What Is the “College Base Year?”

Most families know the junior year of high school as the most important and most pivotal time period for their college-bound children.

After all, there’s SAT or ACT prep, making and narrowing your college list, and many more college planning considerations.

But the truth is… colleges and universities see things through an additional lens – one that’s even more important…

It’s called the “base year.”

It starts January 1 of your child’s junior year, and ends on December 31 of his or her senior year.

And how your child is perceived by schools during these critical 12 months… is critical to their chances of admission.

What does the base year mean, exactly?

The obvious part is how your child performs in school, relative to the colleges’ needs for that incoming class.

The other part of the base year is less obvious, but just as crucial – if not more so:

I’m talking about the initial financial impression you leave with schools you apply to. More specifically, what they think you can afford to pay, every year, until your child leaves the school armed with a degree.

And that’s really what the base year is… it’s what colleges and universities view as the “tax year.”

And that initial impression of what you can afford, simply put, becomes the benchmark for what you’ll get in financial aid over the next four years.

In other words, the better families can position their income and assets during this all-important, standard-setting base year…

…The better off your financial aid situation could potentially be – for all 4 years.

There’s another big reason why the base year is so important.

We’ve found, at some schools, it may be difficult to change that “first impression” once you’ve made it.

So imagine (I hope this never happens to you) if your income were to be lower in subsequent years than it was at the time that you applied for financial aid.

Of course you would want your financial aid adjusted based on your current financial situation, and not your previous one.

This is just one scenario; there are many others that could come into play.

That’s why – with so many thousands of your dollars on the table – it is absolutely in your best interest to understand how the base year could impact your family, along with other intricacies of the admissions process.

At College Planning Network, we’ve helped thousands of families with situations just like this one.

We’ve learned there is no better way to position yourself properly in the college admissions and financial aid process than to know all the facts, and how they pertain to your specific situation.

That’s why we developed our one-on-one Free Counseling session… exclusively for College Made Simple readers. It’s a one-hour phone call in which you tell us your situation, and we help develop a tailored solution to your needs.

Of course we can’t help every family with college-bound children, but we can say with pride that just about every single family that has taken us up on our free offer… has come away with extremely valuable information that has helped guide them in this extremely important life decision.

Just click here to learn more about our free consultation and how we can possibly help you.

To Your Family’s Successful College Search,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network, LLC
College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of the College Planning Network, LLC





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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.