Kilcrease Financial, Inc and CPN is a family’s single source for all their college admissions, funding and financial aid planning needs. We help families from all walks of life make college more affordable and eliminate the anxiety of the college planning process.
What we’ve found by working with tens of thousands of families throughout the years is that the entire college planning process is really broken into 4 key phases. Each needs to be mastered in order to achieve maximum success -and by maximum success, we aim for a family to get their student enrolled in their dream college-and have a plan in place to making it far more affordable than they ever thought possible. We strive to eliminate all the anxiety and apprehension that is associated with this overwhelming process and provide peace of mind.
The 4 Phases
PHASE 1: THE PLAN PHASE
The PLAN phase is an extremely important part of the college admissions process. Improperly navigating this phase is the reason why many students take 5 to 6 years to get an undergraduate degree nowadays - costing parents tens of thousands of unnecessary dollars. Determining the best schools for your child is key to ensuring a successful college experience and beyond.
In this phase, we seek to:
…discover what makes your student 'tick', What their interests are, What may be a fit and what might not be a fit
…discover what major/career path would be the best for your student so that they don't change course and add unnecessary years/cost to their college experience
…determine the immediate steps for your student to get them on the right track and laser focused in the college planning and admissions process
…develop the ideal criteria for building (and narrowing down) the optimal school list for your student's unique, specific criteria and needs
…determine which schools your child has the best chance of gaining admission so that you can make the most effective and informed application decisions
…coach your student on how to ask the 'right' questions when visiting campuses, what to look for at the visit and determining how many colleges is the 'right' number.
…motivate your student, determine their 'niche', and get them excited to engage in this process
...and much, much more
PHASE 2: THE PACKAGE & PREP PHASE
The Package & Prep phase is another extremely important part of the college planning process. Now that you have determined what the 'right fit' school is for your student, you want to do whatever you can to ensure they get accepted. In addition, you also want to package & prep your student so that they look as good as possible on paper. By doing so, the colleges not only want your student to choose their school… but are willing to give additional funds to get them to go there!
We compare this to a small business that is on the market to be sold. The company wants to look as good as possible on paper to attract the highest possible price from interested bidders. Similarly, we want your child to look as good as possible on paper so that they attract the highest possible offers from the schools of their choice.
In this phase, we seek to:
…coach your student on how to build an effective brag sheet
…guide your student on how to gather great letters of recommendation from your ideal references as well as how to ensure the letters match the student's stated college goals & aspirations
…instruct your student on the college essay and explore strategic ways to maximize their 'hook' so that the student stands out to a college admissions committee
…coach your student on the admission application and determine which admission decision makes sense based on your student's specific needs
…consult with your student on ways to maximize their SAT & ACT test results using little-known strategies for boosting scores
…coach your student on how to create confidence in executing a well thought-out and narrated perspective during a live college interview
Because you'll also want to package & prep them for a career post college graduation, we also want to:
…provide tools to ensure your student is staying on track throughout college, keeping their grades up and taking the right classes
…coach your student on how to land the 'right' internship to put them on the fast track to getting a job in their chosen field upon college graduation
…coach your student on building the perfect resume and other career placement strategies to attempt to increase their chances of getting a job in their chosen field upon college graduation
PHASE 3: THE PAY PHASE
The Pay phase is a vital part of the financial aid and funding process. Now that you have determined what the 'right fit' school is for your student and they've gotten into that school, you need to make sure that you can afford to pay for it! This is where we seek to get as much funding as possible from the school for your specific situation.
In this phase, we seek to:
…determine exactly which merit-based college scholarships your student will be eligible for
…analyze whether or not 'need-based' financial aid will be a factor in your college planning and if so, how much you'll be eligible for
…coach and advise your family on all applicable strategies to keep your Expected Family Contribution and your overall out-of-pocket college costs as low as legally possible
…provide unlimited college financial aid award estimates for your family's specific situation so you’ll know in advance what to expect from each school you're considering
…provide complete peace of mind knowing that our Financial Aid Team of experts will complete all required financial aid forms for you (FAFSA completion is a free bonus for all of our members)
…coach your family on whether your award offer was fair or not (our expert Appeals Team evaluates and analyzes multiple variables to come to a conclusion on whether an appeal should be made)
…consult, coach and draft negotiation & appeal strategy for your family if an 'unfair" offer was awarded
PHASE 4:THE PEACE OF MIND PHASE
The Peace of Mind phase is where our authorized advisors will dig in to determine the best way for your family to pay for college - regardless of the cost…. and ultimately make sure you’re still able to retire in the manner you’d like to post-college.
In this phase, our advisors will seek to:
…design and implement a realistic working college funding solution aimed towards allowing your family to more easily afford to send all children to college regardless of the cost, and ultimately become financially set for life
…review and analyze your family's plans for college and beyond… and determine what can be done to improve your family's overall situation and get you on the right path to becoming financially set for life - without taking unnecessary risks
…analyze where your money is flowing and create strategies that can improve how you pay for college as well as improve your overall financial picture
…map out all of your dreams in life and the determine best path to take to 'realistically' achieve those dreams once college is funded