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Smart Track Series


Smart Track™ – Your Roadmap to College Success

College Planning Strategies, LLC recognizes that the needs of each familyand for that matter, the needs of each studentare different. Therefore, we developed the flexible Smart Track™ Series of personalized in-depth services. Our highly trained team of advisors and support staff are up-to-date on the pressing issues related to preparing your student for college and a successful graduation. We can help guide you step-by-step through the obstacles that may hinder your student’s college dreams: potential job loss, college funding issues, choosing the right school, admissions challenges, financial aid and scholarships, changes in educational loans, and a variety of other serious issues that today’s families must face.

Student Support Services

For many students, applying to college is a stressful process. There are so many things to do, so many deadlines to meet and new information to learn. We will guide you and your student step-by-step through the college search and application process and be there to answer all of your questions.

Our workshops help with everything from career exploration, to college search and visits, to acing the college admissions interviews. We help your student clarify his or her goals, overcome insecurities, and make the best impression possible. This will help them gain admission to their top choice colleges, receive merit scholarships, and obtain jobs and other opportunities. We’ll also give the whole family important college planning tips that will help eliminate family conflict, save you time and money, and keep you on track so you can sleep well, knowing nothing has been forgotten.

Does your student need help with admissions essays? Our professional essay editors (link to essay editors page) will make suggestions on how to show off their best qualities without losing their own voice. Our editors will not only catch grammatical and spelling errors, but help them communicate in a compelling way.

“The workshops CPS offers really made me comfortable with the college process and prepared me for what was to come. All of their support helped me to make amazing applications by highlighting my strengths, which led to … ” more >

Customized College Planning

One of our professional college planners will work with you to analyze your family’s unique situation, goals and current strategy for handling college expenses—even if that means “one semester at a time.” After analyzing your current situation, we will help you develop a plan for moving forward. We will help you uncover ways of reducing your out-of-pocket college costs.  This encompasses maximizing financial aid possibilities, choosing schools that are more likely to award your student grants and scholarships, utilizing tax-favored dollars, and several additional strategies.

If your family will need to borrow money to help pay for college expenses, we will assess for you various borrowing strategies and recommend the best loan types and repayment options for your situation.

After a few sessions you will have a customized plan of action charting your course through each year you will have at least one student in college. In addition to the written plan, our entire team of professionals will be here to guide you each step of the way through regular consultations, phone conversations, and email support. We will make sure your college plan adjusts with each curve that life brings, whether positive or negative.

“Our family was not eligible for need-based financial aid. However, with a lot of guidance and expertise from the Smart Track™ Team, we were able to set up a college funding plan which has really de-stressed our lives!  We feel that the plan we have now not only is saving us a fortune in taxes but it gives us the peace of mind we were after. Knowing how …” more >

Financial Aid Assistance (How to get your fair-share)

There are literally billions of dollars available in both merit and need-based assistance. In order to receive most of it, however, the proper paperwork must be submitted correctly and punctually. This can include, but is not limited to the FAFSA, CSS/Profile, Institutional forms, and Business/Farm Supplement. In order to maximize your awards there is a lot you would need to learn, especially if you have your own business or special circumstances. Many of these forms are considered longer and more complicated than the federal tax forms. Similar to taxes, it often pays to have advice on how to lower your expenses, not to mention reduce the hassle and stress of this process for you!

Our Financial Aid Specialists will tackle all of your financial aid paperwork including the FAFSA, CCS/Profile, Institutional forms, and Business/Farm Supplement. We’ll ensure all paperwork is done accurately and on-time so you don’t miss out on any aid you deserve.

The FAFSA is a free application for federal financial aid. You can access their website here.

You’ll want to know if your award is a fair one or if your case is strong enough to risk appealing for more aid. Our experts will evaluate your case, and if your situation warrants an appeal, we will walk you step by step through this delicate process. We have found the appeals process is more of an art than a science. However, our statistics are astounding: 8 out of 10 appeals we guide are awarded more money!

If your family will need additional loans to cover college expenses, we also help you select the most advantageous loan(s) for your family’s situation.

Having your help with all the financial paperwork was an invaluable asset. For busy professional adults who avoid filling in forms, you have helped us …” more >

Test Preparation

CPS has partnered with leading test preparation companies to provide programs that can fit into almost any schedule or budget. They are not only educational and effective, but fun! This is a unique study program that offers the benefits of private tutoring at only a fraction of the cost of most test preparation courses, and is available for the standard SAT and ACT as well as for SAT Subject Tests in Math Level I and Level II.

Since the SAT and ACT do not administer their tests online, it is critical the student practice in the same pencil-paper environment they will experience on test day. We provide you with online access to printable practice tests for home practice. The student completes a practice section offline under timed conditions; the student logs in and submits answers for electronic grading; and, finally, the student launches into a self-guided video review of the practice test problems they had difficulty with or have questions about. There is even a vocabulary builder available. Studies show that this interactive video delivery platform makes learning 200% more effective than text-based learning, and results are guaranteed.


Online College Planning

If your family is looking for an intuitive college planning platform but is the self-directed type, look no further than the Smart Track™ Toolkit. The Toolkit combines all of our expertise in admissions, test prep, financial aid, and student athletic recruiting to give your family an industry first in online college planning. Our advanced software contains strategies to find colleges that are the best fit, potentially lower your family’s college costs, help with financial aid appeals, and much more. The Toolkit also has the ability to submit the FAFSA and CSS/Profile from one convenient location. Talk about easy! Visit the Toolkit online today to learn more.