We exist to empower your child and your family to have more options through smart college counseling and college planning.
St. Louis office: 314-456-1126
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Every parent wants their student to have options, every student wants to have options. Thousands of families are plunging into debt, thousands of parents are pushing back their retirement because they want their children to have options. Gold Star College Planning exists to empower your student and your family to have exponentially more options by making smart financial college decisions together as a family.
What a lot of families love is:
• We save time, money and stress while they help their kids minimize debt and maximize the options for their future
What a lot of young adults love is:
• the confidence they gain as we help them develop a clear vision for their future so they know their path and know the best steps to take
1. Create a plan. Know what your steps are Sophomore through Senior year. Do you know how to prep for the PSATs, how to research colleges, what the base year is for financial aid, and how to locate and qualify for the best scholarships? Do you have a college planning timeline? Do you know what the college planning deadlines are Sophomore through Senior year? Do you have a plan to prepare for the ACTs and do you know how much money is still attached to these tests? Do you know when you are visiting colleges and what are the best questions to ask?
2. Decide what your student is going to study. Your family is going to spend 100k+ on this investment. Why not make sure their education is maximized an not waisted? Do you know how to effectively help them find a field of study where they will thrive?
3. Make a budget. Do you know how to pay for college without sacrificing retirement? Do you know what your expected family contribution is and what the schools and the government are going to expect your family to pay at a minimum?
4. Now, start to research colleges with your budget and your student‘s major in mind. Do you know what each school on your list is going to charge a family like yours after financial aid and merit aid? Have you thought through what are the other factors that are going to contribute to your child’s happiness in college?
5. Write your college essay, ask for letters of recommendation, take the ACT one more time—all this should be done summer after Junior year, preferably. Do you know how to write an essay that will separate you from the crowd? Do you know what ACT score is going to get you scholarship money at the schools on your list?
6. Go into Senior year with your college list ready, your essay written, and apply as early as possible—early bird gets the worm. Do you know what is important when filling out college applications?
7. Fill out your FAFSA—are you positive that you know how to fill out the FAFSA correctly and in order to qualify for the most money possible? Have you figured out what things matter on the FAFSA and how to position yourself to recieve the most scholarships?
8. Wait patiently until all acceptance letters and financial aid packages have arrived—typically January or February of Senior year. Do you know how to interpret all of the financial aid award letters? Do you know which awards are free scholarships and which ones are loans? Do you know what your final out of pocket is at each college?
9. Appeal your award letter when appropriate. Do you know when you could qualify for more money and how to go about the appeals process?
10. Make your decision and start preparing for school! Do you know what legal forms you need to sign in order to have access to your student’s medical records in case something were to happen while they are away? Which one to sign for power of attorney?
11. College send off! Enjoy sending your child to a school where they will thrive, one that is not going to compromise your retirement, and where they are going to study a subject with a solid career path at the end. Way to go!!