Assistance for Parents

Accolade Financial assists parents across all stages of the college planning process. From exploring savings options for your young ones to figuring out the most efficient way to cover costs for the student who’s already in college, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some of the common areas we help with:

College Savings Plans

College savings vehicles are not one size fits all. What works best for one family may not work at all for another. There are many different ways to save for college, each with different characteristics like whether the funds have tax advantaged growth, whether they can also be used for other financial needs, and how they are considered in the financial aid process. These characteristics vary in importance from one family to the next. Since Joshua is not only a certified college planning specialist but also a financial advisor and insurance broker, he is uniquely positioned to discuss the pros and cons of virtually any savings vehicle and assist in implementing it.

College Savings

Did you know that the rules were recently changed for grandparent-owned 529 plans? Distributions now count as income to the student on financial aid forms, potentially decimating need-based awards!

EFC and Financial Analysis

Does your family qualify for need-based aid? Unsure whether your student should focus more on need-based aid or merit-based aid? We will help determine a student’s expected family contribution by both FAFSA and CSS Profile calculations before you file any aid forms. Our report also identifies whether any changes can be made to qualify for more need-based aid before the aid forms are filed, as well as predict how future variables like income changes or additional college students would factor in.

Financial Analysis

Shouldn’t you know what’s beneath the water before diving in?

School Selection

We create a very personalized list of best-fit 15 options for your student. A custom highlighted and bound report will be provided that includes an informative 2-page data report for each school on the list, as well as each one’s estimated net cost after grants and scholarships. From a parental standpoint, two things are accomplished with this service:

  1. Cost is introduced as a factor in the selection process and, as a family, it is decided where it falls on the priority list so that everyone is on the same page.
  2. Valuable time is saved by not trying to sift through limitless online data and by knowing which schools would make the most sense to visit before driving all over the country.
School Selection

“Nothing but praise for Josh and the team at Accolade Financial. We used their services for our daughter’s college prep and search. They took the pressure off of us by working with our daughter to find the colleges that were the best fit for her (and us financially). It was great having them weed out all the schools that didn’t fit her needs, thus saving us a lot of money on campus visits.”
-Janey Morse

Forms Filing Assistance

The filing of financial aid forms can be both confusing and time consuming if you are not already very familiar with the specifics of each question. Countless students lose large amounts of financial aid every year due to simple mistakes. Accolade Financial will walk you through the preparation steps and fill out the FAFSA (and CSS Profile, if required) with you so that common mistakes are avoided and so that it doesn’t take any more of your time than it needs to.

Form Filing Assistance

“…more important, he knows how to find good deals. He understands the language and intricacies of financial aid…And he saved me tens of thousands of dollars.”
-Joel Keenan

Award Analysis and Appeals

Was your student offered the best possible aid packages or should a formal appeal(s) be submitted? We will review a school’s financial aid award and compare it to what we’d expect the school to offer your student, specifically. When appropriate, a customized appeal letter and appeals instructions will be provided.

Award Analysis and Appeals

“Scholarships” are gifted discounts for merit. “Grants” are gifted discounts for need.

Funding Plan

All families use some combination of 3 basic funding sources to pay for college: Savings, Cash Flow, and Borrowing. Once you know the exact amount that will need to be covered each year, we will work with whatever resources you have to design the most efficient way to pay. Special care is taken to make sure that your funding plan will coordinate well with other financial goals, like retirement and future housing changes.

College Funding

Student loan debt in the U.S. is greater than credit card debt, at over $1.5 trillion!

While the services above address the most common needs, Accolade can also create custom service agreements.