Many advisors asked us these questions before they bought Mastering College Pre-Approval™. So, we wanted to list them, and answer them for you here...

I don't want to limit myself by specializing in college planning exclusively. How can I benefit from this training?

A lot of people ask us this! You don't have to become a college planning specialist to make Mastering College Pre-Approval™ profitable for your practice.

Most advisors we train see the writing on the wall — their Gen-X clients are nervous about how to pay for their children's college education, and it keeps coming up more & more often with existing clients, and new ones too.

These advisors see the potential in learning an additional planning skill that will help their existing clients, as well as help them attract & retain new ones.

Financial advisors can no longer ignore college funding and Gen-X families. Just saving into a 529 isn't sufficient anymore.

Advisors who want to provide comprehensive advice to families with college bound teens will have 3 options:

  1. Become well versed in college financial aid and funding strategies.
  2. Appoint someone on your team to become your college-funding expert.
  3. Outsource this important work to a college-funding expert just like you do tax or legal work.

I see the scope of the problem. I want to help families solve it. I want to learn new skills. I realize the potential for building a great business around college planning. I just don't have time to take an in-depth training program.
How have other advisors made time to learn this?

How long does it take to go through the training, and then apply it with existing clients?

We understand. Every advisor is in a time crunch. It basically requires you to dedicate an hour/day to studying the material.
Parts 1 & 2 of Mastering College Pre-Approval™ together include about 31 hours of video + quizzes + PDFs to read. It takes most advisors about 2 months to go through it all, and then start applying it in their practice.

How can I use this knowledge to get new clients?

This is the other big question we get. Therefore, we created Part 2: Marketing College Planning & Building A Business As Your Local Expert. 

Once you complete Part 1: The Mechanics of College Funding — How To Do College Planning The Right Way, you'll feel confident you have the knowledge and can apply it in a way that makes you look like a genius to your clients.

As your confidence grows, you'll be empowered to follow what you learn in Part 2, and go out into the community to establish yourself as the college planning expert in your area.

Why do you say learning college planning will help advisors attract & retain clients in an easier way than they do currently?

I say this because we've experienced it in our own practice. Once you are seen in the community as a real problem solver, word gets out that you know how to really help Gen-X parents solve their #1 financial fear. Referrals are easier to come by.

In addition, college planning is financial planning with a deadline. Most people put off retirement planning, and are reluctant to pay an advisor to help them. College planning is different because the admissions process runs on a very strict calendar. These clients need your help now.

And, once you help them with the initial college plan, it's much easier to earn their trust & get them on as a comprehensive planning client for many years to come. We'll teach you how.

Why would an advisor buy Part 1 by itself, without getting the marketing modules?

Advisors who are more focused on the academic side have bought Part 1 only, and said they learned a lot they hadn't considered before.

Veteran advisors who work with clients everyday, and already have a thriving business and successful marketing program say they are seeing more grandparents helping their Gen X children with college-bound kids.

Some of them have chosen to just get Part 1 in order to sharpen their skills and really help these families. They say it helps them land generational clients (the Gen-X parents themselves) as well.

These veteran advisors often buy the course for a junior advisor who becomes the firm's point person for college planning, and then seeks out their own Gen-X clients.

How would you describe the ideal advisor for Mastering College Pre-Approval™?

The majority of advisors who buy both Parts 1 & 2 together are those who are newly independent, and want to get niche focused so that client acquisition & retention become easier. Or, they've been in business several years, and are seeing a rising need in their existing clientele (and in turn, in the community at large) for high-level college planning advice.

Most of the advisors come from wealthy suburbs of major metros and see that Gen-X, upper-middle class families make too much money to get financial aid, and not enough to write a check for 4 years of college per child.

Smart advisors want to learn a way to serve these families at a higher level because they recognize there is less competition to get them as a client in the short term, and more upside potential in the future.

In Mastering College Pre-Approval™, you'll learn an approach geared to families like this — who are poised to enter their peak earning years, and get inheritances, and need help now with their #1 financial fear — paying for the college investment.

Advisors who want to learn how to earn the trust of these people, help them, and get them as comprehensive planning clients for life, are the ones who take what they learn in Mastering College Pre-Approval™ and turn it into a thriving practice working with clients they love.

Can I skip the foundation education of Part 1, and just buy the marketing & practice management series?

The technical training is required to unlock the marketing series & practice management course. We want you to be an expert in college planning before we teach you how to build a great practice around it.

We’re confident even the most experienced college planners will learn new strategies and techniques for helping clients.

What kind of tools, marketing materials and other extras do I get?

We are including some of our very best tools and resources including workflows, talking tracks for meetings with clients, presentation spreadsheets, college databases, and marketing guides with the courses.

How can I get coaching and support when I have questions?

We’ve worked hard to create self-directed, online-learning content that we think will put you among the top 1% of college planners in the country…seriously. If you want individualized attention, exclusive, as well as group-coaching programs of elite college planners are in the works. A lead generation program is coming soon too.

Is there continuing education credit for the course? How do I get credit for it?

The technical training (Part 1: The Mechanics of College Funding — How To Do College Planning The Right Way) is eligible for a total of 8.5 credits continuing education credits (CE) toward the CFP designation. You will be required to pass a quiz after each course module to earn CE credits. Then, we'll take care of the rest for you and get it submitted on your behalf.

Click here to see more FAQs with Joe Messinger CFP®, ChFC®, CLU® answering questions posed by 529 expert Paul Curley, CFA® in “529 Insiders”.