Knowledge Bound: The RSC Blog
Visit the Knowledge Bound Blog regularly for news analysis, editorials and facts about education and financial aid.
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This is the seventh and final post in a series of articles examining the impact the high cost of college and the student loan crisis are having on families. RSC Your College Prep Expert is dedicated to making college affordable to all families. See how we do it here.
Why one person reached out to help others get the best financial aid possible instead of walking away.
Twenty years ago, the sister-in-law of RSC founder Larry Schechter failed to complete her financial aid paperwork on time and received no aid her sophomore year of college. After hearing this, Larry, already a successful small businessman, looked at the complex forms and realized “People need help.”
He began completing financial aid forms for families in need right at his kitchen table. Sometimes he’d be up until 2 or 3 in the morning meeting deadlines for dozens of other families. But it was worth it. Soon hundreds of families were asking for his expert help and Larry made sure they never missed a deadline.
He also made sure the financial aid forms were flawless. He never had one returned due to mistakes. But he made some observations about financial aid that allowed him to expand his small operation filling out forms to a full-fledged college prep company – and improve the financial aid for thousands of families.
Problems With Financial Aid
Larry had the following realizations when it came to paying for college:
· Too many families focus on the FAFSA alone. This form is more than twice as long as your 1040 tax form, but it’s not the only one you need to fill out. Families often don’t realize they have state or college forms to complete, too.
· Too many families think they don’t qualify for financial aid and don’t even bother to fill out the FAFSA.
· Too many families find the FAFSA to hard to complete and just give up.
· Too many families don’t know how much various colleges cost them before their student applies.
· Too many families focus exclusively on scholarships without realizing that they often benefit the college and not the student.
· If many students take different academic and financial steps in high school, they can receive even more financial aid.
Larry realized he could get families even more financial aid if he addressed their needs and mistakes before they occurred.
Financial Aid Advice and Tools
To solve the above problems, Larry created several new programs and products to improve a family’s financial aid.
· The RSC staff helps families understand that there may be more need-based forms to submit (FAFSA, CSS Profile, PHEAA, TAP, etc.), and if there are, we complete and review every single one of them.
· Our What You Need to Know About Financial Aid handbook provides families with a terrific overview of the financial aid system, difficult terms, types of investments, mistakes to avoid and much more – all of it designed to get you more financial aid.
· RSC offers unlimited college-cost estimates for any college on your list. Know what you’re going to have to pay at more than 4,000 schools. We make comparison shopping between colleges easy!
· Our Top Financial Aid Colleges handbook directs you to the colleges that offer the best financial aid!
The SATs, ACTs, and College Prep
One of the first things Larry realized is that good SAT or ACT scores often led to great financial aid. He set up an SAT and ACT test prep program to boost students’ scores. Then, with the assistance of David Peterson, a former adviser to the College Board, he set about building the RSC program that now includes handbooks, videos, worksheets and college research tools to help students put together the best college application possible.
College admissions officers are impressed by everything we help our students do.
To see everything RSC offers students, view this chart.
Expanding Financial Aid Services
What began as one man working in his kitchen filling out financial aid forms now includes two connecting paths to get better financial aid: good college prep for merit-based aid and complete paperwork services for need-based aid.
RSC’s full program includes grade-specific handbooks, worksheets, videos, the most extensive college research database available, career planning tools, a highly recommended SAT and ACT prep program, financial aid handbooks, advice and service, and much, much more – all designed to do one thing: make college affordable.
Of course, we couldn’t set about making college affordable without making college prep affordable, right? That’s why RSC’s price is so low – and why we brought everything online. We’re dedicated to keeping our price and your cost as low as possible.
We don’t want families to experience the pain our founder’s family did. We know what getting bad financial aid feels like, and we don’t want that to happen to you. Sign up today and we’ll work hard to get you the best financial aid possible!
Call 800-898-4636 or enroll here. We’ll get to work right away!
Part Five: The Problem With Traditional High School Guidance Counseling – Limited Resources, Limited Time
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