I've heard about scholarship and financial aid scams...
So have we. We've also heard about accounting fraud, Ponzi schemes, teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, financial planners churning client accounts and jaywalkers. There are crooks in every walk of life and there are surely crooked college financial planning firms. Education Funding Solutions does NOT sell a scholarship search service and for about 80% of the families that engage us, we do not suggest any strategies to "enhance financial aid." For most students, at most colleges, "enhancing financial aid eligibility" is really another way of saying, "we'll get you some other loans." Loans do not impress us; "Gift Aid" does. And we do help families get Gift Aid (free money that does not have to be repaid); this rarely involves asset repositioning, has nothing to do with "scholarship searches" and is included in our college funding plan price. Over 60% of Education Funding Solutions' client families do not qualify for need-based financial aid and nothing we could do with their assets could change that. These families engage us to save them money on college funding apart from financial aid.
But "sticking in our craw" are the entities that warn families about college planning "scam artists." Might they have ulterior motives? Might government and quasi-government financial aid agencies benefit if no one exposes their bureaucracy, inefficiencies and the TRUE COST of their loans? Might employees of these government entities prefer to keep their cushy jobs and benefit packages and would rather there be no advocates for college consumers? Have any government agencies steered business to non-government companies? Might college financial aid officers prefer that parents dealt with only them so they could keep under wraps the fact (in many cases) that they take parents money but rarely graduate students in less than five - or six or seven - years? Might the "non-profit" colleges that pay their Presidents over $1 Million in salary prefer that parents did not know this? Might some high school Guidance Counselors be fooled into thinking that Big Government (federal or state) loans are fair and affordable?
In the end, it all comes down to trust. We'll earn it and you'll feel it.