t know what I would have done without College Insights! As a single mom with four kids going through college, I was lost. To make matters worse, one of my kids’ schools wanted me to take out a $20,000 parent loan. I purchased a Financial Aid Review and my advisor found out the university had made a huge mistake. The $20,000 parent loan was supposed to be a GRANT! We went through the appeals process and got everything sorted out, but I never would have known the mistake that was made and taken out a big loan that I would have struggled to pay back if I hadn’t gotten help. I can’t imagine how many people have student debt out there simply because of an error the school made. I’m so grateful for College Insights’ help!” Kristen E.
“Best $99 I’ve ever spent! I was dreading doing the FAFSA for my daughter. I handed everything over to College Insights and they took care of it for me, plus I had the relief in knowing it was all done correctly.” Michelle G.