Sunday, June 10, 2007

Financial Aid Consultant

  • Start-up cost: RM2,000-RM4,000
  • Potential earnings: RM15,000-RM40,000
  • Typical fees: Flat rates of RM150-RM500
  • Advertising: Yellow Pages, classified ads, direct mail, Advertising: membership and participation in community organizations related to education, seminars and speeches for community groups, networking, referrals from high schools
  • Qualifications: Experience as a school guidance counselor or college admissions officer, extensive knowledge of the field, ability to relate well to college applicants and their parents
  • Equipment needed: Office with conference table for meeting clients, computer, suite software, modem, fax, printer, business cards, letterhead, envelopes
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Subscriptions, on-line time, dues
  • Lowdown: The cost of higher education continues to escalate. Especially so if one opts for an overseas education even with a twinning facility. And while it is always said that many types of scholarships and financial aid are available, finding them is quite another matter. Families need guidance and assistance in preparing the paperwork and in finding the sources to which they can apply. Your services as a financial aid consultant will be in great demand once your name gets known to the community at large. Word of mouth from students you have helped, and their parents, will bring you new business regularly. You will need a lot of familiarity with financial aid options to make a success of this type of consulting, and you will need excellent people skills as well. Some financial aid consultants research options on the Internet, while other specialize in aid for secondary, or even elementary school tuition. The bulk of the market, though, is for students entering college.
  • Start-Up: Keeping your own knowledge up to date and providing a suitable place for interviewing clients are your two main expenses (RM2,000 to start). Part-time could earn you RM15,000; rates could range anywhere from RM150-RM500 per job.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: Many parents experience major sticker shock when they first realize how much having one or more children enrolled in tertiary education is going to set them back. And even the "simple" financial aid forms for determining basic financial need are far from easy to cope with. Beyond that, you can give vital help in finding the multitude of special scholarships for students with a certain heritage, a special academic interest, or some other unusual characteristic.

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