How to Send Your Kids to the
Best, Most Expensive Colleges
In America for Pennies on the
Glendale High School College Night 2011
“How To Legally Arrange Your Financial Situation
To Pay For College With As Little Out Of Pocket As
Hosted by
College Planning Author & Authority Phillip
Anthony Lew
What to expect:
• Not information about (GPA, SAT scores, financial aid
forms, deadlines, scholarship application tips)
• Complete overhaul of the entire admissions and
financial aid process
• The “business side” behind the process
• The stuff behind the stuff that will maximize your
college chances and financial aid awards
• Important steps to save thousands of dollars
3 Pillars to College Planning
Higher Education Act
 How to Find Your Dream College &“Market”
& “Position” Your Student for Acceptance
 How to cut the costs, regardless of your
income, asset or student’s grades
 How to pay for college without using all your
savings, sacrificing your current lifestyle or
going plain broke
Who is Phillip Lew?
 Graduated AV High School in top 3% of my
class (GPA 4.1, SAT 1510 “Math & Verbal”)
 Applied to UC Berkley, UCLA, Georgetown
 Denied Financial Aid at
ALL 3 Colleges
 Mom was denied loans
 Considered a career at
Cinemark Theaters
It’s Expensive No Matter Where
Your Kids Go!
Not just tuition –
includes books, room, and
board, living expenses,
• 4 years can cost
$40,000 to $250,000… or
• Multiply by # of kids!
• Keeps going up by 7–
8%, every year!
Average Cost Of
Private Versus State
State / Private
How Is A Family Supposed To
Pay For All That?
 Borrow?
 Scholarship?
 Go To Lesser
 Not Go At All?
Financial Aid
Who Is Eligible?
Myths vs. Reality
Income too high.
Grades too low.
Own a home.
Aid is only for special
It’s an easy process.
Financial aid office will
EFC Case Study 1
Family listed $180,000 of Gross Income (vs.
$130,000 of AGI)
Listed 1 student in college (vs. 2 that they
had in reality)
Before EFC= $36,000/year
After EFC= $13,000/year
Got additional $23,000 in aid at Dartmouth
How Do They Determine
If I’m Eligible?
COA – EFC = Need
COA stands for Cost Of Attendance.
- (Includes tuition, books, room/board, etc.)
EFC stands for Family Contribution.
- (Based on parent’s and student’s income,
assets, ages, number of people in school.)
Need is how much aid the family is eligible
Case Studies:
School A:
Cost- $40,000
EFC - $10,000
Need - $30,000
School B:
Cost- $20,000
EFC - $10,000
Need - $10,000
School A:
Meets 100% need.
Gift aid – 80%
Self help – 20%
School B:
Meets 60% need = $6,000 ($4,000 short!)
Gift aid – 50%
Self help – 50%
What you actually pay at each school:
School A:
Total EFC = $10,000
Total Gift = $24,000
Total Self = $6,000
School B:
+ Unmet Need = $4,000
Total EFC =
Total Gift =
Total Self =
Family actually pays $1,000 more out of pocket to send their child to the “cheaper” school! Don’t
make the huge mistake of picking schools based on cost of attendance only! Your family may not
get the best education…because you didn’t know the inside secrets of college funding!
Rapid Guerilla Scholarship Strategies
 Ask local banks about “community fund” program
 Ask local newspaper editors if they will barter free
coverage and advertising of a small business in return
for scholarship funds for the student
 Use (International Study and Travel Center) to get full
scholarships to study abroad
 Call the college centers of highly ranked, prestigious
private high schools
 Cold call local, community-based foundations and
organizations and asked if they have specialized
scholarship program
**9 Winning Themes for Admissions
 The Do-Gooder
 The Creative Talent
 The Survivor
 The Brainiac
 The Activist
 The Entrepreneur
 The Leader
 The Scientist
The Athlete
Think Like a Admission’s Director
USC in 2010 read over 35k essays
The average officer reads over 50 essays a day
Admissions officers are human beings
Your essay will probably receive less than 6
minutes of actual human attention (less if it sucks)
Most College Essays are the same, redundant or
just plain boring
Phillip’s Analysis of Why Most Essays Fail:
Try to hard to impress
Topics, themes, point behind essay to vague
To intellectual, logical
To rushed
Worst College Essays
I think high school has been a growing experience for
everyone, but me mostly. I think I stand out from
everyone else because I'm smart and intelligent. I am
difficult, diligent and hardworking. Here is a story about
one time at lunch that I think relates really well to my
hard-working characteristics.
I really feel like this separates me from every other
person who is applying at the same time as I am. I'm
really hungry and running out of room. Thank you for
your time and consideration and I look foreword to
meeting you in the fall. Oh, is there any way I could
have two dorms? I have a lot of stuff to bring. Are there
any horse friendly dorms? I'm really going to miss Nelly
if she can't come too.
Real Purpose Behind College Essays
 Window into your individuality
 Better understanding of your personality
 Discover your personal growth and motivations
 Learn about defining moments in your life
 Your aspirations & personal drive
 Determine your level of social skills
 Create a more well-rounded student body
Irresistible Essays Revealed….
While the World Sleeps
When I wake up to the ear-splitting sound of my alarm
clock, and blindly search for the snooze button, a
sudden thought dawns: "What am I doing?"
The time is 5:30 AM; all is dark and hushed. My weary
body feels completely drained of energy. While straining
to open my eyes, still warm and snug in my comfortable
bed, I am overcome with a feeling of lethargy. "Perhaps
I should call in sick." Despite all my musing, and my
bed's magnetic pull, I still manage to rise each morning
at this ungodly hour to join the cross-country running
team in rigorous training.
Important Questions
Am I starting to early?
Am I starting to late?
What if my kids are not motivated?
What if we are only looking at state
Is EFC to the only way to reduce the costs
for college?
29 Ways to Cut the Costs for College
Reducing EFC
Reducing Taxes
Non-Need Based Aid
Dual Enrollment
Summer School
In-State Tuition
Loan Forgiveness
Independent Status
Get around NCP rules
Filing Separate
Targeting Gift Aid
 National Merit Scholarship
 California State Incentives/(CalGrant)
 Purchase student’s house near
campus & rent out property
 Find Schools to commute to
 Co-op Progress
 Overloading
 Summer School at less expensive
 ROTC program
 Service Academy Scholarships
 3 yr/ Combined Progress
 Siblings Discounts
 College Newspaper
 Transferability