I’m in the middle of my busy season. Many rising high school seniors and their families are waking-up to the fact that they should have already started planning for college. More than half of the families that come my way see the value that a college planner can bring to their situation and hire me. Some families, however, choose not to move forward. Often times, the reasons leave me bewildered. They simply stop calling or break-off contact. Other times, the reasons I get leave me even more confused. Here are the most common reasons I get. Perhaps by sharing this information, some of you can come to a better understanding as to whether or not a college planner like me is right for you.
1. I can do this myself. There are so many things you can do yourself. You can represent yourself in court. You can do your own taxes. You can even fix your own car or home appliances. So why not do those things on your own? The fact is, an expert in your corner can make all of the difference in the world. Instead of getting advice from people that have no experience with a college planner, talk to references or other families that have actually worked with one. Would you take a restaurant recommendation from someone that never ate there? Yeah, sounds silly doesn’t it?
2. We are too early. You are never too early to start planning for college. Sadly, most of my clients are already seniors in high school. Out of necessity, we’ve become very adept at catching-up these families, but they all tell me the same thing: “I wish I started earlier.” Starting early is always the better option. There is a reason why CPAs and accountants get really busy before April 15th. Let’s face it, most of us procrastinate. If you find an opportunity to start planning early, take it!
3. My student doesn’t know where he/she wants to go to college. This is why you hire someone like me. This is a reason to start the college planning process, not postpone it. Most students I work with don’t really know where they want to go, so we help families with this all the time. Can you imagine calling your dentist to cancel your appointment because you have a toothache? Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
4. My financial advisor and/or CPA can do what you do. They can’t. The fact is that college planning is a very specialized field. There is a reason why I get frequent and numerous calls for help from other CPAs and financial advisors. They always have questions about college planning. I have a financial advisor, CPA, and even another college planner that are clients and are counting on me to help their students pick and pay for college. Why? Because we help families pick and pay for college. Most specialists usually do one or the other. Can you imagine how well a bicycle with one wheel would work compared to one with two wheels?
5. I read online that all college planners are bad. I’ll be the first one to say that there are some really awful college planners out there. But there are bad people in any profession. College planning is not the only profession with bad apples. Do your due diligence. Again, talk to references. Ask all of your questions but don’t turn down all college planners because of something you read on the Internet. At some point and time you have to put your trust in someone that can help.