NICCP Certification – Paying for College the Educational Difference
National Institute of Certified College Planners (“NICCP”)
What Is It?
The NICCP provides specialized training and continuing education directed towards reducing the financial impact on families in sending their children to college and how to pay for college.
Membership is contingent upon eeting rigid requirements and passing the a series of exams.
Certified College Planning Specialist (“CCPS”) is the nation’s only professional certification program designed for professional advisors to help families reduce college expenses.
Paying for College is expensive and confusing.
There are so many college websites families get lost in the “College Vortex of Information”. You really need one “Resource Website” that provides an accurate guide in the order you should plan for college.
Education and Experience Yields Knowledge
Certified College Planning Specialist is a symbol of knowledge, experience, and professionalism that allows the consumer to know that the advisor has passed comprehensive competency tests associated with three primary college planning areas with numerous subjects within each area;
Pay For College
Saving for College
Advanced College Funding Strategies
Coach-For-College program puts this into actionable steps so going to college can result in a better outcome; reducing stress, choosing the right college, and reducing out of pocket costs.
The CCPS Certification comes up for renewal every year with one requirement of 24 hours of continuing education approved by the National Institute of College Planning Specialists (“NIICP”).
The NICCP provides it’s members with pre-screened “college service providers” that provide the CCPS with proven resources in the areas of college selection, college test prep, admissions and so much more.
The result provides families access to resources they probably would not find on their own with significant discounts.
And the fact they are pre-screened by the NICCP assures both the CCPS Advisor and the family of a successful experience when implementing college planning strategies.
What does this mean? Expertise with action provides valuable solutions and you will not only save money but also headache.
For example, check out our College Test Prep Provider and our largest discount offered on the internet.
How Do You Know the Best Way to Pay for College?
There are numerous sources of information on the subject of income taxes.
Why then are there so many accountants?
A simple answer, it takes time and expertise to implement the information into actionable solutions.
One might ask is it worth the discovery process, the time spent away from other things that need to get done, and the value of their time relative to “Did I Get It Right?”.
How much did I leave on the table because I said “I can do it, I don’t need any help”. Or you are so busy you don’t get around to it and the results are not as pleasant as they might be.
Your kid’s teeth are coming in crooked, do you do the work or go to a trained professional?
Parents and students should be involved in the college planning process. But a “CCPS Guide” that brings relative solutions based upon the families individual circumstances can make the college bound journey more pleasant.
When the family has an opportunity to make the wisest choices financial clarity appears with a big sigh of relief.
Find Money For College
Controversy, conflict, imagination, they all come into play when speaking Financial Aid and/or what is the best way to pay for college.
There is so much out in the “internet space”, fee-based scholarship matching services, financial aid seminar companies…this is your imagination fooling you into a “energy drink” for college.
Many People Believe There Are Two Types Of Financial Aid
- “Needs Based” where family income / assets are below a certain level. Check out EFC Tune-UP to determine your qualification and to compare projected out-of-pocket costs for your target colleges.
- “Merit Aid” where the student positions themselves “above the crowd” in three primary areas; good grades in challenging courses, good SAT/ACT test scores, and a solid resume of achievement.
“Third Type” – Certified College Planning Specialist (“CCPS”)
A CCPS who can assimilate various college strategies into a comprehensive workable plan of action. In working together, the planner and the family can determine which sources of money would be the best fit.
Strategies are also available for upper income families who many times just assume they have just “pay the freight”. The real question is what is the most efficient way?
And most important, a CCPS who has not only be trained in college strategy but also trained in identifying wealth transfers can provide additional solutions for all families of any income / asset level.
Improved cash flow through the elimination of wealth transfers can be applied to help pay for college and also towards retirement accumulation.
Such an approach can enable the student to choose their dream school without being deterred because of financial circumstances.
FAFSA Expected Family Contribution – “EFC”
You Can Change Your EFC With Advanced Planning
There are two EFC formulas which colleges utilize that measures the amount of money you are expected to pay, or your Expected Family Contribution (“EFC”) which is derived from your input on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA) .
Federal Methodology Formula (“FM”) is the federal formula used by every accredited undergraduate, graduate, and trade school in the United States.
Institutional Methodology Formula (“IM”) is an alternative formula used by some private schools. The difference is that the IM method assesses some assets such as the family home, family farm, siblings’ assets, and some other items that the FM method does not.
You should do an Expected Family Contribution planning session using both methods no later than your child’s sophomore year (certainly no later than fall of junior year) in high school so you can design a financial plan of action.
The “base year” for the financial data that counts for your family’s EFC calculation starts January 1 o your student’s junior year.
In order to pay for your family’s “college tax liability” you might find the money in these areas,
- Savings / College Savings Plans
- Current Income
- Loans – Borrow Smart Repay Smart™
- College Grants / Merit Aid
- Professional Help that can structure customized strategies to pay for college
The important thing to remember with EFC is there are assessable and non-assessable elements to the formulas. Knowing the difference can provide you with a significant EFC reduction which can qualify you for more financial help from the colleges.
Regardless of whether you plan ahead or not, if the ending result of your EFC is higher than the Cost of Attendance (“COA”), then you will not qualify for need based help.
However, merit aid is always available especially at private schools, especially if you understand how to position the student.
Check out the EFC Tune-UP™.
Our EFC Tune-Up will project your number, make possible suggestions to lower your number, and help you with cash flow strategies.
Our customized reporting uses your family’s EFC number.
We then can project by college what your gift aid / self help aid might be.
[CLICK Image To See Sample Report]