4 Strategies Proven to Get the Most Money Possible for College

Dear College Made Simple reader,

One of the big things we aim for with every family we work with is to try to help them get the maximum amount of money for their child’s college education.

And while every family’s situation is unique, there are strategies that are proven to do just that – get the most money possible. Let’s get into those strategies now…

– Scott

1. Consider Having Your Child Apply To At Least 6 – 8 Colleges And Universities.

In short, select an assortment of “safety schools,” “competitive schools,” and “reach schools.”

If possible, try to pick at least several schools where your child lies in the top 25% of the incoming freshman class.

If so, they’ll likely be considered a ‘top-tier’ or ‘highly desirable’ candidate, and the schools will often times award more money to them.

Also, make sure they apply to more than just 1 or 2 schools – even if they’re dead set on going to a particular school.

By applying to (roughly) 6 – 8 schools, you will greatly increase your ability to negotiate financial aid packages at the end of the year.

2. Figure Out How To Value Your Home Properly.

Many families end up over-valuing their homes for purposes of financial aid.  Don’t make this mistake – it could cost you thousands – if not tens of thousands – of dollars in lost college funding.  Fact is, your eligibility for financial aid can be in jeopardy if you over-estimate the fair market value of your home.

Instead, the schools use a special formula called “The Housing Index Multiplier,” which is based on your home’s original purchase price and the year you purchased it.

Find out what your “multiplier” is and use this value for your home.  Remember, it’s typically not what you would ‘like’ to sell your house for… it’s what you’d have to sell your house for at a 30-day ‘fire sale’ price.

3. When Applicable, Consider Last Minute Income And Asset Planning To Lower Your Out-Of-Pocket Costs.

The reality is, you must set up your finances in a way that will maximize your eligibility for college financial aid (100% legally of course – you do NOT want to engage in financial aid fraud!)

Assets held in the wrong place can kill your chances of getting money. Are your assets held in the wrong place?  Are you properly valuing your real estate?

If you’re not sure, you want to find out the answers to these questions quickly… before it’s too late!

4. Don’t Apply For Early Decision If You Want To Get The Maximum Amount Of Money From Each School.

If your child applies for early decision, they are typically locked into going to that school.

This is a huge mistake if you’re trying to get the maximum amount of money for college.

The reality is — if a school knows you have to go to their school if they accept you, they have no competition and can offer you whatever they want – often times much less then you ‘should’ have received.

Therefore, it’s typically a bad idea to apply for early decision since you have no leverage to negotiate a better financial aid package (obviously, there are exceptions to every rule and for some families, early decision will make sense).

In Part 2 of this report, we’ll cover three additional strategies, including tips for the financial aid forms, and private sources of college funding.

To your college funding & admissions success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network


Related Articles:

3 Ways to Get More Free Money for College

3 Simple Steps for Making College More Affordable



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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.