What We Do
We help families develop a game plan to avoid overpaying for college. We try to outline issues that families can expect to deal with and the key steps and deadlines that they will face. We break it down into step-by-step pieces to help students get into the college of their choice with a solid financial aid package.
Top 10 Reasons Why You’ll Love Working With Red Oak College Planning:
We show you how to get money from colleges (including elite schools) even if you don’t qualify for need-based aid.
- We show you what to do right now if you haven’t saved a single dime for college, or, what to do if you did plan & save…but…it’s not enough, you lost it all in the market, or you had to spend it somewhere else.
- We hold your hand through every step of the process, showing you exactly what to do and what NOT to do so you avoid the mistakes that disqualify you from aid – including what to do if you’re under-awarded by the college.
- By helping you fill out the FAFSA form, institutional forms and other required paperwork, we eliminate one of the biggest headaches parents struggle with.
- We help you maximize aid from your child’s “first-choice” college so you don’t have to say “I’m sorry, we can’t afford it.”
- We steer you clear of the most common and costly mistakes that 95% of parents make in paying for college.
- We show you dozens of 100% legal ways to leverage the tax code to get your Uncle Sam to contribute more to the college bill.
- We guide your son or daughter through the entire college preparation process:
- choosing a major and a career
- college search & visits (the right way and the wrong way)
- college application assistance (how to put your best foot forward)
- how to get the most effective letters of recommendation
- admissions essay service (professional one-on-one guidance from essay topic choice through final version)
- the admissions interview (do’s and don’ts that make a big difference)
- We play “drill sergeant” to make sure your child meets his/her deadlines.
- We relieve you of the burden of 1,001 details and hours of worry and aggravation… saving your family from the stress and strife associated with the college application process.
- We help all types of families maximize the college financial aid process.
We help guide you through every step of the College Financial Planning Process, showing you What to do and What NOT to do so you avoid the mistakes that may disqualify you from maximum aid.Learn More
We help you fill out the FAFSA Form and other Institutional forms so that they are done right and on time significantly increasing the opportunity for more aid.Learn More
We help you formulate a college list that presents the best academic, social and financial opportunities for your child and your family.Learn More
We help you develop a game plan if your child is under-awarded by a College with a thorough review and appeals process.Learn More
We can show various planning strategies to pay for all four years of college plus future College costs for younger children.Learn More
We help you avoid common mistakes that many uninformed parents make that can cost their child admission to their “Dream School” and overpaying for college.Learn More
What Our Clients Say
“Mike Velasco and the team at Red Oak College Planning have been an integral part of our life. When it was time to plan for our daughter’s college, we were not sure where to start… Mike met with us, worked with us and was always available to answer any questions.... day or night. My husband and I joke about how Mike saved our marriage, because he helped us fill out and submit all those financial aid forms.”
Dominique and Mike Tufariello, Mendham, NJ
“I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that Paul accepted Arcadia University. Your guidance, patience and structure in approach was instrumental in Paul receiving an additional $7,200.00 in scholarship grants ( a total of $28,800 over four years). Prior to attending your informational workshop, I initially thought that I should not even bother, there was no way that we could legally reduce our Cost of Attendance etc…thankfully we came in with your generous offer of a free consultation. But after our initial consultation, you walked us through the various strategies including appeals and it made sense to pursue.”
“As a mother of one college student preparing to send a second off to university, the program presented by Michael Velasco with Red Oak College Planning caught my eye as something that might help take the sting out of the impending expenses I was going to incur. He was knowledgeable, realistic, and patient with the variety of questions that came from the audience. After leaving the presentation, I realized how poorly informed I was about the opportunities to help offset the mountain of expenses that were looming in my future.
“We came to see Mike and his company Red Oak College Planning in February 2016 for help with our twins entering college in fall 2016. We had two major concerns, one was to help us sort out the various college scholarship offers and possibly appeal those, and to help us devise a solid plan to pay for future years of primary and secondary college costs. Through Mike’s help he was able to help us increase the scholarship portion of our twin’s where they were able to increase their final offers from their dream schools by $7,000 ( $28,000 for 4 years) for our son and $9,000 ( $36,000 for 4 years ) for our daughter. Secondly, Mike immediately put us at ease by devising a plan to fund future college payments, reducing our current EFC and also supplementing our long-term retirement plans. In closing, we want to thank Mike and Red Oak College Planning and wholeheartedly endorse their services!”
Tom R. and family
“I like Mike Velasco and Red Oak College Planning because I have enough on my plate already. They have been able to give us options that we were unaware existed. I like time to think about things and I do not feel pressured to make decisions. They have been very good at listening and understanding our individual family issues. We now have a game plan to send our three girls to college. Thank you!”