What You Must Know About Hiring the Right Financial Aid Consultant

Should you decide that you need to work with a personal financial aid consultant, whatever your reasons are, you will want to be sure that the one you choose has everything that you are looking for in order to do the job well. First, the FAFSA application is a free one, as strongly suggested by the first word in the name of the form. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is provided at the government website, and there are tools and PDF files available there that will help you to figure it all out on your own. What you will pay your financial aid consultant for is their time spent, and their expertise at coaching you on the information that you will need, filling out the appropriate areas, and filing it in a timely manner to the right place.

The very fact that you are applying for financial aid from the government denotes that you are, in fact, in a place of financial need, and the costs of this consultation should reflect that fact. You should not be asked to pay more than $150 at the most, and you should ask for a detailed receipt from your consultant upon payment of the fees. An honest financial aid consultant will explain that these fees are based solely on their own income schedule, never placing amounts due based on application or filing fees from the government.

Your chosen professional should be well versed in the laws and availability of each type of government education program, and should be forthcoming with all of this information without tacking on extra fees. Honesty and integrity are what you are looking for, and if you can, hire a professional based on a referral from someone who has used the service before and whom you trust. You might ask the admissions office on your campus to refer you to a trustworthy consultant.

Ask your financial aid consultant if they are willing to sign the FAFSA. Much in the same way as tax preparation specialists will sign the documents that they prepare for clients, this ensures that the professional is willing to stand behind and back the application if further issues or questions should arise. A refusal on the part of your professional to sign this application could denote some sort of wrongdoing or unethical behavior, and you should take this into consideration before hiring this company or individual.

Any time that you are asked to enter false information on an application, or are asked to approve such errors knowingly, this should raise a red flag for you. Yours is the name on the application, and yours is the grant money and reputation at stake should falsities come into play. Hiring an honest and reputable financial aid consultant can make your life a lot easier, and keep your mind focused on the important educational aspects of college. You just want to be sure that your consultant is working for you, and not against.