There is a crisis in college planning in America. "Many families are over extended financially and emotionally" says Joe Messinger, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, the director of college planning at Capstone Wealth Partners, "We, as financial professionals, are in a perfect position to help relieve their stress."
The cost of college is on the rise, usually flowing at nearly twice the rate of inflation and student loan debt is out of control. The national student loan debt has grown from $240 billion in 2003 to $1.3 trillion as of March 2016. That is a 510% growth rate in the last decade. The stress of paying for an education that could cost between $100,000 and $250,000 for each child is going to be an important topic for parents for the forseeable future. In fact, one of the top concerns for GenX is that many may be sending their children to college while still paying their own student loan debt.
Heather Jarvis, a leading student loan expert, assures, "Higher education isn’t just for the rich!" She founded her own business, Heather Jarvis, Student Loan Expert LLC , after learning the hard way herself. Jarvis graduated from Duke University School of Law owing $125,000 in student loans and facing 30-years’ worth of $1,200 monthly payments. She didn’t realize she couldn’t afford an expensive education until after she got one, she says. She went on to practice public interest law for more than a dozen years before focusing her advocacy work on reducing the financial barriers to practicing public interest law.
Jarvis has contributed to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress, and has dedicated her professional efforts to advancing public service loan forgiveness which allows recent graduates to dedicate their careers to the greater good.
"Student loan repayment and forgiveness provisions are complicated," say Jarvis, "Young professionals routinely borrow mortgage-sized amounts in student loans and seek advisors they can trust to give them the sophisticated advice they need."
"Families are desperate," said Messinger, "Financial professionals are not giving the right advice because we have never been formally taught. Learn how to really help families and you'll earn trust & respect in your community."
- Determine optimal asset, income, and tax strategies
- Advise on distributions from savings and investment accounts
- Identify eligible tax credits and deductions
- Coordinate contributions from other family members
- Evaluate and select the proper loans
- Explain key differences between the FAFSA & CSS Profile
- Outline key differences between federal & institutional methodology
- Identify income & asset strategies to maximize aid eligibility in advance of their "Base Year"
- Maximize scholarship money through student academic positioning
- Calculate additional funds needed to cover estimated shortfalls
About Heather Jarvis: Heather Jarvis is an attorney and a nationally recognized expert specializing in student loan law. She has provided award-winning student loan education and consultation for universities, associations and professional advisors since 2006 and is sought after for her sophisticated knowledge and accessible teaching style. Widely recognized as an expert source of information, Ms. Jarvis has advised congressional committee members and administrative officials on issues affecting student loan borrowers since 2005. Ms. Jarvis recently completed service on the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Financing Legal Education. She graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law. Follow Heather on Twitter @Heather_Jarvis.
About Joe Messinger: Joe Messinger, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, is partner and director of college planning at Capstone Wealth Partners. He is a trusted authority in the area of college planning and funding, and is frequently asked to speak to professional groups and parents to demystify the college financial aid process. Through his work with Capstone College Partners, he is on a mission to empower financial planners with the tools they need to help families beat the high cost of college. Reach out to Joe on Twitter @CapstoneCollege