College Planning

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Chuck Bates, a Certified College Financial Consultant (CCFC), will coach you through every step of your educational funding journey. We encourage you to start planning early. It is never too early or late to start planning. However, beginning before the junior year of high school is key, as financial aid is based on the prior-prior year. This means a student attending college in the fall of 2021 would file the FAFSA using family taxes from 2019.

Any family with college-bound students can benefit. All income ranges, business owners, and divorced or blended families have unique circumstances that affect financial aid. We will empower you to make informed decisions on school selection, student loans, financial aid, scholarships, and ultimately what your family can afford through our coaching process.

Are you curious about what factors impact the cost you pay for college?

We evaluate all of the following:

  • Home value and home equity
  • Income, retirement plans, retirement contributions
  • Student and parent assets
  • 529 Plans, UTMA accounts, ROTH IRA accounts
  • Business entity structure and value
  • Marital status, custodial relationships, number of college students enrolled at the same time

Are you concerned about borrowing?

We help answer the following:

  • Who should borrow, the parent or student
  • How much can each afford to borrow
  • What are the best rates available if I borrow
  • What will my payment be, when will it start, and when does interest accrue

Do contracts and applications stress you out?

We will coach you through financial aid applications and awards:

  • CSS Profile
  • Institutional Applications
  • Award analysis
  • Award appeals

After working with SEA, Inc., you will know:

  • What colleges and the government think you can afford (your EFC)
  • If you qualify for need-based grants or merit-based scholarships
  • Your first year and four-year costs
  • What you can afford for education costs
  • Loan projections, impact, and funding gap analysis
  • How you will pay the entire four-year cost of college
  • If you will qualify for any education-related tax credits


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