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How To Convey The Value Of College Planning To Prospects

Your clients care about college planning. How do we know this? Ultimately, it comes down to two things:

  • We are facing an unparalleled student loan crisis, a record 44.7 million borrowers have amassed over $1.6 trillion dollars
  • College planning is the #1 concern for Gen X parents and their families according to a Gallup survey.

With the rise of tuition and projected increase in enrollment, planning for college just became even more important. Parents and students alike need an expert in their corner providing guidance each step of the way.

But communicating that message in client meetings isn’t always easy. With multiple priorities and little time to cover it, how can you best communicate the importance of college planning to prospective clients? 

Today, our team will give you a simple two-step formula for approaching (and nailing) the “why” of college planning. 

Start with the quantitative

Let’s face it, people respond to numbers. When it comes to the student loan crisis and the importance of college planning, the numbers speak for themselves. Parents know that the cost of college is rising, over the last decade higher education has seen a 25% increase in prices, and that figure continues to grow which could send your clients spiraling. 

A study by Sallie Mae found that 80% of families weighted the financial requirements above any other factor when making a college-based decision. The financial ramifications of a degree are only increasing and your clients need your expertise to guide them along the way. A few things you can highlight are:

  • Help them understand the “net cost” of each school after gift aid is applied
    • Need based grants the student may be eligible for
    • Scholarships the student may qualify for
  • Help them understand the “hidden” costs of college
    • The financial burden doesn’t stop at tuition. Costs for room and board, books, supplies, fees, travel, extra programs, and more account for a huge portion of college expenses. 
  • Structure their finances in a way that sets both them and their children up for financial success.
    • Proactive tax strategies, distributions from investment accounts, engagement from other family members, and the proper loans for their unique situation.
  • Proper college planning can lead to fewer loans, therefore promoting generational wealth.

Once you are able to demonstrate the numerical value that college planning will have on their lives, you’ll then move onto the emotional and psychological value that it will provide. 

Don’t forget about the qualitative

Sometimes, advisors can get too bogged down with numbers and statistics. While these figures help get your foot in the door, the real thing that connects people to your service is your ability to help them solve their problems. 

We know that college planning is stressful. Most parents are concerned about their kids being buried in tens of thousands of dollars in debt in their early 20s. With proper college planning, you can help mitigate that stress. Money is emotionally charged, but when approached with care and compassion that emotional weight lessens. 

It will also be important to emphasize that college planning will help your clients be proactive rather than reactive. Your clients want you to help them solve their problems. With college planning, you can start to provide actionable advice and solutions before those problems even arise. By making and maintaining a plan early, you will help them achieve their financial goals. 

Along with being proactive, your advice provides parents and students with peace of mind knowing that there is a professional in their corner helping them structure their finances. You are helping them enhance their mental wellbeing knowing that there is a plan in place. 

College planning isn’t just a profitable niche, it’s an opportunity to help curb the student debt crisis and restore balance to your client’s financial lives. 

Our software at College Aid Pro is designed to empower advisors to tackle college planning in an efficient and comprehensive way. We want you to be successful and our system can help get you there. Want to take a closer look yourself? Book a free demo today. 

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