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Navigating the Financial Aid Network

A required course in the Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program.

Course Description

This course is designed for educational consultants interested in broadening their range of services to parents and their dependent student. It focuses on vehicles of college funding, issues of affordability, and sources of federal and institutional financial aid. Consultants can help students gain access to colleges that are affordable for them. We review the Federal Methodology (FM) and Title IV funding, which includes all types of federal student aid, such as loans, grants, work-study, the FAFSA, the SAR and loan repayment terms. We also review the Institutional Methodology (IM) used by elite private colleges via the CSS Profile form, types of scholarships available, and the role of enrollment management in financial aid. 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 about the role of the financial aid administrator and circumstances that may qualify for professional judgment. We review how to position our services, 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 prior to enrolling in this course. See enrollment confirmation for login information. Please register for the course at least two weeks prior to the start date. 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
  • $755
  • January 08, 2024 to February 25, 2024
  • Delivery Mode: Online
  • Reg#: 00042
  • ID/Units: EDUC X406.1  (2.00)
    ( Section 1 )
  • Quarter: Winter 2024


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):

How to Control Your College Costs
Book - ISBN: 9781736260920
C. Claire Law, Educational Avenues, Inc.

Meeting Schedule

EventDateDayStart TimeEnd TimeLocationRoom
START01/08/2024Monday------Online (Access Begins)---
END02/25/2024Sunday------Online (Access Ends)---