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10 Tips for Financial Advisors Getting Into College Planning

ETC Financial Advisors College Planning Home


College planning is the last major untapped market for the wealth management industry. Families make $500 billion in college planning decisions annually. When a family has a child in 11th grade, they are on the verge of making capital intensive decisions that will have lifelong consequences. Our College Planning Programs and Resources for Financial Advisors will enable you to build high value college plans for your clients, ensuring client retention by enabling the next generation to build wealth under your advisory service.

Key Programs for Financial Advisors

ETC College Admissions Probability Program - this revolutionary program provides you with the probability of being accepted to the colleges of your choice, and your Expected Family Contribution. Your results are shown in table form and Excel - perfect for the foundation of your college list. $10 per college or 10 colleges for $50. Also, the FAQ contains some of the most insightful and strategic information you’ll find anywhere regarding college pricing models, and how to use this information to your advantage.

ETC College Business Plan – envision presenting your client with an actual financial plan for managing college costs. Within that financial plan, all costs including living expenses are factored in. This program will save you dozens of hours of digging for data points. Through a series of 5 modules, specific inputs as pertains to a student and particular college produces a comprehensive ‘business plan’’ that lays out tuition + books, mandatory fees, living and other expenses (based on a 5-year completion schedule)- referenced to costs and financial outcomes. For a $10 charge/report (unlimited reports are free for subscribers), the entire plan is downloadable in Excel and includes additional results for 4-year and 6-year completion rates. This is the program you use to determine funding needs of a 529 plan.

ETC Ultimate College List Builder – many clients want an endless stream of data points relating to the colleges they’re thinking of applying to. You’ll find those data here. Search over 1,400 colleges, download your data in Excel – in less than 5 minutes! The easiest and most advanced college list building tool ever – the gold standard for quality of data and time savings.

#1 offering - the Financial Advisors College Planning System This is a ‘one-stop shop’ for college planning as it contains all of the relevant resources, from SAT/ACT testing info, FAFSA information and forms, to our Checklist. The System also includes our most relevant college planning programs including the Admissions Probability Program and the College Business Plan. All programs and information are organized into a sequential, step by step System.


Additional resources for Financial Advisors

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – it’s absolutely necessary to the process of college planning. Know going in that it is an administrative headache for people who are NOT financially literate. It’s a lot like doing tax forms and you can provide a tremendous amount of value to your client families by doing the FAFSA with them, or for them. See Module 6 of our Financial Advisors College Planning System as it will get you pointed in the right direction on the FAFSA.

Many families have pre-conceived ideas about which colleges their kids should consider. The ETC College Rankings Index will show them the schools that offer great educational value, and those that don’t. The Index empirically determines the Economic Value Added, by each college ranked within our system. Climbing walls and social scene are not part of the calculus. Grad rates, occupational outcomes, and other economic characteristics are the composition of the Index. Hundreds of 2nd and 3rd tier private colleges are closing each year. Ensure that your families avoid schools that offer low value, and those that may actually close their doors. There are many hundreds of great colleges to choose from, and we’ve ranked them for you.

College to Career Planning System for Families - this version of the 'System' has been designed specifically for families. There is a considerable amount of information that specifically details how to choose an academic major that will lead to a job, as college outcomes are a significant source of concern for parents. Most advisors will share this with their client families to make them aware of how involved college planning can be, and to have the student children understand some of the costs and consequences of college.

These PowerPoint presentations are free for your business use. (One has ETC logo’s, the other is blank for you to add your own logo.) They will enable you to inform your clients as to how you would build a college plan for their kids, while showing the value you’ll create for them in the process. Use them in one on one sessions, full family sessions, or at PTA and High School presentations. Financial Advisors Powerpoint with Educate To Career logo. Financial Advisors Powerpoint with no logo.

How America Pays for College - this is a sentiment survey by Sallie Mae regarding college costs, the value of college, and how to families’ intend to pay for college. American families’ opinions of college have changed dramatically in recent years – they’re no longer interested in ‘life enrichment’ at $20,000 per year. They’ll invest in college, but they want to know that their child will get an education that leads to a job. This study reveals some interesting facts regarding the opinions of upper income and high net worth families who are typically regarded as being insensitive to price – they are amongst the most demanding in terms of selectiveness regarding college choice and education value.

Federal Reserve statements regarding student debt and its effect on homeownership and the economy - an insightful overview of how increases in student debt are diminishing the ability of recent graduates to purchase homes, engage in household formation, build wealth, and the long term economic consequences of this trend.

The SEC provides a good overview of 529 plan basics, along with details and resources regarding tax strategies, withdrawals and other relevant information. Keep in mind that when clients ask about 529 plans, it’s good advice to start funding a plan early. Then refine your clients’ 529 contributions after you’ve determined their costs and capital requirements through using our programs. Lynn has been at the forefront of assisting financial advisors to grow their business through incorporating college planning into their practices.

Elite college consultant, Lynn O’Shaughnessy runs The College Solution Lynn is one of the most respected college advisors, consultants, speakers and journalists in the industry. She has advised thousands of families on college planning, as well as having trained hundreds of college consultants.