Financial Aid Consultant?

February 5, 2010

Paying for schooling has always been a topic of concern for Americans all over the country. With tuition costs rising every year and the country still facing an economic recession, it’s become an even bigger concern. Parents all over America are sitting down with soon to be graduates and getting ready to fill out financial aid forms. Although the application (FAFSA) for Federal Student Aid is free, there is no guarantee will receive help.

Facing steep costs, some parents are seeking the help of Financial Aid Consultants to help with the application process. Although the forms can be completed without assistance, some believe that professional consultation will increase the probability for larger sums of aid. In some cases, this may be true, but there are also things to be aware of.

A recent article in Investment Advisor points out that anyone can call them self a consultant. If you are in the market for a consultant, it is very important that you separate the qualified from the unqualified.

The article went on to point out some important questions to ask when shopping around for your consultant.

  • What is the consultant’s primary business? If it is an insurance agency, do the recommendations focus on buying insurance products?
  • Where did the consultant get their education?
  • Is the consultant a CPA, a CFP or a former employee of a college aid office?
  • Is the consultant willing to sign the FAFSA form?
  • Is the consultant willing to review recommendations with other advisors?

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