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Navigating the Financial Aid Network

A required course in the Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program.

Course Description

Often educational consultants focus on the admission process without being aware of college financial aid, how it works, and how it may affect a family’s financial situation. While grades and test scores are important for admission, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) can position a family favorably or unfavorably within the financial aid award policies of a college. This course covers issues of affordability, sources of college funding, all Title IV federal financial aid, and loan repayment terms. The focus is on families with dependent students. We review FAFSA and CSS Profile forms, the difference between need-based aid, merit-based aid, and the combination of merit-need aid within the role of enrollment management. Through case studies, we learn how to read financial aid packages and how to compare and contrast students' awards from multiple colleges. Participants also learn which circumstances may qualify for professional judgment. We review how to direct families to quality consumer information, work within our expertise, and commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and principles of good practice.

We highly recommend students complete EDUC_X406 Principles of Independent Educational Consulting and EDUC_X406.21 College Admissions Consulting Resources prior to enrolling in this course. See enrollment confirmation for login information. Due to high demand, early enrollment recommended.

NOTE: This course may have optional, live sessions via Zoom. The sessions will be recorded and posted for students who are not able to attend. The Zoom meeting link and password to join will be provided in the course. A device with audio and visual will be needed to participate. The following student guide provides additional resources/information on how to use and access the course’s Zoom sessions.

  • Details
  • $735
  • January 10, 2022 to February 27, 2022
  • Delivery Mode: Online
  • Reg#: 00022
  • ID/Units: EDUC X406.1  (2.00)
    ( Section 1 )
  • Quarter: WINTER 2022


Claire Law is a nationally recognized expert in college admission and financial aid advising. An IECA Professional Member and Certified Educational Planner (CEP) since 1999, she serves as the Chair of the IECA College Subcommittee on Affordability. Prior to working as an independent educational consultant, Claire worked in college admission, financial aid, and in student loan sales for a Sallie Mae lender. These experiences fueled her passion for helping students and parents limit their debt burden by including “affordability” in the college “fit.” As an instructor, she teaches her true-and-tried college financial aid process, which she developed over 21 years of working with families. Claire co-authored “Find The Perfect College For You,” an analysis of MBTI© personality type in college, and in 2021 she self-published “How to Control Your College Costs”.

Textbook Information

Textbooks for your course may be purchased from any vendor or bookseller of your choice.

Required Textbook(s):

Book - ISBN: 9781736260920
C. Claire Law, Educational Avenues, Inc.

Meeting Schedule

EventDateDayStart TimeEnd TimeLocationRoom
START01/10/2022Monday------Online (Access Begins)---
END02/27/2022Sunday------Online (Access Ends)---