Best College Aid's CEO RADIO CARACOL Interview with Mayor Raul Martinez, Miami, Florida
David Cantu and Vidal Cantu spoke with Mayor Raul Martinez about how their family received more than $500,000 in financial aid, and about Best College Aid's mission to teach families how to make a plan to get their kids into college with the best financial aid possible!
WATCH: Best College Aid’s CEO Radio Caracol Interview with Mayor Raul Martinez, Miami, Florida.
Best College Aid’s founder and CEO, David Cantu, spoke with Mayor, Raul Martinez, about the mission of Best College Aid at Radio Caracol.
What is inside the Course?
“In the course, we share everything we learned from our years with a private college counselor and our personal experience with higher education. We compiled all of this information into a course with interactive videos, downloadable documents, access to one-on-one mentoring, a mobile application and our private community.”
The instructors of Best College Aid are walking parents and students through this important process and are giving them the guidance high school counselors are unable to offer.
If you are a high school student (or a parent of one), you HAVE to start planning for college NOW.
Not knowing how to navigate the system could result in 20-25 years of expensive student loan debt for failing to complete financial aid forms, missing deadlines, or applying to the wrong colleges!
Raul Martinez: Here with us today is David Cantu and his father, Vidal who is also here with us have created an interactive, low-cost, online platform to help high school students who are trying to go to college and applying for scholarships.
You came to the U.S. at a young age and you got a lot of work done to get to the place you are now and now you want to share your positive experience through this platform.
Thank you for being here and thank you to your father as well who is here with us.
David Cantu: Of course, well first and foremost thank you for allowing us to come here to talk to you and your audience about our project.
We went to a public high school and there was only one single counselor per each 400 students per class, the average counselor to student ratio is 480-to-1 so there basically are not enough tools out there for high school students.
Student to Counselor Ratio // Source: Google.com
Raul Martinez: You studied and managed to graduate from a school in New York, what college did you graduate from?
David Cantu: I graduated from Marist College it’s in Poughkeepsie NY, the school cost $200,000 and since I swam, received academic scholarships and institutional grants. I did not end up paying anything to go there.
Fall Sunrise at Marist College. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College
I did take $10,000 of student loans but on average college students graduate owning over $40,000 in debt.
Raul Martinez: Yes, the student loan debt is immense in this country. But in your case, you said you swam and got a scholarship for that. How did you come up with the idea of creating this platform and how does it work
David Cantu: Well my dad also had this idea so it was a team effort. I wanted to do something with sports recruiting and help athletes find schools who could give them scholarships. My dad wanted to make a product that could help families understand how to navigate the system.
We had the fortune of having a private college counselor, as a family, we saved over $500,000 in financial aid.
Cantu Family Financial Aid Packages
Raul Martinez: There are three of you guys? Yes, financial aid is another word for scholarships.
David Cantu: Yes, there are four of us. So about this private advisor that helped us, the price is expensive for the average family, even for us, we spent $8,000. It started with a down payment of $4,000 and then monthly service fees that will stop until my younger brother Francisco graduates from UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina.
The course teaches you everything that we learned from this advisor, it has videos, it is interactive, and it has documents that you can download. It virtually holds your hand along the process and gives you the guidance public high schools don’t give you.
Best College Aid Thumbnails From Course Material
Raul Martinez: Vidal when your son comes to you with this idea, how do you get involved as a father and as someone who has had to help 4 kids attend and graduate college?
Vidal Cantu: Of course, as an immigrant in this country, you come with the misconception that everything is working and everything is automatic, and some people will help you. Even though there is a lot of help out there, it is not organized.
We discovered that 3.2 million students graduate high school but only 2.2 million enroll in college and of those 2.2 million only 30% return for their second year of college.
Raul Martinez: Was this counselor you hired purely informative?
Vidal Cantu: No no.
Raul Martinez: What kind of counselor was he?
Vidal Cantu: People who have a lot of money in this country, who are well informed, who have lawyers and accountants, have a type of counselor a private college advisor. There has recently been a very big scandal in Californiaas you know.
A private advisor is a type of financial advisor that helps you understand how complex is the process. The process isn’t really difficult, but since it has unfortunately become a business.
I’ll give you two statistics:
- In the last 20 years, college cost has risen over 1,000%.
- Twenty years ago, a college degree cost $12,000 now it costs $200,000.
There are four types of aid federal, state, institutional, and private aid, understanding these and having someone explain it is fairly simple. But a lot of people have no idea, you have to complete the FAFSA at some point throughout the year, some schools will also require the CSS Profile.
When David told that he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he studied finance and entrepreneurship, I told him why not start a business that can be a business and something that can also help people.
When you realize that student loan debt is 1.6 trillion dollars and that one million students don’t even try to go to college, you know there is a serious problem. As you know, even political candidates are talking about the student loan debt, so we said, the media could reach millions of people.
I told David this could be a great public service to those who can’t afford a private college counselor, we were lucky to get a discounted price but to be able to offer it a low cost.
Raul Martinez: David, for the people who are calling and are interest, how can they get to your website so that you can explain to them how this process works.
David Cantu: Yes, right now we have a website called BestCollegeAid.com, we have all the information, the curriculum, it is divided into 5 sections and each section has different segments.
Raul Martinez: And the cost, it has a cost, but if you had to compare it, without the discount you guys got, what would be the difference?
David Cantu: You would have unlimited access to material in the course for life, you would have access to the mentors, access to our private community where you can get the guidance you deserve.
Raul Martinez: Interactively?
David Cantu: Yes, interactively. We have a private group and a mobile app so that you can continue to learn on-the-go.
The price as of now is $499, as we said the private college advisor can charge you $200/per hour or a package of $6,000, our was a little more expensive paid more since there was four of us.
Vidal Cantu: My youngest son, Francisco David’s youngest brother, he started the process right after middle school, such as your granddaughter, he practically got the most financial aid. He is doing two majors at UNC, which is very difficult to get in for out-of-staters.
He is not only doing one major but two, why? Well, in high school he started taking Advanced Placement, AP, classes. When I came from Mexico, I did not know what an AP was!
Vidal Cantu: He swam, he was on the debate club, so the course does not only teach you how to apply for scholarships, that would be mistake, we are here to tell parents that they need to be aware that if you do not support your kids through the process, they are going to end up with debt.
These are young teens that are dealing with a lot of pressure with college applications and if they happen to miss a financial aid deadline the parents will say “Well, go get a loan.” They then go to a bank and get a loan with an interest rate of 18% because they have no credit history, it is a crime.
Raul Martinez: Or they decide not to go to college and get further behind. Go to www.bestcollegeaid.com take a look at the webinar, check them out and if you are interested, receive your discount.
We hope that a lot of people start thinking about this stuff now, you cannot wait until it’s too late, you can’t wait until graduation and say “now what?”
Vidal Cantu: They are in for a surprise.
Raul Martinez: Thank you very much for being with us today.David Cantu Best College Aid