The High School Initiative from SMARTTRACK® College Funding can help you achieve each of these objectives. It’s free and makes your job easier and more effective. 

It all comes down to college affordability.  When parents are better prepared to pay for college, you see more students attend their top choice schools with better financial award packages and a lot less stress. 

How to best pay for college and how to pay less for college are some of the most intimidating and misunderstood subjects in the college planning process. FAFSA, private scholarships and merit aid are not enough, yet most high schools are ill-equipped to advise parents beyond completing financial aid forms.

The High School Initiative from SMARTTRACK® College Funding helps counselors bridge the gap. 

Join scores of private, public and parochial schools across the country who are helping their families significantly lower out-of-pocket costs, maximize need and merit-based aid, reduce debt, and learn to pay their share in the most cost-effective ways possible.


The program is FREE for participating schools and their families.

High school administrators and college/guidance counselors are invited to schedule a private demo.


“SMARTTRACK is an excellent resource for our families to help them structure their finances and plan for what’s ahead. We have heard positive feedback from families so far and encourage them to use it early on.”

Tam Ly, MSW, MAEd, PPS, Director of Guidance and Counseling | La Salle College Preparatory | Pasadena, CA

“I want to shout about this program from the mountain tops!”

Linda Zimring, Past President, WACAC | College Counselor | Daniel Pearl Magnet High School | California

“This is a total No Brainer!”

Anne Cochran, Executive Director | Valley International Preparatory High | Los Angeles, CA

“I really like that SMARTTRACK takes a balanced, ethical, and reasonable approach to help families pay for college.”

Kelly Richards, Director of College Counseling | St. George's School | Middletown, RI

“We use the phrase College Funding knowingly because paying for college is challenging for most families. We’ve done a lot of different financial aid programs and this one is extremely unique…this is about paying less.”

Art McCann, Director of College Counseling | Crossroads School for Arts & Science | California

“I really appreciate and value your insight, and will be encouraging our families to follow through with your helpful resources.”

Liz Bolton, Director of College Counseling | Valley Verde School | Arizona

“I’ve been at Walkers for 17 years, organizing financial aid presentations and honestly, this was the most informative, spot on presentation I’ve ever heard. You cut to the chase on things and the clarity with which you describe the process was so right on.”

Clarissa Basch, Director of College Counseling | The Ethel Walker School | Connecticut

“SMARTTRACK® is a tremendous resource for our families, providing unbiased, uncomplicated information and advice to make college more affordable for everyone.”

Moira McKinnon, Director of College Counseling | Berwick Academy | Maine


The SMARTTRACK® High School Initiative is a free program open to private, public and parochial school counselors and their families. Participating schools receive live parent education workshops or webinars twice yearly, plus a customized registration page, branded link, and turnkey promotional materials.  Every family gets a personalized, one-on-one college funding evaluation with a licensed SMARTRACK® Advisor at no cost and with no obligation whatsoever, and access to our online platform of free tools. These resources are sufficient for the vast majority of families; however, those seeking additional professional help are entitled to a 60% discount on already affordable advanced services.

There is NO COST to the school and NO COST to your families. 

With the retail price of a 4-year college education running $80,000 – $300,000, the financial realities are a major factor in whether and where students attend university. Submitting a FAFSA, applying for private scholarships and hoping for merit aid are not enough to fill the gap for most families. SMARTTRACK®’s High School Initiative provides one-on-one support for each family and empowers parents to take control of their finances earlier, when it matters most. The result? More students attend their choice schools more affordably.

Our expertise enhances college planning programs and supports counselors with turnkey materials without adding more to their workload.

If your school already hosts a FAFSA Night or brings in a financial aid officer from a local college, that’s great! Helping your families understand the system is very important. It’s also crucial that you empower parents to improve their own outcomes, and that requires a different conversation long before senior year.

The reality is that families must begin organizing their finances in advance (think prior-prior year assessments) in order to get all the financial aid for which they may be eligible. Just submitting a FAFSA and CSS Profile is not enough. The best analogy is your tax return…you wouldn’t blindly submit your taxes without making sure you’d taken every legitimate deduction, right?

If you’ve had students who didn’t apply to great-fit schools because they were too expensive, or have had students decline offers from top-choice schools because their aid package was insufficient, then you know how important it is to do everything in one’s power to make college more affordable.

Most families – especially middle and upper-middle income families – pay more for college than they should through no fault of their own – how they have their finances, assets, taxes and businesses organized can unnecessarily inflate their EFCs resulting in missed financial aid opportunity. On top of that, how they pay their share can impact how much they pay.

The High School Initiative empowers families to identify and address red flags in their financial profiles long before they submit aid applications, leading to better financial aid awards. Families can also learn how to use their resources efficiently, leading to significant savings.

You can feel confident that SMARTTRACK® maintains the highest security standards and safeguards the privacy of our families. We never sell, barter, trade or otherwise share information without express consent.

This program shifts awkward financial conversations from your plate to professionals who are experts in college funding.  Discussing personal finances with families can be uncomfortable and even daunting for some counselors, and many families don’t want to discuss their personal finances with school personnel. The conversation is nonetheless critical to success in the college process.

Focus on Fit – When parents have a dedicated resource (not you!) for their financial questions, it leaves more time for you to do what you love – working with students.

Provides free, easy to use and trusted data-driven resources.

When families receive better award packages, you see more students attend the great schools to which they’re admitted. That means less panic and disappointment for you and your families.


How to best pay for college, how to pay less for college, and how to keep your retirement safe in the process.