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Why do you hire a math tutor? You typically do so because your student needs help in math. It’s the same reason someone would hire a private college planner. We go beyond what’s offered at the school, online, or at home.

Working with a college planner can make you aware of planning tips and strategies most people are not aware of that can result in you saving thousands of dollars in college expenses. It can provide you with a substantial return on your investment.

We believe it is very valuable to have an objective advocate working on your behalf to bring up ideas and perspectives you may not have thought of. Also, the services that Oracle College Planning provide, is set up to save you time and relieve you of the stress and anxiety that is typically associated with college funding decisions and deadlines.

College has typically become the second highest expenditure for many families, second only to the purchase of a home. Would you pursue a real estate purchase without being fully informed about the information necessary to make the most beneficial decisions regarding your investment? The process of how you handle paying for college should be no different. There is crucial information you need to know about the college funding process in order to make wise decisions. Utilizing a combination of little-known strategies can potentially provide a tremendous benefit to your family. Professional advice has the potential to save you a small fortune and a lot of time.

Yes, you absolutely can do this on you own.  When was the last time you were “totally” successful doing something for the first time? We make a long, complicated process easier by “tutoring” a family towards success. We’ll give you the push you need to be successful in college admissions and in financial aid/ funding. We take the lead to manage the application process, strategize for college admissions, advise on financial aid forms, council on college funding options, and critique interviews and essays.

The bottom line is would you be willing to engage a service to have the college funding process taken off your shoulders so you can breathe a little easier and potentially save an average of $20,000 to $40,000 over four years on one child’s college expenses?

It is true that school guidance counselors and college advisors can also be helpful in the college planning process, but consider this: your school counselor probably has a caseload of 100 to 300 to 600 students. Will he/she have enough time to give you the personalized attention you need when making such a big life decision? Furthermore, does your school counselor have the training and ability to advise on your financial situations and ways to strategically afford the cost of college? It’s not enough to know what forms need to be completed and their deadlines; you need to have a detailed plan to strategically get financial aid. We recommend hiring a college planner if you are serious,and see the value in individualized attention. Wouldn’t you rather pay “wholesale” not ”retail” for College?

Frequently Asked Questions about College & Paying for College

FAFSA is the king of the financial aid forms. It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Your FASFA will be used by the federal government to calculate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), which will then be forwarded on to the schools you are considering. The financial aid packages offered by those schools are based off of this information.

The FASFA  is available at www.fafsa.gov  October 1st of the student’s senior year in high school. You are required to re-submit a new FAFSA every year if you want to apply for financial aid for the next school year.

Yes — if you want financial aid. A separate FAFSA form is required for each student every year that you wish to apply for financial aid. The FAFSA can be completed online for FREE at www.fafsa.gov. Make sure you DO NOT go to fafsa.com or fafsa.org.

EFC is an acronym for your Expected Family Contribution. This is the amount that the federal government thinks you can afford to pay for college for the next year. You should expect this number to be higher than what you think you can afford. It is important to plan ahead to lower your EFC as much as possible prior to completing the FASFA so that you can qualify for more in grants, scholarships and financial aid.

FAFSA4caster will help you understand your options for paying for college. Provide some basic information and we’ll estimate your eligibility for federal student aid. Your estimate will be shown in the “College Cost Worksheet” where you can also provide estimated amounts of other student aid and savings that can go towards your college education.

Yes. You should always make an effort to get private scholarships, which are a vital and often-overlooked financial resource. While much is heard about those mythical full-ride scholarships, there is a lot of financial aid money out there — and scholarships only account for about 3% of all financial aid.

Parents, that means 97% of all financial aid is NOT in the form of scholarships. NEVER make your student’s college education contingent upon receiving a scholarship. Having said that, it is easier than ever to search for scholarships today. You will find great scholarship search engines at www.fastweb.com and www.nextstudent.com.

The requirements are different for every school. You will have to check with the school’s financial aid office to determine their own residency requirements to receive in-state tuition rates.

No. FAFSA income will consider gross income for that year. Any deferred income for that year will be added back in to determine your gross income.

There is no maximum income. All that matters is your EFC, and your EFC will be calculated on more factors than just income. If your EFC is less than the cost of attendance at the school you are considering, then you qualify for financial aid. If it isn’t, you will not receive any financial aid in all likelihood. It’s crucial to do all that you can to reduce your EFC as much as possible before applying for financial aid.

No. Financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Financial aid award packages are put together by the schools you are considering, and you will likely receive different financial aid award packages at each school.

Schools are not equal when it comes to funding. Some schools have a lot of money and other schools have very little. This means that the financial aid you are offered will vary both in amount and type from one school to the next. It is important to consider schools you know will be able to do a better job of helping you pay for your student’s college education.

Now! As is usually the case when it comes to financial planning, the best time to start was several years ago — and the next best time is right now. The more time you have to plan for college expenses, the easier it will be on you.

Ideally, we’d love to start the college planning process before your student even enters high school. The reality, however, is that most families aren’t thinking about college that early. To get the best results, you should at least start the college planning process early in the student’s sophomore year.

The household that the student lived in for more than 50% of the time during that student’s base year should be used for filing the FAFSA. (The base year is the tax year prior to completing the FAFSA.) If the student spent equal time in both households, the next determining factor is provided support — you must use the information of the parent who provided more support when filing the FASFA.

No. There are very specific circumstances that allow a student to qualify as independent for financial aid. The big three are: 1. be a veteran of the armed services, 2. have a child, and 3. be married. There are a few other (uncommon) circumstances for which the student may qualify, but in almost all other cases, your student is dependent for financial aid purposes until age 24.

As of now, retirement plan assets are not listed on the FAFSA. While they are listed on the profile form, very few schools currently assess these assets. 529 plan accounts where the student is the beneficiary and a parent is the owner are assessed as an asset to the parent.  This is much better than owning assets in the student’s name.

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