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Grier to Host College Financial Aid Presentations

Grier’s College Counseling Department is hosting two financial aid presentations with Paul Martin of the College Money Method for our students and parents. 

A presentation for seniors will take place via Zoom on March 24th, while a presentation for juniors and sophomores will happen on April 10th.

We encourage families of currently enrolled Grier students to contact college counselors Katie Kingera or Katt Barr with questions or for more information.

About the College Money Method presentations

Presenter Paul Martin is founder of College Money Method, a financial advisory focused on helping families with college affordability and the financial aid process. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, his passion for this work stems from his own experience going through it alone as a first-generation college student. He partners with private and public schools to provide education and resources on financial aid and paying for college to students and families of all economic backgrounds

Paul is a member of the National College Advocacy Group, a non-profit composed of financial planners focusing on college access and affordability. He is also the President of First-Generation Harvard Alumni and the Founder of First-Generation Alumni of MIT, two organizations that offer mentorship to first-generation students as they trailblaze through college.

College Financial Aid Workshop for Seniors
March 24th at 8pm EDT

Financial aid awards: How to interpret your offers, calculate your true cost of attendance, & decide when to appeal.

Congratulations on your college acceptances! You’re now receiving financial aid packages with various award amounts, different terms and unique costs. How do you standardize these different packages to fairly compare them and understand the true cost for each school?  If your financial aid offer doesn’t meet your financial need, when and how should you consider an appeal for more financial assistance? 

Join this workshop to learn the easiest way to standardize and compare the components of your financial aid package - grants, scholarships, loans and work-study - and calculate your true cost of attendance. You’ll also learn under what circumstances it makes sense for you to appeal your financial aid offer, and how to build the best case to successfully increase your award.

Topics covered

Breaking down your financial aid package
  • Cost of Attendance - owning your college budget
  • Free Money vs. Financing:  A framework to interpret financial aid
  • Calculating true cost
Understanding the future costs of borrowing

Building an estimate for your entire college investment
  • Modeling your financial aid and true cost for four years
  •  Comparing colleges based on your current payments and future money owed
When to consider appeals
  • Appeal vs negotiation: Understanding the difference
  • Three primary cases for an appeal
    • Change in financial situation
    • Differences between your offer and a college’s standard practices
    • Differences between your offer and your offer from other colleges
Building a successful case for increasing financial aid
  • Communicating with the financial aid office
  • Documenting changes in your financial situation
  • Using college financial aid data to bolster your case

College Financial Aid Workshop for Sophomore and Junior Families
April 10th at 11am EDT

Given the cost of college, most families need to consider financial aid in order to afford the four-year college investment. However, the process and rules around financial aid are obscure and complex, leaving families to make assumptions about their eligibility that can later lead to difficult decisions on college choice based on cost. All students and parents deserve to be equipped with a full understanding of the financial aid system and afford their college dream.

This workshop is geared toward students and their parents in 10th and 11th grades to get a jump start on the financial aid process.  Why? Because there are financial decisions families make during their high school years that have an impact on financial aid eligibility and future awards.  It’s important to understand the rules of the financial aid system and college-specific policies early in order to take action well before Senior year. (Please be advised that most of this workshop will focus on the FAFSA which is the financial aid application for US federal student aid available to US citizens and eligible non-citizens.)
Topics covered

Introduction to the Financial Aid process
  • FAFSA vs. CSS Profile
How colleges evaluate your financial situation
  • Deep dive into Expected Family Contribution (EFC) + Demonstrated Need
  • Explanation of how income and assets are used to calculate EFC
  • Resources to calculate your EFC
Understanding a college’s financial aid policy
  • Need-based financial aid
  • Merit-based financial aid
  • Resources to research colleges’ financial aid policies and practices
Financial decisions that can impact your financial aid eligibility
  • Common income considerations for high school families
  • Common savings and investment considerations for high school families
Putting it all together
  • Action steps for students and parents

Want to attend?  Check your inbox for a Zoom link or contact Katie Kingera or Katt Barr from College Counseling. 

Grier College Counseling | RW
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308; Birmingham, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177