Welcome to Capstone - The Home of College Pre-Approval™
Capstone is a comprehensive, fee-only financial planning firm based in Columbus, OH. We work with families to build thoughtful, integrated college, retirement, and investment plans.
Through our video series, weekly emails, webinars, and workshops, we provide parents with practical tools, tips, tricks, and advice on how to be a savvy college mom and dad.
College Pre-Approval™ – A Simple 3 Step Process to Graduate with Less Debt
Our simple three-step process will help you figure out a reasonable college budget for your family. These three steps provide a path to graduate on time with manageable student loan debt without robbing your retirement.
4 Components of College Funding
In this video, we give you a brief overview of the four components of a comprehensive college funding plan – College Selection, Financial Aid, Tax Aid, and Personal Resource Planning. Knowing how to best position yourself in each of these four areas can save you thousands on the sticker price of college.
Finding the college that’s just the “right fit” is one of the most important pieces of the college search. But how do you know what makes a good fit before you attend?
At The Core – How to Decide What to Do After High School
Our great friend Beth Probst, CEO and Founder of At The Core LLC, shares information on a unique process they call “Guided Self Assessment,” which helps high school students and graduates decide what the next step should be for them.
Understanding the Financial Aid Basics
Walk through some of the financial aid terms and acronyms. Learn the reason why ALL families should complete the FAFSA. Get helpful information about the CSS profile. And discover how to build your college list with financial aid in mind.
FAFSA vs. CSS Profile – Differences You Need to “Know Before You Go!”
A select group of the most prestigious colleges and universities use an institutional method to determine your financial need with the CSS Profile Application. Typically, “profile” colleges are very selective private colleges, including the Ivies. Learn the key differences in their financial aid systems.
Scholarships for the Financially Successful
Congratulations, you don’t qualify for need-based financial aid. While this can be disappointing, don’t despair. Now is the time to shift your focus to schools with a track record of awarding scholarships based on student merit. This video explains what to look for and how to find schools that will pay your student to attend.
Financial Aid Policy That May Shock You
The financial aid policies at different universities are shockingly different. This video explains the vastly different financial aid policies of different institutions and a shocking example of how a student attended a private university for less than a state school.
Don’t Get in Over Your Head with Student Loans
How much loan is too much? In this video, we walk through creating a four-year college funding plan that will allow you to graduate without drowning in debt.
Ever wonder how Capstone became focused on college planning?
What was that light bulb moment? Joe was recently interviewed by XYPN Radio, a specialty broadcast for financial planners. They came to Joe wanting to hear about his expertise to best serve families in a new way. Give it a listen! (You may be surprised by Joe’s major in college!)
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) YouTube Page
“Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Dept. of Education, helps make a college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $150 billion each year in grants, loans, & work-study funds.” The Federal Student Aid YouTube page is PACKED with helpful videos covering a wide range of topics from what is federal financial aid, what is the process like, what is the FAFSA, what is the FSA ID, what is work study, and more. Take a moment to explore their page here.
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