The CP Blog


Financial Aid Expert Bill Smith Joins College Pathways

I’m thrilled to welcome top financial aid expert Bill Smith to the College Pathways team. With a unique background creating online financial aid calculators for colleges with large endowments, Bill brings one of a kind expertise to financial aid consulting. As he worked with more and more colleges he became an expert at calculating need: determining the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) using both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile methodologies. He also became an expert in “packaging,” the process colleges use to determine how much merit and need based aid to award, and the mix of gift aid, loans, and work-study. Bill’s early work made him the “go-to” resource when the federal government mandated that all colleges post online financial aid calculators in 2011, which are now called Net Price Calculators. He authored and co-authored two definitive white papers on NPCs, and has spoken on financial aid issues at forums sponsored by the College Board, admissions and financial aid professional associations, and high schools. Now Bill brings his financial aid expertise to help prospective college students and their families. He helps them estimate how much colleges are likely to charge them based on their unique academic and economic profile, how to select colleges where they may qualify for aid, and how to understand and manage the cost of college. Bill holds a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Northwestern University.

If you’ve been reluctant to apply for financial aid because you believe you won’t qualify, or are intimidated by the process, call College Pathways at 866-769-4944 or email us at, and let us help you discover your options.