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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the questions we receive the most about our services. If we missed anything, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

In July of 2021, Heidi underwent extensive study and sat for 3 exams to earn her Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS) designation which positions her as an expert in college planning strategies by the National Institute of Certified College Planners (NICCP). She is the only financial advisor in the state of Iowa to hold this credential and only one of three in the state of Illinois, with the other two residing in the Chicagoland area and the St. Louis metropolitan area, respectively. Some college planning services focus on positioning your student to get accepted to a particular school. Heidi can help your child identify strengths, interests, courses of study, and colleges that match those parameters; navigate the confusing financial aid process; analyze and enable you to get the “most bang for your buck” from your student’s top school choices; and, most importantly, how to pay for it all.

Yes! Heidi uses a terrific online assessment tool, The Focus 2 Explore, to discover your young person’s skill sets and the career paths that may complement them along with corresponding matches among U.S. colleges and universities that offer courses of study in those areas. Your student’s eyes may be opened to possibilities they didn’t know existed!

Absolutely! The “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) is accepted at the vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities and focuses on assets and income of both parents and the student. Most people find filling out the FAFSA more complicated than filling out their annual tax returns! Heidi can review your completed and saved FAFSA for errors and make sure that assets and income amounts are in the right “buckets” in order for your family’s expected contribution towards college funding to be as advantageous to you as possible.
No way! Heidi can help you employ strategies to draw your student’s favorite pick more within your reach.
As our client, you will have access to a database of over 3,400 U.S. colleges and universities which detail all the merit scholarships available at those schools that offer them. Additionally, Heidi has been schooled in advanced strategies in both tax and financial planning to best position parents and other loved ones (perhaps grandparents?) so that overall expenses will be lower, even with the addition of college costs.
You bet! Heidi is licensed to assist your family with the full range of educational savings plans including 529-Plans, Coverdell Savings Plans and Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA)/Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) Accounts.

Heidi recognizes that every family’s needs are different and that a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not serve you best. She offers a comprehensive package to guide you and your student through the whole college planning journey start to finish or an a la carte menu of services so you can customize and pay only for the assistance you need.

Heidi’s first concern is taking care of your family. She’s happy to work with you and set up a direct-debit payment plan from your bank account.