"I just want to thank College Planning Advisors for all the help that we received. You were very helpful with financial applications (that I knew nothing about).  This was our first child out of three, and we really didn’t know what we were doing.  The most helpful process for us was the great financial advice before filling out all the forms so we can qualify for more financial aid and scholarships.  We can’t thank you enough.  My daughter now knows where she wants to go to school and I don’t know if she could have done it in the time without your help."

Shawn, Granada Hills, CA



Non-academic student activities can help give colleges a window into your child’s interests, and help admissions officers get to know your child.  No college wants just an academic automaton; catching the eye of colleges and universities takes having hobbies, volunteer/internships, pastimes, social outlets, and passions that demonstrate commitment and leadership.  College Planning Advisors experts can help you and your child choose ‘get-you-noticed’ activities that are both fun and helpful for your profile. For more detailed information, check out our ‘Ask Ed’ article in the LA Times.
You may have heard some people quote their GPA as greater than 4.0.  Many high schools will give extra GPA points for AP and other advanced classes, yielding a weighted grade point average.  Most colleges prefer to see a non-weighted GPA, which means that all grades are calculated on a 4-point scale, regardless of level.  Please check with your high school to see how they calculate grades.  Remember that most electives and physical education are not included in GPA reported to colleges.
The earlier you begin planning for college; the better off you will be when the time comes.  Start by taking College Planning Advisors University Prep student positioning courses to get your child taking the right high school classes, working at high-visibility internships and volunteer opportunities, actively thinking about their future, and getting ready for college process.
Not all loan instruments are the same, and some may cost you more than you’d expect.  Much depends on your personal financial situation and goals, and each should be evaluated with these in mind.  Our certified and licensed professionals can give you an in-depth analysis of the actual cost of each type of loan.
Despite what you may have been lead to believe, private scholarships are often not worth the effort.  At times, schools will even reduce your financial aid award by the amount of any outside private scholarships.  However, if you are still interested in pursuing private scholarships, start first with any organizations or corporations to which you belong, including religious institutions.  Be certain to follow all instructions and deadlines.
There are many factors that can affect whether a school is a good fit for your child, including campus population, location, class size, school emphasis, social environment, and of course, average GPA and test scores.  Financial factors may play a role as well.  For example, is it a historically aid-generous school?  Getting to know more about the school is a good way to determine with your child if the school seems like a good match.  Don’t be afraid to challenge old ideas to include a wide variety of school choices.  With the in-depth knowledge of our team, we can provide you with excellent school options best matched to your child’s interests.
In many cases, we can still help you amend your documents, or file an appeal. Every day matters so contact one of our offices as soon as possible.
It is a common misperception that state and public colleges will necessarily cost you less than private ones.   In fact, because it can take longer to graduate (due to the availability of requisite classes, and lack of resources), and their financial aid packages are often less generous, public colleges can actually have a higher ‘effective’ COA (cost of attendance) than private schools.  Our Planners can assist you with this institution-specific information.
While most private schools have helpful college counseling offices that are ready with a variety of information and assistance designed to encourage college-bound students, they are often unequipped to actively help evaluate your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), match historically aid-generous schools to your child’s interests, and maximize financial aid awards. We work directly with many high schools to increase their percentage of college-bound students.
It is a common misconception that getting financial aid is easy.  For many, filling out the forms can be confusing and complicated.  And, while the forms can be completed by anyone, it takes a highly qualified professional to identify and resolve problem areas that can increase your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution), to know which schools are historically aid-generous and match your child’s interests, and to maximize financial aid awards.