What is Metric Parenting?

A Fast Company post on metric parenting, and how it may help parents achieve a better work-life balance: http://tinyurl.com/z727sfw

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What is the CSS Profile… And Do I Need It?

The CSS Profile is a financial aid form used by some colleges to award institutional aid.  It is usually required by private colleges that have more financial aid to award than public universities.  The CSS Profile is processed through CollegeBoard (the same company that administers and processes the SAT so you will log in using the same credentials used to register for the SAT).  The CSS Profile is used to determine your need by the college and asks for much more information regarding the student’s and parents’ financial situations, but not all the information is necessarily used by every college.  Unlike the FAFSA, there is not a standard Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) calculated because each college uses the information provided differently. 

For example, one college will not take the equity of your family home into consideration while another college will. A student whose parents have a significant amount of equity in their home will have a higher EFC at a college that looks at home equity than one that does not.  Unfortunately, most colleges do not publish the methodology they use to establish a student’s EFC using the CSS Profile, so it is impossible to know exactly what your EFC will be at each college.  With that said, College Funding Connection does own software that can calculate what your EFC will be at the average college that requires the CSS Profile, taking into consideration what colleges who have released their methodology use. 


Check each college where you applied (or plan to apply) to find out if the CSS Profile is required.  While on the website, be sure to note the deadline to submit the CSS Profile as well as other deadlines (such as to submit the FAFSA and your federal tax information).  Know that unlike the FAFSA, you can (and may be required to) submit the CSS Profile before January 1st.  Missing a financial aid deadline will not hurt your chances of being admitted to a college, but may make it so the cost is not affordable to you or your parents.  A college can choose to not award financial aid if you miss the deadline… so be sure to keep track of these important dates! 

Questions from our families:


What does CSS stand for?

CSS stand for College Scholarship Service 

When is the CSS Profile due?

There is no set deadline for the CSS Profile- each college has their own deadline to submit the form.  College Funding Connection recommends you submit all forms at least 10 days prior to the college’s due date to ensure it processes and is sent to the college in time.


Do you have a question regarding the CSS Profile or other financial aid form?  Submit your questions to admin@collegefc.com.  We will answer all questions with a personal email and yours may be featured in next week’s email!   

Image courtesy of: www.blog.ombudsman.com

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Thanksgiving… time for family, shopping and College Applications!

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, most of us are thinking of the time we’ll have off of school or work, preparing to see family or deciding where to start our Black Friday shopping, but not if you are a  high school senior!  You should be in full college application mode.  If you have not already done so, use this holiday break from school to put the final touches on your college applications (or get them started if you haven’t done so already!).


While getting your applications submitted should be a priority, it is important not to rush your submission.  Rushing usually leads to mistakes that could hurt your chances of being accepted to a college of your choice.  While your goal should be the end of this week, if you need a couple more days to polish your application or have it looked over by someone else- that’s ok!  Take the time you need, but don’t procrastinate too much- hard deadlines are fast approaching.


Looking for additional last minute tips?  Click Here to see Harvard’s tips to complete the Common Application or give us a call!  We’re here to help.

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Let’s Talk About the Cost of College

This election year we have been encouraged by the conversations started by both candidates (and various political interest groups) regarding higher education.  It seems like every other political ad we hear (and in Ohio we hear a lot of them) is addressed at education.  Be it the rising cost of college, student loan debt, education tax credits or who should pay a student’s tuition bill- it is important to get the conversation started.

Regardless of your political views, we can learn a lot from this campaign season.  Talking or even just starting a conversation is so important to reaching your long term goals – leading to a successful outcome.

Do you know how you will pay for your or your child(ren)’s college education? Have you discussed the plan to play with your student/parent(s)?

You’d be amazed how many times we ask this question to families and the student tells us that their parents will pay and the parents say that the student will take on loans.  Then the bill comes and pandemonium breaks! Scrambling for money, accepting loans without doing research for better options… there may be better ways to pay, but you have to start the conversation- and start early.

As you head to the polls today or reflect on the election tomorrow and beyond, keep in mind the lessons that can be learned and the conversations that can be started. Do you know how to start the conversation?  Do you know how much you’ll have to pay for college?  Do you want to talk about it- find out how much you’ll need- listen to our ideas of better ways to pay?

Call or email us today… your consultation is free and we’ll answer all your questions!

Image Courtesy of: allspammedup.com

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Avoid Financial Aid Pitfalls – Don’t Make These Mistakes

Did you know that over 70% of student who submit their FAFSA, submit it incorrectly?  Even worse, more than 20% of college students don’t submit the FAFSA at all!  Most mistakes are contributed to not understanding the question or missing a deadlines.  Even a simple mistake could cost you thousands of dollars in financial aid.

Watch this video to learn how to avoid making the most common mistakes.

Do you have a question about financial aid not covered?  Contact us today by phone at 866-305-2321.

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Financial Aid Question of the Month

:  I plan to pay for college without my parent’s support- can I fill out the FAFSA as an independent student?

It is great that you plan to pay for college on your own; we feel that all students should play an active role in paying for college.  Most student bear part of this burden by taking on student loans, participating in a work-study program and/or using their personal savings.  Unfortunately, the intention of paying for college on your own is not enough to qualify as an independent student for FAFSA purposes.  The Department of Education has very specific guidelines; to qualify as an independent student, you must be able to answer yes to one of the following questions:

  • Are you at least 23 years old before January 1st of the year you plan to attend college?  (example: for the 2012-2013 school year, were you born before 1/1/1989)?
  • As of the day you fill out the FAFSA, are you married?
  • Are you working on a master’s or doctorate program?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces or are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children or other dependents who will receive more than half of their support from you this year?
  • Are both your parents deceased, are you in foster care, in legal guardianship, a ward of the court, or emancipated minor?
  • Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

If you cannot answer yes to one of these questions, you will need to use your custodial parent’s information when filling out the FAFSA.  As with anything, there are exceptions to the rule, but you will need to appeal to the college(s) individual financial aid office where you plan to attend to be granted independent status.

Do you have a question about financial aid?  Submit a question in the comments below or click here to submit a question in private.  We will do our best to answer all questions within 2 business days.

Image courtesy of: http://www.brookhavencollege.edu