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The Financial Planner's Guide to College Funding Advice: Full Course

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The Financial Planner's Guide to College Funding Advice teaches a proven, step-by-step process for helping families manage their college-education investment. This eight-module, self-study course explains the scope and character of the student loan crisis, demystifies financial aid, provides a repeatable end-to-end process, uncovers tax strategies for college-bound families, and more. The modules are:

Introducing the College Pre-Approval™ Process explains the current state of higher education finance from both the federal and state governmental level as it relates to financial aid for families, provides an overview of why the cost of college continues to rise, outlines the basics of financial aid policy, and explains how to help families pay for college by helping students avoid taking on unnecessary and inappropriate student loans.

Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions outlines how to properly plan and pay college tuition bills, and how to analyze financial aid policies at institutions. This module also includes detailed education on both the federal and institutional formulas used to determine a family’s expected family contribution by the FAFSA as well as the CSS Profile.

College Lending Strategies and Special Circumstances provides a comprehensive review of various types of student loans available for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, reviews financial aid planning for divorced families and includes discussion of loan repayment options and loan forgiveness programs available today.

5 Key’s to Building a Practice You Love with College Planning shares insight from Joe Messinger on his 5 keys to Serving Gen X clients better with college planning and shows advisors how they can effectively serve college bound families with more impactful and meaningful late-stage college funding advice.

Scholarships, Financial Aid Awards, and Choosing the Right School describes the process and strategy around the College Pre-Approval™ process that identifies the component steps of the client journey in college funding planning from setting a budget and determining a maximum student loan amount, to reviewing and appealing financial aid offers, and coordinating specific payments to the institution.

Tax Strategies and Advanced Options to Cover the Shortfall outlines tax strategies that mass-affluent and business-owner clients can implement to increase their college funding budget and widen the list of schools that students can attend without robbing clients’ retirement or taking on inappropriate levels of student debt.

Practical Applications of College Funding Concepts describes how to implement the concepts taught in the Financial Planner’s Guide to College Funding, providing real-case scenarios that identify how to strategically manage assets, cash flow, and tax opportunities to maximize financial aid and/or students' College Pre-Approval™ amount.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update provides an update on the topics taught in The Financial Planner’s Guide to College Funding in terms of how it is impacted by the new tax laws passed in 2017, including a close assessment of how new regulation impacts the tax-saving strategies and tactics. This video provides the most up-to-date information to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act since changes were implemented to the law. 

  • Review the basics of financial aid policy and student loan process to help clients determine an affordable college, and appropriate student loan amount 
  • Create a family college budget to project a family's out-of-pocket cost at individual institutions, income and asset strategies to maximize financial aid offers, and cash flow planning for college 
  • Review how the new tax regulation impacts college planning strategies and tools including updates for EE Savings Bonds, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 529 College Savings Plans, education tax credits, education loan deductions, the Child Tax Credit, asset and income strategies, the Kiddie Tax, income shifting strategies 
  • Analyze Expected Family Contribution to help clients reduce EFC and increase need-based financial aid
  • Identify eligible tax deductions and tax credits for education, reducing AGI and income to increase need-aid eligibility, and multi-generational tax planning strategies to reduce EFC, and coordinating 529 distributions
  • Review types of loans available to students and their parents to determine funding options and loan-repayment plans, merit-based financial aid versus need-based financial aid planning

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.

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Introducing the College Pre-Approval Process
Introducing the College Pre-Approval Process A
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Introducing the College Pre-Approval™ Process Part B
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Introducing the College Pre-Approval Process
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions
Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions Part A
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions B
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions C
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Demystifying Financial Aid, Scholarships and Admissions
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
College Lending Strategies and Special Circumstances
College Lending Strategies and Special Circumstances A
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
College Lending Strategies and Special Circumstances B
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: College Lending Strategies and Special Circumstances
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
5 Key’s to Building a Practice You Love with College Planning
5 Keys to Serving Gen X Clients with College Planning
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: 5 Keys to Serving Gen X Clients with College Planning
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
Scholarships, Financial Aid Awards, and Choosing the Right School
Scholarships, Financial Aid Awards, and Choosing the Right School
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Scholarships, Financial Aid Awards, and Choosing the Right School
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
Tax Strategies and Advanced Options to Cover the Shortfall
Tax Strategies and Advanced Options to Cover the Shortfall
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Tax Strategies and Advanced Options to Cover the Shortfall
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
Practical Applications of College Funding Concepts
Practical Applications of College Funding Concepts
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Practical Applications of College Funding Concepts
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  6/8 points to pass
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Exam: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Update
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
Evaluation
Course Evaluation
7 Questions
Certificate of Completion
Certificate of Completion
11.0 CFP CE credits  |  Certificate available
11.0 CFP CE credits  |  Certificate available