Get practical tools to help your families find scholarship opportunities they often miss, navigate the financial aid process, and reduce the cost of college.
As counselors, college planning might only be one part of the wonderful work you do.
Becoming–or staying–an expert on financial aid can be daunting, but the guidance you provide will impact the lives of your students for literal decades after they leave your care.
That’s why I created this course: it’s a concentrated dose of the best, counselor-specific financial aid frameworks, templates, and resources for busy colleagues who just want the best for their students.
This four-week professional course will deliver knowledge and tools you can use immediately in your conversations with students and their families as you help them navigate the seismic financial decisions college matriculation presents.
It will also give you a collaborative space to enhance the plans you were likely already planning to plan (financial aid nights, local scholarship management, college information dissemination) and customize some of my favorite financial aid handouts I already use with my students.
Ready? Let's do this.
We'll answer questions like...
- How do I gently realign a student/parent’s preconceived notions about how college financial aid works with reality so we can work together effectively?
- How do I quickly (and maybe even humorously) convey the core tenets of financial aid in a memorable way?
- How do we fold affordability into the successful list-building processes we already have?
- Where are all the easy-to-use financial aid resources that someone else has surely already created?
- What are the highlights of the changes to the FAFSA and how could they impact my clients?
- Am I missing some scholarship or opportunity that would actually apply to the students I serve?
- How can I guide students to consider (maybe even embrace) colleges I’m certain will be both affordable and great fits but perhaps they’ve never heard of?
- Who can I reach out to when I feel out of depth with financial aid questions for myself or for my families?
Get access to the Paying for College in Four Steps guide
This comprehensive, super-practical guide covers:
- Step 1: Scholarshipping Strategically
- Step 2: Building an Affordable College List
- Step 3: Conquering the FAFSA (& Other Forms)
- Step 4: Understanding Financial Aid Offers and Next Steps
How to Make College Affordable
An On-Demand Course for College Counselors and Educators
This course will be held in two separate cohorts.
For School-Based Counselors and Educators
With the recordings and materials inside the course, you'll walk away with:
- The tools and game plan to host an awesome Financial Aid Night
- A comprehensive understanding of the Simplified FAFSA rolling out this year: all the changes (some nominal, some true overhauls) and their foreseeable impacts on the families you serve
- Best practices to streamline the local scholarship process: engaging local partners efficiently, disseminating information effectively, bolstering student participation and success, winning and awarding
- A framework to speedily assess which colleges are likely to be financial fits for a student and the tools to quickly figure out any possible way a student’s “dream school” might be made affordable
- A mastery of the scholarship and grant opportunities in your area as well as customizable state-specific and institution-specific affordability profiles to hand your families
- A community of equally-dedicated counselors with whom you can share resources and call-on for second opinions
- The confidence that you’ve filled in any gaps in your financial aid knowledge to the best of your ability
For Independent Educational Consultants
With the recordings and materials inside the course, you'll walk away with: :
- The ability to field essential affordability questions confidently (Where do we look for scholarships? Should we fill out the FAFSA? How likely is X school to give us money?)
- A list of specialists to call when you’re stumped
- Case study practice using the resources and tools introduced in our course
- A super simple tool to walk families through their students' award letters
- Answers to your every possible question about the 2024-2025 FAFSA (that can currently be answered)
- Resources to work with pro bono students/high-need families
- A library of institution-specific one-pagers that outline the aid opportunities at a variety of colleges
- A framework to help students and their parents talk about financial fit in a way that’s constructive and expedient
- Up-to-date information about the FAFSA revamp and how the changes to the form, the process and aid calculation will impact the families with whom you work.
Help Students Find Affordable Colleges
Learn how to help students expand their college search: There are hundreds of great universities in the U.S., and many of them will give an excellent financial aid offering.
Lead A Mindful Scholarship Search
We'll show you how to help your students find and apply for the right scholarships with ease in mind.
Teach Students How to FAFSA
Everything you need to know to about how the FAFSA is changing and who will be impacted most.
Amanda Miller is a financial aid specialist and upbeat presenter who authored CEG's guide to Paying For College in Four Steps.
Amanda is an educator who especially loves three things: student empowerment, engaging presentations, and math problems. Over the past decade, she has served in overlapping roles as a public middle school history/math teacher, an independent test prep instructor, an in-school nonprofit college adviser, and a private high school math teacher. All these experiences, alongside her three passions, have woven together to make financial aid advising a natural fit to her strengths and values. Through one-on-one conversations and group presentations, she has guided thousands of families to find their best paths through the dual processes of college admissions and college affordability.
Amanda is a member of IECA–including its Subcommittee on College Affordability–and SACAC as well as a big fan of NASFAA and NCAG. She lives and works near her alma mater, Davidson College, with her incredibly supportive husband and two objectively adorable children.
Are you a non-profit, CBO, or school-based counselor with no budget for professional development?
Access is really important to us. In fact, it’s at the heart of most everything we do and is why so many resources on the site are free.
It’s why this course is available at Pay-What-You-Can for high school college counselors in schools, CBOs, or non-profits with small budgets and few resources for professional development.
“Wait, so if our counseling department doesn’t have a budget, we can still join?”
Yep. If that’s you, click on one of the orange buttons below, share a bit about your school, and request a Pay-What-You-Can spot.