For families, choosing a college can feel like gambling in a casino.
Even though everyone’s having a good time and you managed to win a few bucks (i.e. scholarship money), you know one thing is certain: the house always wins.
At College Aid Pro™, we’re on a mission to take back the house. We believe investing in college shouldn’t be a gamble, and we want families to choose the right college based on facts, not conjecture.
Here are a few ways you can help your college-bound families make informed decisions :
Reframe The Conversation
College has become overly romanticized, and that puts families and their wide-eyed kids at a disadvantage. Many people have forgotten why college is important in the first place.
Once upon a time, college was a place to learn and master a particular craft or trade. It was an escape from the madding crowd and a refuge for intellectually curious minds. Today, college is more synonymous with socializing and status symbols than anything else.
Many of these institutions have capitalized on this sea change and have convinced students that they should be grateful merely for getting accepted. The phrase, “I got in!”, confirms that phenomenon. In other words, the vendors have brainwashed buyers to feel lucky to part with their money.
Meanwhile, colleges can increase their tuition with impunity, because they’ve created a culture where families will pay whatever is necessary to earn their seal of approval.
So, how can you compete in this David vs. Goliath scenario? For starters, you can remind families that they’re ultimately in control of their investment.
Encourage your clients to name their college criteria, and hold them to those expectations throughout the application process. This will come in handy when families return from campus tours saying something like, “My [son or daughter] loved the campus at [college]! They just got a Starbucks!”
Let’s do the math on that: three $5 grande americanos per week x 38 weeks x four years = $2,280 in “Oh wow, there goes my retirement!”
It’s easy to be sarcastic, but it’s harder to be strategic in college planning. That’s why it’s crucial to help your clients expand their perspective.
You need the right tools to do that.
Expand Their Perspective
“Where are you going to school next year?”
This question is peer-pressure personified. As a result, it can lead college-bound families to get overly myopic in their search. They’ll fixate on a handful of programs and ignore the other 2,600 accredited colleges and universities in the continental United States.
Advisors can combat the modern college casino by casting a wider net in their search. By leveraging all available tools, they’ll identify colleges and universities that probably aren’t even on their clients’ radars.
At College Aid Pro™, our proprietary software does exactly that and enables advisors to find schools according to:
- Forbes College Ranking
- Funding Gap
- And more
Within your schools shortlist, you can get even more granular and compare individual programs by:
- Cost of attendance
- 4-Year Estimated Net Cost
- Total Need Met %
- Merit Scholarship
By expanding your clients’ perspective, you can provide them with excellent options while promoting their long-term financial health.
Encourage Them To Be Future-Focused
“They were the best four years of my life.”
This is yet another problematic phrase commonly associated with college. It’s as depressing as it shortsighted, especially with a mountain of student debt in the rearview mirror.
After all, shouldn’t college be a great four years that sets graduates up for the next forty?
Advisors must therefore encourage parents to consider their ROE: their return on education.
That means looking beyond the name brand and the campus Starbucks and actually understanding what students receive in return for their investment.
At College Aid Pro™, our state-of-the-art tools can show your clients the real life “outcomes” of attending each program on their list. With our advanced technology, you can take all of the guesswork out of college planning and show your clients:
- What their child will earn one, five, and ten years after graduation
- What they will be paying in monthly student loans
With College Aid Pro™, this information can be learned today —rather than in four or five years from now. Better yet, these insights help answer a crucial question: are the outcomes of attending one school drastically better than attending another?
While you can’t tell your clients what to do, you can lead them down the right path.
Just let the numbers speak for themselves.
For example, let’s say your client has narrowed down their list to two schools: a famous (and expensive) university and a reputable (affordable) liberal arts college. Their child craves the credibility of the university, and though the parents don’t want to disappoint them, they’re also aware of its punitive price-tag.
Our software will not only reveal the four-year net cost of each school, but it will also highlight the expected salaries for graduates of both programs (based on actual surveys from each college’s alumni).
And if it turns out that both programs ultimately lead to similar incomes — while the liberal arts college costs far less to attend — the smart choice will become abundantly clear.
If you want to learn more about our approach to college outcomes, click here to see an actual net-cost comparison between Penn State University Park and Beloit College.
Prepare to be surprised.
At College Aid Pro™, our tools are designed to take the guesswork out of college planning.
More importantly, they’re optimized to help your clients receive practical answers about what their college investment will look like.
But don’t just take our word for it. Hear what our partners in success have to say:
“CAP expands my analysis to an unlimited number of colleges,
allowing me to identify and propose to my clients some excellent
but affordable schools they had not yet considered.”
— Robert J. Falcon, Founder, College Funding Solutions
“CAP is an amazing timesaver! I’m able to serve more clients more
consistently, and I have the time to focus on specific strategies that
save clients money. College planning completely changes when you use CAP.”
— Jonathan West, Founder of College Funding Group, LLC
Want to check out a free demo? Click here to give it a try.