Monday, February 19, 2024

Gary and Cindy

Status: Has a high school Junior and wants to know which of their schools will give more financial aid.


Gary and Cindy Jones attended our “How to Pay For College,” and learned that there are different financial aid family types. Depending on what type of financial aid family they were, they should apply to the schools willing to give them more money. Their big question was:


We started by calculating the Jones family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). With that number, we could determine what type of financial aid family they would be.

With the EFC in hand, we were able to forecast potential scholarships, grants, and arrive at our four-year cost at each school. This made the Jones’ decision easier because they could eliminate the schools yielding the most debt. And that’s exactly what they did and it allowed them to add a few more schools to the list.

Over summer vacation, the Jones family worked on my recommended tasks and took their SAT. Sophia was thankful she didn’t have to study for the SAT in her Senior year. It was a busy year and she was already stressed. In November, Sophia applied to her colleges.


Sophia was accepted into her top colleges and waitlisted at her reach schools. We didn’t get as much financial aid as we’d wish for. However, the award was still most gracious, adding up to $50,000 per year, leaving them with $10,000 out of their pocket.

Because of the inflation, and the fact the the school increased tuition by over $11,000 since last year, we decided to appeal for more aid.

I composed an Appeal Letter, which Gary & Cindy emailed to the school’s financial aid office. We received an additional $11,000 in additional gift aid. They were very happy.

Example of our Borrowing Analysis report. See 4-year cost, resulting loans, and repayment schedule… across all your schools.

How will your college story end?