The College Money “Blueprint”

A 3-step system for sending your child to the college of their choice… at a fraction of what most other families pay

Dear Parent,

You already know college is getting more expensive AND more competitive.

Yet obtaining that four-year degree has never been more crucial to your child’s success than right now.

You see – even in the face of this still-unfolding financial crisis – a college degree is still the best path to financial security that any young American student has today.

That’s because employers across the country pay what’s called a “wage premium” to college graduates. Basically, they’re paid more than those without college degrees. That’s 74% more than those with high school degrees, to be exact.

Why? Because the market considers them more valuable. It’s as simple as that.

It’s a pretty clear case for getting a four-year degree (with some exceptions, of course).

Yet, when it comes to getting into college – and then paying for it – there’s one thing too many families never realize…

It is often times possible to send your children to the college of their choice… while enjoying significant savings off the “sticker price.”

It’s true. And I’ll prove it to you right here…

Hello, I’m Scott Weingold… Publisher of CollegeMadeSimple.com and co-founder of the College Planning Network.

In the next few minutes, you’ll learn specific insights and techniques that 99% of families never get the chance to take advantage of.

In short, it’s a 3-STEP SYSTEM for getting your child into the college or university that they really want to attend… while lowering your family’s out-of-pocket expenses – considerably.

The system I’m about to show you works.

And I’ll back it up by sharing real-life examples… with 100%-verifiable dollar figures.

Real-life cases. Real families. And tens of thousands of dollars saved on college educations.

So let’s get started…

College Money Blueprint Step # 1:

Make sure all financial aid forms are filled out
on time and correctly

The FAFSA – or Free Application For Federal Student Aid – is the most common form required to receive financial aid.

But for elite Ivy League-type schools (and many other non-Ivy private universities), a second form is required.

It’s called the CSS Profile Form. Here’s what you NEED to know about it:

It is absolutely critical that both forms are consistent with your answers. That’s because financial aid is often times given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

And any inconsistencies on these forms can result in missing deadlines – and getting pushed to the back of the line.

Many schools require even more forms (After all, it’s their own money on the line).

Point is, these forms also have to match up with the CSS Profile and the FAFSA form… or you can get bumped in the process.

By the way, if you’re divorced/separated, or own a business, be extra careful to follow the rules. Doing so will help you significantly maximize your family’s aid package.

Now, you might be asking yourself… “What if my family already makes too much money? Wouldn’t these forms be a complete waste of time?”

Not necessarily. You see, many families make the mistake of underestimating their chances of getting aid.

And the savings they miss out on can be ENORMOUS.

In fact, we’ve worked with families that have qualified for aid – despite having annual incomes well in excess of $200,000!

Plus, your family’s income situation can change in an instant… A job loss, a costly medical situation… or any other number of reasons.

With the forms on file, you can appeal to get a new aid package based on your income after any of these ‘life changes.’

Now let’s move on to College Money Blueprint Step # 2. Here’s where things get really interesting…

College Money Blueprint Step #2:

Apply to colleges that you know will give you
the most amount of money

I’ll tell you exactly HOW to do this in a minute. First, you should know this crucial fact:

The truth is… With thousands of colleges to choose from in the U.S., the difference between what these colleges and universities give in aid can be staggering.

Let me share an example: Let’s assume you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $20,000. Let’s say:

College A costs $50,000 per year, and only meets 60% of need met.

Meanwhile, College B costs the same $50,000 per year… but it meets 100% of need met.

So, what does this mean, exactly?

With College A, you’re eligible for $30,000 of need. ($50K COA minus $20K EFC = $30K Need).

If College A meets just 60% of your $30K need, they’ll only give you $18,000. And you’ll be on the hook for the other $12,000.

This puts your total out of pocket costs at College A at $20K EFC + $12K Unmet Need = $32K out of pocket.

Now let’s look at College B.

It has the same $50k price tag, and the same $20k Expected Family Contribution. So you’re also eligible for $30K of need.

But here’s the thing… Since College B meets 100% of your need, they’ll give you the entire $30K… And you are only on the hook for your $20K Family Contribution.

So the clear difference is this…

In this example, It will cost you an extra $12,000 per year to send your child to College A. Over a 4-year period, that’s $48,000 more you’d have to fork over.

(And that’s IF they graduate in 4 years. The average student nowadays takes over 5 ½ years!)

Fact is, picking the right school can have a huge impact on what families pay for college.

We have countless examples of these kinds of families.

Let me share one with you here…

  • Fairfield University – $51,560 Cost of Attendance
  • Syracuse University – $49,152 COA
  • Villanova University – $50,340 COA

Expected Family Contribution (when we were done with our planning for the family) was $21,198. Remember, this gets sent to EVERY college on the FAFSA.

Now here’s how they shook out when the awards came back:

  • Fairfield University – offered $14,000 of aid – total Out of Pocket would be $37,560
  • Syracuse University – offered $14,700 of aid – total O.O.P. would be $34,452
  • Villanova University – offered $39,530 of aid – total O.O.P. would be $10,810

The mother in this real example would pay less to send her child to Villanova (at under $11K per year)… than she would pay to send her to child to almost any state school in the country!

We see this day in and day out. That’s why picking the right school is so important.

Now let’s move on to College Money Blueprint Step # 3…

College Money Blueprint Step #3:

It pays to select and apply to colleges
where your child is a “star”

Here’s what I mean by that…

If your child is in the top 25% of the incoming class for either grades or test scores… or if they have a specific athletic or musical talent…

There are colleges that want them! And they’re often willing to offer major price breaks to get them.

Of course, this can be tricky at elite colleges, since most kids who apply are exceptional candidates as well.

But it can be done… mostly by being aggressive and knowledgeable when conducting your college search.

OK, now I’ve explained our 3-Step System. But here’s the kicker… and this cannot be emphasized enough:

When you combine all 3 of these powerful steps (A process we like to call “Stacking the Deck”)…

The results can be staggeringly in your favor! I’m talking about major, major savings!

And yet, when it comes to lowering your total college costs, these 3 powerful steps are just the tip of the iceberg.

That’s because there are literally dozens of other strategies you may be able to take advantage of, starting right now…

Strategies that can help you get a “better deal” at a four-year college – and keep you from paying more than you need to.

However, the first step is to find out even IF we can help you.

The reality is – for some families, there’s a TON we can do. For others, unfortunately, there’s not. But for those we can help, our team of experts is extremely skilled at securing families the absolute lowest out-of-pocket cost possible at a four-year school.

As I said, the first step is finding out exactly where you stand. You can do that by signing up for a free phone consultation with one of our education consultants.

(Normally we charge $150 for this consultation, but we’re making it available at no charge to our valued subscribers of College Made Simple.)

Now, if you take us up on this offer, here’s what you’ll take away from your free, one-hour call:

First, one of our experts will help you figure out whether or not you’ll likely qualify for any kind of need-based financial aid.

We do that by first telling you:

  • What your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) currently is…
  • If there’s anything that can be done to lower it…
  • And if your EFC can be lowered – by how much.

Next, our experts will let you know – with or without need-based aid – if there’s anything else that can be done to lower your family’s total out-of-pocket college costs.

(For example, many families are surprised to learn they can still get a lot of free money for school – regardless of their income levels.)

What’s more, our experts will also explain any other steps you can take to dramatically increase the chances of getting your child into one of their top schools.

Now, keep in mind, the expert you’re speaking with will clear up any misconceptions about how the college admissions and financial aid process works.

They’ll also look at your specific situation in great detail. That is, they’ll let you know if we can help you immensely… or just in specific areas… or if there’s simply not much we can do to help (In which case, our experts will still be able to pass along specific insights and direction… to help you get ahead in the college admissions and financial aid planning process.)

That pretty well sums up the phone consultation…

Now let me tell you what NOT to expect from your free, one-hour call:

  • Don’t expect us to tell you anything unrealistic or unattainable. We understand that every family’s situation is unique. And if we don’t think we can help you, we’re going to tell you just that.
  • Don’t expect to be misled or misinformed. We know the “INs and OUTs” of this process… and will fully explain what can and cannot be done, given your situation.
  • Don’t expect a hard sell. We strive to make every interaction a positive one – whether we end up working with you or not. Many of you may already know clients of ours… or at least know people who have taken advantage of our free phone consultation. And, in all our years, no one has ever said it’s been a waste of time.

Our business is based on this philosophy: We will not take on any client we KNOW we won’t be able to help drastically – and who won’t get far more value than the fee they pay us. That’s why our services come with a money-back guarantee.

Now if you’re wondering if this all sounds too good to be true, just consider these 3 facts:

  • We have worked with over 822 colleges from all across the country – including every single one of the Ivy League schools.
  • Our average family receives $19,075 per year in college aid.
  • Our average “under-awarded” family – after a successful appeal from our team – receives an additional $4,809 per year in college aid.

These are facts we can back up… families getting major breaks on their total out-of-pocket costs – at the school of their dreams.

One more thing about the families we work with: They’re almost always surprised to learn just how much we can help them.

For example, we just heard from one happy parent whose son was accepted off the wait list to Yale, and received a very generous aid package for his income level.

Now this is a parent who naturally was quite skeptical at first. But just recently, he told us how thrilled he is that he took our recommendation — because it will likely save him close to $25,000 per year.

And he’ll pay LESS than what he would have paid if his child attended Baylor or UVA (his other two choices).

As I said, though, we can’t help every family we consult with.

But for the families we can help, the benefits can be enormous.

Let me give you a few stories families have recently shared with us…

Here’s an email we just received from a parent in Florida:

“This past spring we received a financial aid award letter from Rollins College. My son was also considering several other schools from whom he had gained both acceptance and offers for financial assistance. Although I thought the Rollins award was generous and possibly as substantial as we could hope for, I decided to vet it with College Planning Network, with whom we have been clients for several years with older children, as a matter of good financial management. Not only did they respond quickly and decisively, but the staff suggested a strategy for increasing the “grant” part of the award and composed a letter to the financial aid office at Rollins to that purpose.

I subsequently received a new award letter from Rollins with a significant increase in the “grant” portion of the award. Their analysis of the initial award and management of the request for an increase was timely, professional and ultimately successful. In these challenging economic times, it is essential that every family marshal their resources prudently; CPN allowed us the opportunity to have our son attend the college of his choice without the entire anticipated financial burden.”

Here’s another email from a happy client:

“Your plan was, at least to us, sheer genius. It reduces our family contribution, provides a vehicle for funding our daughter’s education, increases the potential for merit based aid, and protects our asset. Holy Cow!”

This email comes from the Diemand family in Ohio:

“…Bottom Line – With the professional assistance of CPN, it is likely less expensive for our daughter and son to attend a private Ohio college and an Ivy League university than had they each chosen a state school. This is not a criticism of state schools. There are hundreds of top-notch state schools throughout the nation, many the best in their specialized fields. Our point is that we would advise anyone not to limit their children’s school choices based on appearance of high costs.

In conclusion: With the assistance of CPN, your EFC will be reduced to the lowest appropriate level. CPN will also advise you how to proceed when the college acceptance letters arrive, assisting you in navigating the whole college selection process. By partnering with CPN, we have saved tens of thousands of dollars. We highly recommend their services.”

Here’s what the Anderson family had to say:

“As many parents with children getting closer to going to college, we were setting away money for their education, but as we found out, not nearly enough for the astronomical prices that we have now been exposed to. Faced with the fact that our Family Contribution could be as high as $25k per year for 8 years for our two children, we needed to find effective ways to do this without sending us into debt that we couldn’t get out of. We also do not want to strap our children to what could amount to be a lifetime of debt.

We listened to the one-hour introduction to The College Planning Network. As it ended, I found myself saying “this sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?” There was no “catch” — just a detailed total plan of lowering our Expected Family Contribution, providing us some tax advantages and staying within the agreed upon budget that we had established. The additional ‘perks’ of filling out financial aid forms, working with our children on narrowing down the selection of colleges and essay writing was just icing on the cake!”

Finally, this letter comes from the Pavisich family:

“Our college funding advisor at CPN helped our family to properly position our student and our assets. In doing so, we were able to send him to a top-notch school which otherwise would never have been a possibility.

Another way we benefited from our service specialists at CPN was their review of our financial award letters from the schools. They were reviewed and an appeal letter was written for us to send to the colleges. This helped in securing additional aid which we otherwise would not have received. Our concerns and questions were always addressed quickly and courteously. Every person I’ve dealt with has been very helpful and professional.”

These are just a few examples of families we work with.

As you can see, the benefits can be tremendous…

Cutting costs, saving time, and taking the stress out of the admissions and funding process

It’s a completely unique approach for taking on the entire college admissions and financial aid process. And I don’t know of a single other company that does everything we do.

In fact, many education professionals have told us as much. Here’s what Regan Ronayne had to say. He’s the Program Director for College Admission and Career Planning at UC Berkeley Extension:

“In my 15 years as a college adviser I have seen many innovations in college admissions, yet independently these products and services bring little relief to overwhelmed families struggling through a mass of information, decisions, and forms. College Planning Network pulls together the best practices from nationally recognized experts and coordinates them into a comprehensive and cost effective approach to the college process. By pooling the knowledge and talents of professionals in finance, research, and admission, CPN has created for families the ultimate college planning service.”

Then there’s Deborah Heller, Director of College Counseling at The Beacon School:

“I have been working with CPN for the past 3 years and I have seen the company grow from a small startup to a successful and thriving force in the industry. Most people come to CPN for help with college funding and what they get is significantly more. These days many schools are too large to adequately give students the information and guidance that they require to succeed in the college process. CPN does a tremendous job at navigating families throughout the process and making sure that all steps are taken and pieces are accounted for.

They understand what a complicated process applying to college can be and they really do a great job at easing the stress of parents and students, and keeping it from overwhelming them. Everyone at CPN is friendly and helpful and most importantly, knowledgeable. Parents want to know that they are doing everything they can to ensure a quality education at a fair price for their child and CPN makes sure that they are doing everything in their power to achieve just that.”

We get these kinds of emails and letters all the time. I encourage you to visit the collegeplanningnet.com web site, where you can read a long list of client and professional testimonials.

And while we’ve been called the “best-kept secret” in the college funding process, our network has provided college funding and admissions help for over 16 years… and we’re one of the largest, most reputable college admissions and financial aid servicing centers in the U.S.

We’re also proud members of the:

  • Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)
  • National Association of College Funding Advisors (NACFA)
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

And if you were to check us out with the Better Business Bureau, you’d find we carry an A rating.

Now as I mentioned – while most of the families we work with are surprised at just how much we can help them – we’re simply not able to help every family.

The only way to find out if we can help you… is to speak with one of our experts.

There’s nothing to lose but an hour of your time.

What’s more – we’ve never had a single parent tell us our free phone consultation wasn’t worth their time – even when our services weren’t a fit for them. That’s because – no matter what – we’ll spend the time with you to cover your situation and answer any questions you have about the process.

One more thing: Our service is largely based on referrals. After all, families with children in high school tend to be friends with other families with children in high school.

You see, when a family sees how candid and up front we are, they end up telling others about us. That’s why we’re more than happy to spend the time with you – even if there’s no financial benefit on our end.

So if you’re interested in knowing what your financial aid package might look like at the schools you’re considering before you actually apply (and if there’s anything else you can do to lower your family’s out-of-pocket college costs), please reserve your spot right away.

Just click on the orange button below to sign up.

I promise you it’ll be time well spent.

To your child’s success,

Scott Weingold
Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com
Co-Founder, the College Planning Network

P.S. I sent this special offer to 17,550 College Made Simple newsletter subscribers. Unfortunately, we only have the capacity to offer 48 free phone consultations over the next 10 days (on a first-come, first-served basis). So if you’d like to take advantage of one of the 48 available slots – before they’re all taken – I urge you to click here now to schedule a day and time that works best for you – before they’re all taken.

One final note: We’ve found over the years that our phone consultations are much more valuable to families when both parents are on the call, and prepared to share their planning situation. For that reason, we’ve made it possible to conference in a spouse who’s at a different location during your scheduled phone consultation time. Also, please understand that all information you share with us is strictly confidential, and will never be shared with anyone for any reason.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW