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The 3 Biggest Lies About College Financial Aid 3- biggest- lies- about- college- financial- aid/

May 28, 2013

When the media need an expert opinion on the best ways to pay f or college, they call Ian Welham—here on radio.

College Funding Expert Ian Welham spills the beans in this exclusive interview Ian Welham and his company Complete College Planning Solutions have been featured in Forbes, AOL, the Newark Star-Ledger, Channel 11, and numerous radio programs. Every year, thousands of families attend his community workshops and hundreds of families seek his advice on college funding. Rachel Wassink interrupted his hectic schedule for a candid interview. RACHEL: With the economy scuttling jobs and decimating savings, retirement accounts and home equity, are parents more worried about funding college? IAN: Parents come to us stressed out and discouraged, not knowing how they will pay for college. Plus, they are bombarded with misinformation. RACHEL: Is that where your books and free community seminars come in? IAN: Exactly. We try to outline the issues that families can expect to deal with and the key steps and deadlines they will face.

RACHEL: Where do families typically go wrong? IAN: Most parents believe the college’s sticker price determines what you pay. That kind of thinking has led many families to substantially overpay for college. It’s possible to pay less out of pocket to attend a top private college than a state school. RACHEL: What’s another misconception out there? IAN: Many families believe that if they make over a certain amount of money — say $120,000 — their child won’t qualify for any financial aid. The truth is that income is one of only 7 factors that determine how much aid is awarded — a fact that traditional financial planners often don’t know. RACHEL: What about accountants – can they help fill out financial aid forms? IAN: CPA’s know the tax code, but they are not trained about financial aid. We’ve seen families making $150,000 or more who forfeited thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships aid because they didn’t know it was even possible — they didn’t know the rules. RACHEL: The whole process sounds overwhelming. IAN: Right from the sophomore year, there is just so much going on. It can get overwhelming. School guidance counselors do as much as they can, but are often burdened with other duties and can only do so much in the financial area. RACHEL: You have a knack for taking a complicated subject and making it seem simple. IAN: We break it down into simple, step-by-step pieces to help students get into the college of their choice with a solid financial aid package, regardless of family income. RACHEL: In your workshop you talk about appealing a financial aid award. I didn’t even know that was possible. IAN: We had a client family that followed our advice and was awarded over $40,000 in free money per year at George Washington University. They were thrilled. But we felt the amount should be higher. So we appealed to the GW financial aid department and the family got an extra $25,000 over four years. RACHEL: Some of the numbers you’re discussing are quite sizable. What would you say to those who might be skeptical? IAN: I would invite them to attend a workshop, or read one of our free eBooks. Our latest is 9 New Ways to Beat High College Costs. Once Mom and Dad see how we open doors to admissions and financial aid, they understand. We hand out evaluation forms after every workshop, and most parents tell us this is the best college information they’ve ever heard. RACHEL: What if they’re in a hurry? IAN: They can schedule a 15-minute conversation with one of our associates. Every family has a different situation. But in most cases we can quickly determine where their best chances for aid are. RACHEL: What is the “secret sauce” that parents miss when they try to do this on their own? IAN: My staff knows what specific colleges are looking for and can help position students for

success in relation to the schools they want to attend. Our financial aid team helps with the allimportant and often confusing FAFSA form that is used to determine financial aid. Our students not only have better admission rates, they receive higher merit awards. RACHEL: What else do parent miss? IAN: I’ve discovered that 8 out of 10 families overpay for college. Even wealthy families balk at paying 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year for college. They mistakenly think that they are stuck paying sticker price. But there are many strategies that middle and upper-middle class families can use to dramatically lower the cost of college. RACHEL: If you could only give one piece of advice, what would it be? IAN: Most families don’t have a plan to pay for college. Well if you don’t have a plan then I can almost guarantee you will overpay. Families need a plan where you can use money from other sources first – college endowments, grants, the financial aid system, etc. – before tapping into your own resources. RACHEL: This has been great. How can families contact you to get your eBook or schedule a call to learn how to get the maximum amount of aid possible? IAN: Easiest way is to send a request to and make sure to reference this article.

About The Author: DR Murray DR Murray is a 30 year Fortune 500 financial executive and US Army Logistics Management officer. He strongly believes in multiple income streams to reduce the risk of relying on one income source. His personal mission is to empower other individuals to take control of their own destiny and along the way maintain a sense of humor. It's better to be in the parade than to watch it go by! Are YOU ready to join him? Join Him Here

The 3 Biggest Lies About College Financial Aid  

College Funding Expert Ian Welham spills the beans in this exclusive interview

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