February 2013: Steps For Student & Parents To Prepare For College



Happy Valentine’s Day!

February is a great time to focus and start applying for private scholarships. Most students find that with the rising costs of college, government and institutional financial aid may not cover all their bases. Scholarships are basically free money that could seal in those financial gaps. In this month’s Senior Scoop, find out where students should be focusing their private scholarship efforts.

I will be presenting “Financing the College Years,” as part of College Search Strategy’s “Parents of College-Bound Teens” series in Portola Valley on Monday, February 11th. To join us at this event click here. If you can’t make it to that presentation, don’t fret, register for one of our new “Tackling The Runaway Costs of College” online webinars. Our next webinar is scheduled for this week, Wednesday, February 6th at 7pm. Reserve your webinar seat today!

Don’t miss the Dare2B Digital conference for parents and girls in grades 7-10. It is hosted at Oracle in Redwood City this Saturday. Click here to register. I’ll be there co-presenting the Parent Track workshop on college preparation and financing.

Finally, this is the month of love, so take time out to take care of yourself and your student. The rush to get forms completed and sent out can be stressful. However, if you’ve kept on track, you should be able to celebrate the fruits of your labor. February is the month when Seniors should start receiving college acceptance letters and financial aid awards.

All the best,
Beatrice Schultz, CFP®
Westface College Planning 
College Funding Specialist 

College Smart Radio: Tackling the Runaway Costs of College

CollegeSmartRadio_logo_RGBTune in to 1220am KDOW – the Wall Street Business Network from 3:00pm-3:30pm every Saturday for my radio show, College Smart Radio – Tackling the Runaway Costs of College. The show can be streamed live at www.KDOW.biz, too!

Curious what College Smart Radio covers? Tune in this Saturday at 3:00pm – 3:30pm on KDOW 1220 am when I discuss the topic “What is the value of hiring an Independent College Consultant,” with my guest Nancy Wigley, Independent College Counselor and owner of College Search Strategies.

Listen to last Saturday’s show in our College Smart Radio archives, where we discussed “529 Plans” – What you should know about utilizing Section 529 Plans to save for college. It’s all important information you won’t want to miss out on. Thanks for listening!

Featured Find: Private-College Presidents Urge a Commitment to Need-Based Financial Aid 

A group of private-college presidents is taking a first step toward publicly opposing the rising use of merit-based financial aid and the decline in need-based aid. The move comes via a draft pledge unveiled at the Council of Independent Colleges’ annual President’s Institute here.

The one-page document argues for ending the use of the term “merit aid” on participating colleges’ websites and in their admissions literature, and for making all offers of financial aid final, among other measures. The latter proposal is meant to end the costly financial-aid bidding wars that sometimes erupt when multiple institutions pursue talented students.

Citing the need for “a saner and more equitable admissions process,” S. Georgia Nugent, president of Kenyon College, provided copies of the draft statement, which she described as a “work in progress.” The statement emerged from recent discussions among college presidents interested in reforming financial aid, according to Ms. Nugent.

Read more here.

Upcoming “Tackling The Runaway Costs of College” Workshops


Seating may be limited – Register to ensure your spot!

college_funding_flyer_-_no_location_or_date3Most parents are not financially prepared to enter the most expensive time period of their lives, covering their child’s college education. Our 1-hour workshops provide steps you can take right now to assure you understand the cost of attendance and how you can afford college without jeopardizing your retirement.

Here are our upcoming workshops:

  • Tackling the Runaway Costs of College – Webinar: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 from 7:00-8:00p.m. online.
  • Financing the College Years with Beatrice Schultz, CFP® Workshop: Monday, February 11, 2013 from 7:00-8:00p.m. at the Alpine Hills Tennis & Swimming Club, 4139 Alpine Road, Portola Valley, 94028.

Parents and students are welcome! Please visit our workshops page to to learn more or click here to reserve your webinar seat today!

Senior Scoop: Steps for Students & Parents to Prepare for College 

Steps for Student & Parents to Prepare for CollegeJanuary was the month to apply for government and institutional (college) financial aid by submitting the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Most colleges will not start sending offers and financial aid award letters for a few weeks, so February is a great month to focus on applying for private scholarships.

With tuition rising faster than financial aid dollars, more students are finding gaps in their financial aid packages. The gap appears when the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) plus the school’s financial aid package don’t equal the cost of attendance. This gap appears as unmet need on a student’s financial aid award letter.

Private scholarships are one way to meet that unmet need.

There are literally thousands of scholarships from all across the country, which are available to students with a wide range of qualifications. However, locating applicable scholarship sponsors can be a very competitive and time-consuming project.

Scholarships are usually not need-based aid. In other words, the award is given mainly on the achievements of the applicants; however, financial need is taken into consideration on certain occasions.

Students should begin their scholarship search locally, contacting the following:

  • Clubs
  • Organizations
  • Agencies
  • Parent-teacher associations
  • Veteran’s groups
  • Professional organizations
  • Parents’ employer and/or union
  • Corporations
  • Ethnic heritage groups
  • Religious affiliations / Churches
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Libraries
  • Yellow pages (under foundations)
  • American Legion Post
  • Businesses (human relations / resources department)
  • High school guidance office

After identifying and applying to qualified local scholarship sources, expand your search nationwide. The best way to search for national scholarships and fellowships is to use a personalized search, like the FastWeb scholarship search, that compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches.

For additional ideas to fill the gap, contact Westface College Planning!

Photo Credit: Ninad Chaudhari

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About Westface College Planning

At Westface College Planning, we are committed to helping parents through the process of making the right financial choices for their college bound students.

If you are a typical parent with college bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed by all the research necessary to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education.

You are not alone!

Our information packed one-hour workshops will help you:

  • · Understand the true cost of college and how to afford it.
  • · Learn the specific steps to take immediately to maximize financial aid.
  • · Receive valuable information on scholarships and gift aid qualification.
  • · Gain awareness on how to accurately compare the true cost of schools, public vs. private.
  • · Develop best practices for school selection, and more!

More information at westfacecollegeplanning.com

Ready for your own success story?

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If you’re a typical parent with college-bound students, you’re probably overwhelmed. You want to help your sons and daughters make the right choices and prevent overpaying for their education. You’re not alone! We’re here to help. Schedule your free consultation today – click below to get started!

Catch our free, on-demand webinar:

How to Survive Paying for College

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Join Beatrice Schultz, CFP® for our on-demand webinar, where she provides parents with the exact steps that often greatly lower the cost of college, even if there’s little time to prepare.