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College Financial Planning

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    Opes Advisors Wealth Management focuses on helping clients with their most consequential financial decisions, which are made consistently over the course of a lifetime. These decisions span a wide variety of concerns (for more on this, click here to see the Opes Financial Decision Roadmap). For most people, decisions around real estate purchases and college funding are among the most significant and most intimidating. For this reason, Opes has built specific, in-depth planning expertise to help clients with both of these major financial decision planning moments in their lives.

    Why is college financial planning important

    A good college education is one of the most transformative and lasting gifts you can give your children. But with the current cost of college, that gift can be financially taxing even for families who have made financial preparations.

      Based on your child’s abilities and your financial circumstances, there are a host of strategies you can employ to potentially save tens of thousands of dollars on your child’s tuition bill.

    We all know about the high “sticker prices” that colleges and universities charge today. This year they topped $70,000! But did you know that many families ultimately pay far less? For most people the financial aid process is an opaque and mysterious procedure that begins with filling out financial aid forms and ends with the arrival of a financial aid award package from the college telling you what price you will actually pay for a four-year education, all without a word of explanation about the rationale they used to arrive at this price.

    “In the 2015-2016 school year about 88% of first-time, full-time freshmen and 77.6% of all undergraduates were awarded aid, which averaged roughly half the cost of tuition and fees for both cohorts.”*
    If you didn’t know this, you’re not alone … very few people do. At Opes we understand the “behind the curtain” view of how paying for college really works.
      *Source: the 2015 National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Tuition Discounting Study. Click here for further information on the study.

How We Can Help


Opes will work with you to identify what your best strategy is to pay for college. This process focuses on four key areas: College Selection, Financial Aid, Tax Aid, and Personal Resources

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To make intelligent decisions in these four areas requires specialized knowledge of college admissions, financial aid, taxes, investing, and financial planning. Even if families have people advising them in these areas, it is very uncommon for an advisor to pull that expertise together specifically for college planning purposes. That is what we do at Opes Advisors.

One Strategy Doesn’t Fit All


Every family is unique – and so is their best strategy to pay for college. There are three types of fit when searching for a college.

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How We Do It

We believe, as a parent, you should be guiding your child to the best possible balance: finding a college or university that is a good personal and academic fit, as well as one that also offers a tuition rate you can actually afford.
At Opes, we have two college financial planning offerings. Please click on the links below to download a pdf information sheet on each offering.
Opes Advisors EFC Analysis
Opes Advisors Paying for College – Ready or Not!

While planning for this significant college investment, we also help you keep in mind that you would like to retire someday. That’s why we’ve created a Balance Sheet Planning as part of our college financial planning offerings, so that you can evaluate the different college options in the context of your overall retirement picture.
Striking this balance isn’t easy. Based on your child’s abilities and your financial circumstances, there are a host of strategies you can potentially implement. But there is no cookie-cutter approach. Every child is unique – their preferences, the strength of their academic record – and every family’s financial situation is unique.

How To Get Started

To learn more about these offerings and to discuss which one makes sense for you, we offer a complimentary 30 minute consultation call. Please click on the link below to schedule your appointment.

Schedule an appointment


Peg Keough
College Financial Planning Consultant
License/Certifications: AIF®


“It’s a win-win when your child gets into a university that is not just a good personal and academic fit, but also one that is affordable for your family. With the appropriate research, due diligence, and professional guidance, your child can get an outstanding and cost-effective education without compromising your ability to achieve your other financial goals.”

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