Member of Clear Focus LLC


Member of Clear Focus LLC


  • FAFSA:  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid  or FAFSA now links to your filed Federal income tax returns.  Preparation timeline starts in the Fall, so you can begin to schedule your appointment starting in September. If you (parents and student) haven't yet prepared your income tax returns, then you'll need your year-end pay stub(s) and your previous year tax returns.  We'll help you estimate the data needed to prepare your FAFSA. For de[pendent students, one parent and the student will each be required to have a Federal Student Aid or FSA ID and passcode.  You can register for your FSA ID and passcode using the "FSA ID" icon at
  • CSS Profile:  In addition to the information needed for the FAFSA, please also gather information about your retirement accounts and real estate (current market value, year purchased and purchase price).  Check whether your college requires the CSS Profile at 
  • School Specific Form:  Please check the form for additional details needed.

    Once you have the required information to prepare your forms, contact our office at (716) 348-3425 to schedule your appointment.  

The process of preparing for college is complex.  SY Associates and Clear Focus offer a comprehensive menu of professional services to help you better prepare and manage your investment in college including:


  • Help with financial aid applications including the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS Profile, school-based aid forms and institutional scholarship applications [1]
  • Finding suitable colleges based on career, major, environment, admissions and financial fit
  • Working with your student on self-exploration, career assessment, and academic planning for college
  • Managing eligibility for need and non-need-based financial aid and scholarships
  • Coordinating college needs with other needs like maintaining lifestyle and retirement [2]
  • Evaluating debt options and debt consolidation to make college more affordable [3]


SY Associates  and Clear Focus college preparation services provide the professional assistance you need to manage one of your biggest financial commitments and help your student reach college success.  Services incidental to product needs carry no additional fees [4]Service fees are fully disclosed in advance with flexible service options on an hourly, per visit, or select package basis.     


SY Associates and Clear Focus advisors are well trained and knowledgeable professionals available to help you manage your college investment.  This is how we earn the right to be your advisor of choice. Visit one of our offices for a no-obligation evaluation and assessment of your needs.

[1] All services conform to Federal regulations pertaining to the use of electronic signatures.  Forms assistance does not extend to the filing of forms on behalf of clients or the charging of fees to file applications.

[2] Some affiliates with SY Associates or Clear Focus are also employed by other firms.   There is no relationship between SY Associates or Clear Focus and these firms. Where appropriate disclosures will be made prior to any formal engagement.

[3] Mortgage services and education loans are available through referrals to mortgage brokerage services and education lending companies.  Some SY Associates or Clear Focus affiliated advisors may also be licensed mortgage brokers.  There is no formal relationship between these mortgage brokerage services or education lending companies and SY Associates or Clear Focus.

[4] There are no additional fees associated with the consideration of college needs as part of, and incidental to, the recommendation of fixed insurance, fixed annuity, savings and mortgage products.


Have a child at or near college age?  SY Associates and Clear Focus can give you the expert advice needed to achieve college success.  

Get started today with a free consultation with a SY Associates or Clear Focus advisor [1] who knows college planning.  We can help you pre-plan for college expenses to reduce costs and make college more affordable. 


[1]  Clear Focus affiliated advisors are certified annually by the American Education Foundation (AMEDF) for college planning


Unsure of what help you need or where to start?  Meet with an expert for one-on-one confidential counseling to discuss any aspect of your college plans like qualifying for financial aid, searching for scholarships, preparing for admissions, deciding on a career, evaluating academics, researching majors and selecting the right college.  Counseling sessions can be billed on an hourly or per session basis.  Rates vary by location and affiliate. 

For families with limited financial resources, subsidized college counseling services are available through the American Education Foundation College Access and Affordability Alliance (AMEDF Alliance).  Subsidies are available to cover 70%, 85% or even 100% of counseling fees in select locations for qualified families.  Through the efforts of the AMEDF and the AMEDF Alliance, limited financial resources will no longer be a hinderance to college success.  Contact the American Education Foundation for details at


  • Need to finance college soon?  Parents and students each have the option of borrowing from the Federal government and/or borrowing from a private lender.  Check out lenders and borrowing options on
  • Did you know there are tax benefits for college?  The American Opportunity Credit provides up to $2,500 in Federal income tax credits for each student each year while the Lifetime Learning Credit provides up to $2,000 in Federal income tax credits per tax return per year.  The same student, however, cannot be used to claim both credits in the same tax year.   Check out IRS Publication 970 available at for more details.
  • New to compare your New SAT to Old SAT score? Use the SAT Score Converter by The College Board. The College Board’s SAT Score Converter is the official tool for comparing old and new SAT scores. It uses a method called concordance to estimate how you might have scored on a different test.
  • Want expert help?  Schedule an appointment today to review all of your options with one of our advisers and get better prepared!


Link Disclosure: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the websites provided, you are leaving this website. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, websites, information and programs made available through this website. When you access one of these websites, you are leaving our website and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the websites you are linking to.