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College Planning with a Financial Advisor

Providing Families with Options to Help Pay for College

Michael Cice, CRPC®, RFC® and Grant Holdren, CFP®, CLU® 

With our unique College Planning programs for all stages of saving, we offer clients long term and short term solutions to make education more affordable. We can help protect investments by finding alternative sources to pay tuition while also seeking methods to reduce tuition costs. 

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Ideally, many of us would get a savings plan off the ground as soon as our children are born. Many families start early, until an emergency takes priority; a decade to refund that account seems like a long time. Then, in the blink of an eye, your little tyke is bringing home information on colleges. Where did that time go? Life happens! That’s why having a financial planner is beneficial at any point in your lifetime; we can help you adjust your sails and find options to make your child’s education possible.

According to US News, the average total debt for 2014 graduates was $28,077 and the average of graduates that borrowed money for college was nearly 70%! Rising at an astounding rate of nearly $3,000 per second, the student debt total is currently $1,337,502,950,052. (Source: Marketwatch).That is one ugly number. And many families feel forced to liquidate retirement accounts in order to shelter their child from being part of that statistic.

However, we take issue with this idea – your child has more time to pay off loans than you have to accumulate retirement funds. If you are planning to retire within the next twenty years, and your retirement goes towards tuition, where will you get the money to refund your retirement account?

We see this all too often and that is why we work with Sage Scholars Tuition Rewards® and These programs provide families with options at every phase of your child’s education. From early childhood savings opportunities with Sage Scholars Tuition Rewards® to FAFSA completion and college application services via Allied Financial Consultants, LLP works with families to provide alternatives and help realign assets if or when necessary. We believe in a holistic approach to financial planning – there are very few financial decisions that are isolated from the bigger picture. Putting kids through college is not one of them.

Education Savings Calculator

Sage Scholars Tuition Rewards® Program

  • Tuition Reward Points accrue like frequent flyer miles and are typically earned by saving or investing with affiliated financial institutions or organizations.
  • These include 529 plans, banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, employers, mutual funds and diverse financial service companies involved in cash-value insurance products, retirement plans, reverse mortgages and other instruments.
  • What makes Tuition Rewards even more unique is that you do not have to use the investment vehicle that is earning Reward Points to pay for college! How you pay for college is your choice.
  • Each Tuition Reward point is equal to a $1.00 guaranteed minimum discount off of tuition at any of our member colleges.
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Subscribe to's services and they manage all your financial aid for the entire term of education to graduation. Their commitment to you will be one of total service and the best education your money can buy. provides:

  • Customized “Student Profile Report” - 70 to 90 pages filled with information regarding your eligibility for financial aid. It will also contain detailed information about colleges, universities, ACT/SAT board exams, AP/CLEP courses, etc.
  • Analysis of your ability to qualify for college funding and to what extent by computing your Expected Family Contribution for both the Federal and complicated Institutional Methodology.
  • Completion FAFSA form and file C.S.S. Profile required by colleges that use the institutional methodology for a one-time fee, plus the registration and college costs charged by the College Board.
  • Access to the “Negotiations Team" - helping you obtain more financial aid with colleges and universities that offer you unexpectedly low funding. We either contact the financial aid officers on your behalf or create letter(s) for you to send to the schools requesting additional financial aid.
  • And More!
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