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3 Reasons to Up Your College Planning Game

Planner shaking hands with couple

College planning is practically an afterthought in America. 

Despite the nearly 20 million students currently enrolled in college — rapidly increasing tuition costs (169% higher than in 1980!) — and a record 44 million Americans saddled with $1.7 trillion in loan debt — education planning seldom receives the attention it deserves. 

And yet, while American families are suffering, remarkably few financial advisors and wealth managers offer comprehensive college guidance. While traditional market investments remain their primary focus, education planning typically amounts to little more than a set-it-and-forget-it 529 Savings Plan. 

If you’re a financial advisor reading this post, there are two simple facts you need to know:

  1. American families are desperately seeking end-to-end education planning. These same families are tapping their savings accounts to pay for college, drowning in Parent PLUS loans, and neglecting to utilize available scholarships to help make ends meet.
  2. You don’t need to be an education planning expert to deliver expert advice. It’s true — and hopefully a relief! After all, College Aid Pro™ provides a seamless software solution that helps advisors give families the dollar-specific answers they’ve been looking for. What used to take hours (and even days) to research can now be delivered in a matter of minutes. 

The problem is undeniable. The cry for help is clear. The solution is readily available. 

Here are 3 Reasons to Up Your College Planning Game:

1. College Planning is the #1 Concern for Gen-X Parents

It’s a well known statistic, but it bears repeating: 73% of families rank paying for college as their #1 financial concern

Who can blame them? The average cost of private college totals nearly $55,000 a year. Out-of-state colleges aren’t far behind, at a whopping $43,280. 

As for the most elite, expensive programs in the United States? They average $77,000 a year. 

Worse yet, these are merely the up-front costs of college. Graduation day may be defined by raucous celebrations and caps and gowns, but it also marks a more sinister reality: that six months later, the happy graduate will need to start making monthly loan payments. 

After all, graduates from the class of 2020 will finish college with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt — 20% higher than the graduates of 2010. 

Parents are worried about paying for college. Students are concerned about getting out of debt.

Fortunately, advisors are uniquely positioned to help families avoid such financial fallout.

2. The Cost of College Impacts Your Clients’ Current (And Future!) Wealth

As mentioned above, the cost of college increased 169% between 1980 and 2019. 

It’s difficult to imagine a more nauseating statistic. 

Despite these numbers, American families have seemingly grown accustomed to the cost of college. They accept it with little more than a shrug as if to say, “It’s just the way it is.”

Even the media fails to recognize the depth of the problem by practically applauding private universities for only increasing tuition and fees by 2.1% from 2020 to 2021. 

In reality, the cost of college has risen nearly five times the rate of inflation since 1970. To put that in perspective, private university tuition would cost about $20,000 a year (and public university around $10,000 a year) had college costs matched inflation. 

Conversely, household incomes are on the decline across America — down nearly 3% in 2020, the second-highest decline since 1980. It’s no wonder that 35% of parents are liquidating their investment accounts to help cover the cost of college. 

The cost of college is increasing while household income decreases.  As an advisor, the dangers of these statistics are abundantly clear.

Advanced planning — and tailored solutions — are the only way to protect both your families (while protecting your practice).

3. College Is Fertile Ground to Generate More Clients

Over the next twenty-five years, the coming “Great Wealth Transfer” will see Generation X parents — i.e. individuals born between 1965 and 1979 — inherit $30 to $40 trillion from their parents

This inevitable wealth transfer facilitates a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for advisors to reach the next generation of investors. If you can develop trusted relationships with Gen. X clients, you will bring those inherited dollars under your care.

We encourage you to speak to these families about college today, and make sure they understand the statistics we’ve discussed in this blog. Once they grasp the gravity of their college investment, they will turn to you for the financial guidance and leadership they truly need. 

While promoting multi-generational conversations, you can also use the College Money Report™ to effortlessly generate leads.

This state-of-the-art lead acquisition tool plugs directly into your website, provides top-tier “freemium” content, and empowers advisors to attract new clients. 

Click here to learn more about this amazing turnkey solution for the modern marketing funnel. 

Moving Forward

While there are many compelling reasons to incorporate college planning into your practice, we’ll conclude with two of the best:

  • You’ll help reverse the student loan crisis one family at a time. At CAP, that’s been our mission since day one, and we hope you’ll join us in the fight.
  • Secondly, you’ll carve out a truly niche focus for your practice to grow in exciting and unexpected ways.

At College Aid Pro™, we’re a team of advisors — first and foremost. We built our software to provide the simplified and streamlined education planning tools we always wanted but couldn’t find.

With our software, you’ll be able to:

  • Build budgets and strategies with College Pre Approval™ 
  • Generate new leads with the College Money Report™ 
  • Compare the net-cost of colleges on a granular level 
  • Identify the one, five, and ten year salaries of graduates from each program 
  • Get access to a list of over 5,000 private scholarships 
  • And so much more!

Find out why more and more advisors across America trust CAP. Click below to request a free demo!

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