Why College Planning?

When it comes to investments our biggest is usually our home. For most the second largest investment is in your child’s college education. We seek advice when it comes to purchasing and financing a home, our taxes, etc.

Are you looking for answers regarding funding, deadlines, and applications? What about colleges, majors, and careers? The list just seems to go on and on and the confusion and concern seems like an uphill battle!

Would you like to save some time, eliminate the stress, and find everything you need – all in a proven, easy-to-follow plan?

Great news! We have the solution! Through years of research and hands-on experience we have developed a system. No wild promises … No quick fix … instead, a program that has proven successful for thousands of families just like yours.

Next: The Best kept secret in America

The best kept secret in America…

The best kept secret in America  …

TRI Financial Group understands that preparing and paying for college can be a very stressful time.  We know how important it is for you to have answers you can depend on.  And, most importantly, answers from your point of view, not the colleges’ or a misinformed third party.

Most college information sources only talk about the fluff, while avoiding the real “nuts and bolts” of the process.  The College Planning Program, on the other hand, considers issues like …

Our program helps high schools students explore career options … find the perfect college … improve their odds of being admitted … and get the best education for the money.

We also help parents make sense of the process … stay on track … weed through the stacks of paperwork … secure funding … and relieve many of the headaches and worries associated with sending a child off to college.

Getting started …

Over 50% of all college students are forced to drop out – many due to the lack of money … they didn’t plan to fail, they simply failed to plan!

Don’t wait – get started today!  Remember, students are competing for admission spots and funding dollars as early as the 9th grade

Next: Funding your child’s education

Funding your child’s education

Funding your child’s education

It is a fact that a college education is expensive, very expensive.  Even at lower-priced, state-supported colleges a four-year degree can still cost in excess of $50,000.  College tuition and fees continue to increase at an alarming rate.  These increases have made “paying for college” practically impossible.

In a recent survey conducted by the American Council on Education it was found that financing their children’s college education is one of the top five concerns facing American parents today.  Although parents generally have good intentions, there are many unforeseen circumstances along the way that prevent them from saving a sufficient amount of money to pay for their children’s college education.

With today’s economy, and the inflation we have experienced over the past twenty years, this problem is far more evident now than it ever has been in the past.  It most often takes two incomes just to meet the family’s budget.  Unfortunately, after paying the family’s monthly expenses, there is usually not much left over for the student’s college education.

Fortunately, you do have options!

Next: The truth about supply & demand

The truth about supply & demand

Supply and Demand

As more and more students enter college, and the financial aid system balances between supply and demand, financial aid offices are being forced to use their limited funds to attract the strongest applicants.  These strongest applicants will be the students who demonstrate the most convincing record of academic and extracurricular achievement, school and community involvement, and the desire to succeed in life.

Years ago colleges looked at financial aid as a charitable operation run within the institution.  Financial aid has now become a strategic tool that is commonly used to recruit students that colleges and universities would like to enroll.

Scholarships, grants, and tuition discounts are how colleges commonly label their funding – when, in fact, all of these monies are actually rate reductions off of the institution’s total cost of attendance.  The vast majority of colleges are using these reductions to get the best blend of good students and paying customers.  Their business approach is to get the family to pay as much as possible and still get the student to attend.

Although the admissions battle that colleges are facing is becoming more widely publicized, behind the scenes, most colleges are actually in a huge financial battle to fill their seats with the most attractive candidates.

The very wealthy schools (basically the Ivy Leaguers) are still in a seller’s market.  In other words, they can most often command that a student (and family) still pay the sticker price.  Bear in mind that this is not in all cases – but certainly in most.

However, there are hundreds of very fine institutions that are very comparable to the Ivy Leaguers.  These are mainly private institutions that offer a wide range of course / major specialties.  These colleges have found themselves in the midst of a bidding war to attract desirable students.  These institutions are where the majority of the real educational bargains can be found.  These institutions offer the finest in education, most often at a discounted rate (as compared to their publicized cost of attendance).  More for your money!

However, you must be careful.  Although these schools will most often discount, they will also reduce their discounts (not offer as much financial aid) to students who may be less attractive or more likely to attend no matter what the offer of funding may be.

Due to the intense competition, these colleges are constantly looking for those students whose decision may be swayed by financial aid.  This is a true buyer’s market.  This buyer’s market puts the student (and family) in a very strong position, and in most cases allows the student to call the shots.

When it comes to choosing the perfect college for you, it is not all about the money.  The courses offered, the size and location of the institution, and the quality of education are obviously huge additional considerations.  Although money is not your sole consideration, it certainly comes into the picture.  Everybody wants the best value for their money!

Exploring your educational options and keeping those options open can have a huge impact on your future.  What you may be offered from one institution may be far different from what the next is willing to discount just to get you to attend.

This again emphasizes the importance of effectively preparing yourself while in high school.  This preparation not only helps make you a well-rounded person, it will also help make you an even more attractive candidate, which puts you in a stronger position when it comes to attending and paying for college.

Next: Getting the most

Getting the most

Getting The Most

Although funding for college was originally designed to go to those who need it the most, it actually goes to those who know the most about the process.  Typically, the more you know about deadlines, strategies, where funding comes from, and who is most likely to be awarded funding, the more money for college you will receive.

Your preparation for college will be time well spent.  With successful preparation, you will most likely be able to gain admission to your dream school and receive enough money to attend.  In addition, your preparation will also make you a well-rounded person who will be better suited to face whatever the future may present.

High school sophomores and juniors are already competing for admission spots and funding dollars.  Your competition is working hard – shouldn’t you?

If you are a freshman, sophomore or junior – start now!

If you are in your senior year – time is valuable.  Set your goals, devise a plan, and give the extra effort necessary to “make up” any vital steps in the process that you may have missed.

Call us we can help!