(POSTED 4-12-11)


Dear Students:

Our Financial Aid office has been receiving concerns from parents and students regarding a false claim regarding financial aid.  Please see their caution noted below and also share with your parents as appropriate.

Caution - Company claims to offer more financial aid for a fee

In the last couple of weeks, the UW-La Crosse Financial Aid Office has received numerous questions about a letter coming from the College Financial Advisory Company.  The letter states that the student should provide the company with information in order to get more financial aid.

The letter is very professional in appearance and has a realistic logo similar to the one used by the U.S. Department of Education.  The company refers to themselves as the CFA (similar to SFA, Student Financial Assistance, used by the federal government).  The return address is California.  And of course, they charge a fee.

As a general rule, if any company charges a fee to secure money, it may not be a trustworthy organization. As always, students may apply for financial aid for free by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at

The Financial Aid Office warns students to be wary about any offer that contains any of the following elements with regard to applying for student financial aid:

·         You have to pay a fee

·         There is a money-back guarantee

·         You are required to give credit-card information

·         Offers information available only if you pay

·         Pay a fee and they guarantee you will win awards

·         Pay a fee and receive a low interest rate education loan

·         Promises to replace loans with grants if you pay a processing fee


Paula M. Knudson, Ph.D.
Assistant Chancellor & Dean of Students
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse