Learn Secrets Most Parents Will Never Know About Financial Aid

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Get 1-on-1 time with Gary Lucas, Certified College Planning Specialist


Gary Lucas is the author of “The 7 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Paying for College” and has been helping families maximize free money for college since 2001. It began when he did extensive research on the Financial Aid System and discovered that he and his family paid over $23,000 in unnecessary college expenses.

As a Certified College Funding Specialist (CCFS) and a founding member of the National College Advocacy Group (NCAG), Gary wants to make sure that families of all income levels do not make the same mistakes that his family did. He is also a prominent member of the Association of Certified College Funding Specialists (ACCFS),a major organization dedicated to helping parents save thousands of dollars each year on their children’s education each year.

Gary is a regular speaker at college financial planning seminars throughout the upstateNew York area and hosts national college planning webinars throughout the country. He is the former co-host of theCentralNew Yorkbased financial radio show, “Gary and Mike, In Your Business.” Gary has been featured on several TV shows, including Bridge Street, YNN, and Financial Fitness. He has also appeared on several radio broadcasts including Ted and Amy in the Morning, and with nationally syndicated host Gary Nolan. Gary has also hosted localCentral New York high school Financial Aid nights as well.

Private Consultation with Gary D. Lucas, CCPS

Don’t Lose $23,000 Like I Did!

Navigating the Financial Aid system can be very difficult and time consuming.  And what’s worse, if you make just one small mistake, it could cost you and your child thousands of dollars in unnecessary loans.

Gary Lucas has been on a mission to teach families how to avoid those costly mistakes and how to get more free money for college since 2001. His journey began when he did extensive research on the Financial Aid System and discovered that he personally lost over $23,000 in scholarships and grants because he and his family made the costly errors that most families make when applying and paying for college.  Don’t let this happen to you!

You see, college is expensive, this is no secret.  If going to college was cheap, and the process was easy, you probably wouldn’t be on this site right now.  What you probably aren’t aware of though, is how big the disparity is between how much each student pays to go to the exact same college.

That’s right, each student will receive a different Financial Aid package made up of grants, scholarships, and loans.  Therefore, some will get more free money than others (like those of you on this site, of course) and some will have to pay more out of their pocket (those that attempt to do it themselves).

Avoid BIG Mistakes!

By understanding and avoiding the biggest mistakes that parents’ make paying for college, your family will get more free money and tax credits and will be less encumbered with loans.  In addition, you will be able to take advantage of other money saving opportunities most families don’t know about or even understand.

It is not uncommon for families that book private consultations with Gary to save $30,000 to $50,000 in college expenses over 4 years.  In fact, this is the norm rather than the exception.  During the consultation, Gary will create a specialized plan based on your personal family situation, making sure you maximize all of the scholarship, grant money, and tax benefits you are entitled to receive.

If you have any questions on whether or not a consultation is right for you, please feel free to send us an email at info@collegeaidnow.com.  Otherwise, click on the link below to set your appointment up RIGHT NOW!




Over the years as a financial professional, I’ve literally had hundreds of meetings over the years with clients and prospects. There is one that took place about 7 years ago that is crystal clear to me to this day. A young girl came into my office to discuss her financial situation. I quickly realized that she was trying to pay back $85,000 worth of student loan debt with a $30,000 per year salary! My stomach literally became queasy just by looking at numbers!
I wondered how on earth could this happen? Who would allow a 17 year old to sign up for so much debt? And, most importantly, was any time taken to compare the amount of debt to the amount of money should would be making?

The previous sentence contains one of the most important concepts when dealing with student loans. Let’s assume someone makes $30,000 per year and their take home pay is $2,000 a month. Now let’s also assume that they are making payments on a 10 year student loan of $85,000 with a 7.25% interest rate. Their payments would be about $1,000 per month. After making the payment on the student loan, this person would have $1,000 left for monthly expenses. So in essence this person has the same take home pay as a person making $15,000 after making their loan payment! Now you understand why there are so many 25 year old college grads living with mom and dad! This is insanity and it happens everyday! Of course the counter argument is that over the long term the college tuition costs that created loan payments above will have been worthy investment via a salary that is higher than a non college grad. Overall this way of thinking is correct, but what if we can find a way to reduce tuition costs and the amount needed to borrow to cover them? Wouldn’t life be easier if they payment was $250 per month or lower? Just reading the example above you now more informed than half of the parents and students partaking in the college planning process. You will think before blindly signing onto loan after loan, only to wiped out by a payment tsunami in the future. Unfortunately though, your work is not over. If you go the student loan route you will need to learn about the different types of loans available, repayment options etc. Luckily Gary Lucas provides great information regarding all of this as part of his personal consultation. Book yours today!



At CollegeAidNow.com we constantly experience an amazing phenomenon. We have noticed over the years in our live seminars that if you mention the word “Scholarships” parents and students like up like Christmas trees. They scramble to find pens and paper to write notes down. It is like we are giving away the day’s lottery numbers. What concerns us is that while making a mad dash for scholarship money, people are completely missing out another incredible funding source for college, financial aid from the school itself. To understand the Financial Aid distribution process you have to begin with the mindset that colleges want the best students possible and are willing to go through great lengths to acheive this.

You may think a child that gets decent grades, does some after school activities, and stays out of trouble is a normal kid because their friends and siblings are the same way. This simply isn’t true. What you may consider to be an “Average” student is more capable of receiving FREE aid from many colleges.In our experience the three biggest blocks to students receiving more aid are as follows; ignorance by parents as far as knowing negotiating is possible, a reluctance to negotiate since it does come natural to many people, and the ability to communicate with the Financial Aid office in an effective way. Luckily by reading this page of our website you have rid yourself of obstacle number one. Wonderful! As far as negotiating, don’t worry, you are not dealing with Donald Trump. For the most part Financial Aid Officers are nice, professional people. The problem is that they do not speak the same language as most people. They are usually “Numbers” people! Our goal at CollegeAidNow.com is to teach you how to communicate with the Financial Aid office to receive just as much if not more FREE money than you would via scholarships. Scholarships are an outstanding way to pay for college, but they are not the only way! Gary will talk about this and much more as part of his personal consultation. Book your today!



“Hopefully he will get a scholarship!” ”Do you know of any scholarships she could receive?” “I wish I could find some scholarship money!” How many times have you heard college bound students or their parents utter these phrases? Scholarships have always been highly coveted in American Society, but with today’s record high tuition costs and sluggish economy, they are more important than ever. The sad fact is that millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unused each year. Think of all of the part time jobs and student loan payments that could be avoided if parents and students were able get their hands on the abundance of scholarship money that is available!

So where does one begin in the in the murky and confusing world of scholarships? Well for one, we can tell you where no t to begin; Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, or any other source of “Do It Yourself” books and information. You will dive into an overwhelming information labyrinth that will leave you confused and frustrated. The best first step when trying to obtain scholarships is to know the different types of scholarships available. Many people think scholarships need to come community, civic ,government organizations etc. Did you know the college your child wants to attend may give it out scholarships itself? Such scholarships are known as private college scholarships. In our personal consultation, we go into much more detail regarding specific techniques that have PROVEN to provide THOUSANDS of scholarships to students around the country. To set up your consultation today, click on the “Consultation” tab above!


Kathleen Murphy

Brian and I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful service you have provided over the past couple of years. Your professionalism, attention to detail and enthusiastic willingness to always be on-hand made the entire process quite painless. I can’t even begin to list all the various financial concerns you have continued to help us with. Thanks to the diligent work you performed on Kaitlin’s behalf, we saved not only a considerable amount of money but much aggravation as well. We are looking forward to beginning the whole process again for Erin. I am confident the results will be just as gratifying.

– Business Owner in Camillus

Christine Larkin

I wish to thank you for the professionalism and efficiency you showed in completing the financial aid forms for my children. As you know, I am an experienced professional in the field of Child Welfare buth that in now way translated to competence in completing these forms. In the last few years I have listened to other friends talk about how worrisome and time consuming it is to complete FAFSA and Profile forms. They actually take a day off work to do them!! At my salary, that costs much more than your fees and my time with you has always been under an hour – even for 2 kids. Plus, I am confident that your forms are accurate and will actually access all the money my children are entitled to. With me…who knows. I don’t do my own taxes so why would I risk this? Thanks again for another less stressful year. I will see you again next January.

– Child Welfare Professional, Syracuse

Paul J. Herrling

Since our first meeting – the sophomore year of our son in high school, your services have been very helpful to our family. The planning, and the filling out of the necessary forms, helped our son to achieve a sound financial package from his chosen College – RIT – was of great help. Your work helped achieve a financial package that secured more grant money. This would not have been possible without your expert knowledge. You made sure that we met the deadlines required by the colleges in a timely fashion. Your efficient work relieved a great amount of stress from our family during this trying time. As long as our son is in college, we will continue using your services.

– Business Owner in Auburn

Christina Teel

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the wonderfully helpful service that you provided me concerning the financial possibilities for financial my daughter’s college education. I have consulted with numerous individuals including a local individual touting himself as a college financial planner, a CPA/CFP, a stockbroker and an attorney who specialized in college planning. All gave me wither inaccurate or even ludicrous advice that was invariably conflicting on what options were available to me. I have also read numerous books and attended so many seminars and workshops on college financial planning that the information eventually melted into a blur. It was not until I came across your website in a last ditch effort, that I discovered what invaluable services you provide. In addition to helping my daughter to be in an improved position to receive financial aid for her college education, your backing allowed me to be insistent with both an ill-informed stockbroker and CPA/CFP to change my financial direction, despite their objections and greatly improve my general financial situation. You also provided me with an invaluable education on what possibilities are available for college financial planning, which is very helpful to me as a school counselor.

– School Counselor in Austin, TX

David and Linda Pavlas

It is my pleasure to recommend the services of Gary Lucas. His help in the financial aid process greatly alleviated a lot of the pressure involved in the college application process. His professional assistance allowed my family to concentrate on other aspects of the application process knowing that the financial aid areas was under his control. Gary fully explained the financial aid process to me and my family so that we could understand the reasoning behind the amount of financial aid we would most likely receive. With his support my daughters received enough financial aid to attend their top choice universities. The assistance your family will receive in the financial aid process will be invaluable, both in the financial aid package you will receive and the stress relief it will provide. I highly recommend Gary Lucas to all families beginning the college application process.

– Marcellus

Susan Tormey

We want to thank you very much for your prompt, courteous and most professional handling of our needs. We look forward to continuing to work with you as our daughter, Colleen, begins her college endeavors. We would not hesitate, and already have, recommended your name to our friends.

– Syracuse

Dave Frisina

Despite already having a son attend a community college, when it came down to another son applying to a four-year college, the more involved financial-aid maze was navigated with the services of Gary Lucas. He negotiated the process with careful ease and provided the informed assistance and attention-to-detail to tackle and successfully complete all the number-crunching and necessary paperwork. Highly recommended!

– Disc Jockey in Syracuse

Nanette Slowik

I highly recommend Gary Lucas for assistance in preparation of forms needed for college as well as advice in financial matters regarding applications and registration. Mr. Lucas as well as the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and professional. My questions were dealt with promptly and carefully. Phone calls and letters were sent to advocate for better situations for my two college age students. Their services for a very reasonable fee have been gratefully appreciated in a stressful time of seemingly overwhelming paper work.

– Teacher in Syracuse

Andy & Shari Doherty

We wanted to thank you and your staff for the service you have, and continue, to provide us with regards to our two sons’ college applications and financing options. Although we considered doing the research, form filing and negotiation ourselves, we quickly realized the benefits of having an expert guide us through the process. We saved money, time and unnecessary anxiety. Your professional service in filling out forms, quick responses to questions and suggestions on how to better position our assets allowed us to navigate our way through a process that cn quickly become overwhelming. We have recommended your company to various friends as well, and I suppose that’s the true indication of our confidence in your abilities.

– North Syracuse

Kenny Ta

Thank you for all of your help getting us more money for Ronald to go to college and filling out all of the paperwork. We would have spent thousands more dollars each year if it weren’t for your help. I am recommending you to every parent that I know!

– Business Owner in Solvay

Andrew & Michelle Hogan

We just wanted to take a moment to express our thanks for the assistance you provided our family during our son Michael’s college search and application process. Your experience helped to significantly reduce the apprehension brought upon by the onset of scores of new terms, acronyms, and specific forms referenced by the colleges we were considering. The time you and your staff took to ensure we understood the financial aspect of the college search process truly made the entire experience one our entire family will always cherish; moreover, your patience and willingness to quickly respond to our many inquiries went well beyond our expectations. Now that Michael has completed his first semester as a Mechanical Engineering major at Alfred University (and made the Dean’s List!) it seemed only fitting that we acknowledge your roll in this endeavor. We truly thank you for all your help over the last year.

– Auburn

Joe and Estella Traver

We highly recommend the services that are provided by Gary Lucas and his team of professionals. We have been a client since our daughter first graduated from West Genesee High School. In a day when picking the right college and making sure all the necessary financial funds (aid packages, etc.) are available for your child to make the transition from the high school level to the college level there can be a great deal of stress and worry involved in that transition. With the help and assistance that Gary provides we have found that the stress and worry level can truly be held to a very low minimal level. It has been a real pleasure to have worked with Gary. He has always been there to lend a helping had to us. He has consistently maintained the highest level of the professional help and assistance we had hoped for when we first decided to become a client. In closing I’d like to thank you for your time in reading our recommendation to you. But before we end this correspondence I’d like to offer you this one piece of advice for you to consider. The one determining factor that ultimately helped us make up our mind to seek the services of a professional was this: When you consider all that is involved in the transition process, the time, the paperwork, the different interest rates for loans, the different scholarships available, etc. All you have to do is miss out on just one of these things and the price you pay for is minimal compared to the price of what it could cost you by not having a professional on your side working for you. And that’s before you even count for the piece of mind you will get from having them on your side. We strongly urge you to take this under advisement as you consider wiat is best for not only your piece of mind, but also for your child’s future.

– Syracuse

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