Your Complete College Funding Kit
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For Student-Athletes

At $80,000 to $300,000 per student, how will you fund your child(ren)'s college education?

Don't become paralyzed or assume you can't afford your child's dream school.

Learn to pay less by paying smart!

Speak with one of our highly-trained Smart Track™ College Funding Coaches at no cost and with absolutely no obligation. We'll review a few key elements of your financial profile and give you an honest assessment of your eligibility for aid (you might be surprised!) and whether you can improve your position to save thousands off the cost of educating your children.

Learn More!

Many middle and upper-middle income families assume they won't qualify for financial aid and don't have a smart strategy to cover the costs. As a result, they drain their retirement accounts, squander their home equity, or drown themselves in college loan debt.

Don't pay more for college than you should! How you have your finances, assets, or taxes organized can unnecessarily inflate how much you will be expected to pay out of pocket. You can miss out on significant aid - often by inches, not miles.

Smart Track™ College Funding is revolutionary in that it empowers you to identify and address red flags in your financial profile long before you submit aid applications, leading to better financial aid awards.

Even if you don't qualify for aid, how you pay for college will impact how much you pay.

Don't spend thousands of dollars on a financial advisor when our easy-to-use online platform and professional Smart Track™ Coaches help you navigate the entire college funding and financial aid process, for a fraction of the price.

Speak with one of our college funding specialists for free. Whether it makes sense for you to work with us on a personalized college funding plan or not, you'll get a lot of information and come away with a game plan. We will never recommend our services unless we can help significantly improve your situation.


Smart Track College FundingSmart Track™ is Your College Financial Guidance Solution

The more time you have to plan for college expenses, the more options you will have to control and lower your costs.

Still, it's never too late to start! Whether you have 4 years or only 2 months until your student applies to college, the Smart Track™ College Funding system can help you prepare to pay your share and reduce your costs.

Tools and Services Included with a Free Smart Track™ College Funding Account:


Smart Track College Planning Account EFC Estimator

Step 1:
Quick College Cost Estimation Tool

  • Forecast what YOU will be expected to pay out of pocket per year, and more importantly, whether and how you can reduce that calculation.

Smart Track College Financial Planning Report
Step 2:
Strategic College Funding Reports

  • Discover red flags in your financial profile that could cost you financial aid.
  • See how much you could save with college funding strategies in place.
  • Evaluate the latest statistics that identify schools likely to be generous with YOUR student.
  • Explore data-driven projections for what each school is likely to give YOUR student in free money vs. loans, and estimate your final out-of-pocket costs per school.


Smart Track College Funding AssessmentStep 3: Schedule a FREE 15- Minute Assessment

  • A 15-Minute review of your College Funding Report with a professional Smart Track Coach is included with your account - there is no cost and no obligation.

  • Great opportunity to address your questions and strategize on how to best pay your share and maximize eligibility for merit and need-based aid.


Smart Track College Planning Account Workshop

Step 4: On-Demand Financial Aid Tutorials & Workshops

  • Educate yourself with presentations, videos and articles covering the financial aid process from start to finish.
  • Learn what various funding options mean for your wallet (including tax incentives).  



Smart Track College Planning Awards AnalysisStep 5: Financial Aid Awards Analysis Tool & Appeals Workshop

  • Did your student get a fair financial aid package? Don't leave money on the table! Compare your award with college historical data to see whether the school did a good job meeting your financial need.

  • Next, watch our Awards & Appeals Tutorial to determine whether and how to make a successful appeal, if warranted.


Smart Track College Loan Calculator
Step 6: College Loan Calculator

  • Receive information on current student loan rates and options.  

  • Determine your monthly costs (including interest) over the full term of the loan.




Register Today for your Free 15-Minute Assessment


The sooner you create a solid college funding plan, the better your opportunities for success!


Additional Service Option

The free tools and assessments offered in the Smart Track™ College Funding Kit are sufficient for most families. For those with complicated financial situations, personalized Smart Track™ Coaching Services are available. We can help you craft a comprehensive college funding plan designed to optimize your financial aid potential and determine the smartest funding methods for your specific situation.

Learn more about our Smart Track™ Coach service here



Smart Track™ College Funding Kit  Do You Qualify?

Do you know what it takes to plan and pay for college?

For almost all families with college bound students, there are two main concerns: getting into college and paying for it. Your student is going to spend most of their time working on admissions applications, which means the task of figuring out how to pay the bills is usually left for the parents. If you haven't considered the true cost of a college education or put together a plan to pay for it, you may be at risk. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the college funding process and whether or not you are ready.
Do You Qualify?

1. T or F: The cost of attendance on a college's website is what you can expect to pay each year.

False. The cost of attendance listed on a college's website is no different than the sticker price listed on a new car. The vast majority of families don't pay this "sticker price", they pay less. This is because they incorporate Need-Based and Merit-Based aid strategies in their college plan.

2. Which will ultimately be more expensive: a state college or a private institution?

Even though a state college may look cheaper on paper, the truth is that many families pay less money to attend a private institution. This is because private colleges have endowments outside of federal and state funds that they can award to deserving students. If you don't apply to a college just because it looks expensive, you may be missing out.

3. How many different financial aid applications will you have to complete?

This all depends on where you apply. You will, at a minimum, have to complete a FAFSA; however depending on where you apply there could be as many as 10 additional forms to complete! Remember, not completing just one of these forms could exempt you from receiving any financial aid.

4. Do you know what an EFC is and how this will impact your finances?

Your EFC is your Expected Family Contribution. This is defined as the minimum amount a college expects you to be able to pay for one student for one year of college. You need to know what your EFC is to accurately determine what a college thinks you can afford. You also need to know how your EFC is calculated to determine if there are strategies that can save you money on your college costs.

5. Are there people who do not receive financial aid?

Absolutely. People who do not fill out any forms or take time to learn the financial aid process typically receive nothing. Don't be one of these people! There is literally financial aid for everyone. You just have to apply in order to qualify for and receive it. If you don't apply, you'll never know.

6. What types of financial aid can you receive?

There are basically three types of financial aid that you can receive: Need-Based, Merit-Based, and Talent-Based. Need-Based depends on your EFC and college's cost of attendance. Merit and Talent aid depend on the student and where they are positioned within the incoming freshman class. It should be noted that Merit and Talent aid have nothing to do with a family's finances.

7. Is your financial aid award letter the final step in the college process?

Not at all. You will still have to calculate your out of pocket expenses, go through the process of accepting or declining the financial aid you have been offered, and then determine whether or not your family will need to take additional loans to pay for college. Remember too that financial aid is applied for every year, which means you could go through this process 4 times or more!

College Planning for Student-Athletes

Start connecting with college coaches today!
NCSA College Sports Recruiting Program Registration 


Do you hope to play sports in college? We make it a point to provide all Smart Track students with the best college resources possible. We have teamed up with Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) to be the official recruiting partner for all our student-athletes.

About Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) 
NCSA is the world’s largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Reigning Champs, NCSA’s team of more than 550 former collegiate and professional athletes leverages:

  • 15+ years of exclusive data
  • Proprietary athlete-to-coach matching algorithms
  • Personal relationships with more than 41,000 college coaches nationwide across 31 sports (to successfully connect tens of thousands of college-bound student-athletes every year)

How Much Do You Know About the Recruiting Process?
1.    Can being a student-athlete affect my Financial Aid?
Smart Track College Student Athlete

Being a student-athlete can affect your financial aid package in a big way, especially if you are a highly recruited prospect. If the coach of a college team really wants you to play for him/her, then they will do all they can to get you on the team in the fall, including helping you out with financial aid.


  • Only DI and DII schools can offer athletic scholarships
  • DIII and Junior Colleges cannot offer scholarships
  • However, there are certain “tuition incentives” that DIII and Junior Colleges may be able to offer
2. Will being a good athlete make up for poor grades?

Being a good and highly recruited athlete can help some colleges to look past a low grade, but athletic prowess is not a replacement for academic success. College is always about academics first. Even if you are a top prospect for your sport, you need to have a good GPA and good standardized test scores to get into college.

3. How do I know if I’m “highly recruited”?

Trust us – if you are highly recruited, you’ll know it. College coaches will be sending you letters, emails, making phone calls, and doing everything they can to persuade you early-on to play for their team. Some forms of contact are allowed by the NCAA as early as freshman year of high school.

Keep in mind, however:
Only about 2% of all NCAA athletes are “highly recruited.” The other 98% did a LOT of work in order to get recruited:

  • An athletic-academic profile
  • A personal statement
  • A highlight video
  • Prospect interviews

Odds are, if you are a student-athlete looking to play in college, you will need help with all or some of the process.

4. What should you expect from your high school or club coach?

While you are essentially responsible for marketing yourself and taking charge of your own recruiting game plan, you should be able to expect some help from your current coaches. College coaches will want to contact your high school and/or club coaches as references on your behalf.


  • Your high school and club coaches can be powerful references, as well as excellent sources for recommendation letters
  • You will need to work hard to maintain positive relationships with college coaches
  • Remember to be respectful and polite to all coaches with whom you meet and interact 
5. How much should parents be involved?
Proper parent involvement is crucial. Parents can be very helpful throughout the recruiting process, but they need to be careful not to over do it. Parents can help by:
  • Taking the lead in mapping out the recruiting game plan
  • Knowing the NCAA rules and regulations
  • Tracking communications and correspondences
  • Staying organized 

The student-athlete can benefit from parent guidance, organization, patience, and common sense decision making. A great parent project is filming games or competitions for the highlight video.

6. What is the student-athlete recruiting package?
A recruiting package is what you will need to send to college coaches in the hopes that you will be recruited. The initial recruiting package should include:
  • A well put together profile
  • A well written personal statement
  • A coach’s letter of recommendation
  • Highlight video

These are all things that the student will need to work hard and execute well in order to impress college coaches in the hopes of getting noticed, recruited, and ultimately being financially rewarded through scholarships, grants, and other aid.

Start connecting with college coaches today!
NCSA College Sports Recruiting Program Registration