Beacon College Funding Solutions, Inc.


Q: My student’s first choice college is a really expensive private school. Wouldn’t it save us a lot of money if she went to a less expensive state school first and then transferred to the expensive school once she has completed some foundation classes?
A: While the “Transfer Track” can work out well for some, it may end up increasing college costs in a couple of different ways:
1)The private school is not always more expensive to the family  if the private school is able to offer more gift aid than a public school can.
2) The plan can backfire if the student loses motivation. If their grades drop, they may not be accepted as a transfer student.
3) Transferring can end up costing credits and therefore require more classes to complete degree requirements, costing more money.

Q: How does the FAFSA take into consideration and adjust for the high cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, NYC, or Boston, as it compares to other regions with lower living costs?
A: The FAFSA is a US Department of Education form and it does not make any differentiation in its calculations based on where the applicant lives.

Q: If I have two students who will be attending college at the same time, won’t my family’s EFC change when the second student enrolls?
A: The calculation for your family’s Expected Family Contribution will remain the same. The contribution is divided by the number of full time students attending college.

Q: What if I can just write a check to pay for college?
A. While you may have those resources available that may not be the best way to pay for college. There may be other ways to pay which would make better financial sense for your situation.

Q: If we have set aside enough money to pay for all four years of tuition and living expenses, what else do we need to know or consider?
A. You should be familiar with tax laws, restrictions on IRAs, Qualified State Prepaid Tuition Programs, and other college savings plans. You should consider how the Educational Provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 will impact your resources.

Q: Will applying for Early Decision affect my student’s Financial Aid Award?
A: Committing early to attend a school can lessen the amount and type of aid your student will receive.

Q: Won’t my student’s High School Counselor tell us all we need to know about paying for college?
A: Your counselor’s main role is working with each student to reach his/her educational goals. Most counselors are not trained in the financial planning strategies that are needed to address each family’s unique financial situation.

Beacon College Funding Solutions, Inc. answers these questions and more! Beacon offers information and guidance to Bay Area parents to help you determine how you can anticipate and meet the costs of your children’s college attendance with the least negative impact on your family’s present and future financial security.

1326 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114 l Phone: (415) 550-8040