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Navigating the College Funding Maze and Helping Families Cut the Cost of Higher Education

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The number one financial concern for Gen X parents is how to pay for college. College costs continue to rise and as a result our national student loan debt has ballooned from $240 billion in 2003 to more than $1.6 trillion today. Planners' roles have to go beyond simply telling clients to save for the cost of college. Learn more about Joe Messinger's innovative College Pre-Approval process that demystifies financial aid and guides families through the maze.

  • Learn how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a families expected family contribution
  • Learn how help families set a budget and shop for schools based on the four-year-out-of-pocket cost, not the sticker price
  • Learn how to help clients maximize financial aid, minimize student loans, and ultimately pay less for college
  • Discuss how to find schools that award generous scholarships regardless of need
  • Understand the college financial aid system and the vastly different policies at different institutions
  • Discuss the key differences in the FAFSA vs. the CSS Profile for determining a families demonstrated financial aid need

Joe Messinger, CFP®, ChFC, CLU

Partner & Director of College Planning

Capstone Wealth Partners, LTD

Joe Messsinger is a leading authority on late-stage college funding and frequently speaks to organizations and parent groups, such as NAPFA, FPA, and XY Planning Network. He started his own financial planning firm, Capstone Wealth Partners, because of his struggles at large national firms to find and provide good financial advice, especially in the area of college planning. The large national firms seemed to focus on product sales to clients. After months of soul-searching, Messsinger and his partner decided to strike out on their own in 2009 by forming an independent fee-only practice. They chose the name "Capstone" to reflect the new firm's focus on college planning. The word "capstone" refers to a student's final course of subject mastery in a higher education setting. They included the word "Partners" in the name to signify their intent with client relationships, a real partnership built on trust and not a one-time sales transaction. Now, with Capstone College Partners, Messsinger is on a mission to educate other financial planners to raise the bar on college funding advice and help end the student loan crisis one family at a time.



Navigating the College Funding Maze and Helping Families Cut the Cost of Higher Education
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
Course Evaluation
7 Questions
Certificate of Completion
1.0 CFP CE credit  |  Certificate available
1.0 CFP CE credit  |  Certificate available