College Financing Consultants

Parent Q&A

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  • College Finance Advisor Desperately Needed

    (3 replies)

    We very much need the counsel of a finance advisor with specific expertise in managing family finance as the FAFSA filing approaches. For example, we need someone who can advise us of the consequences of doing a cash-out mortgage re-fi both before and after the FAFSA filing. We also need help understanding how our assets figure into the EFC, specifically in the context of having a second child only a year away from his FAFSA.

    So far, the only folks we've found tend to specialize in identifying schools and scholarships as well as filling out forms, which is less of what we need than someone who can help us identify how to apply and position our somewhat limited resources at the same time that we're seeking financial support for one and then a second child in college.

    Thanks for reading and for any referrals/recommendations you can make. Best wishes to all.

    Check Paying for College 101 Facebook group. There is tons of info there and people who will respond for free in detail! I met with a counselor recommended here ( can’t remember her name) but honestly that group was more helpful. Also they have lots of webinars etc Join it today and search the archives. Good luck! 

    Yes!  Beacon College Funding is exactly what you want!  Nancy and Niki are awesome!  It's in San Francisco, but we started with them during the very beginning of the pandemic and we met on Zoom.  Easy peasy.  They will come up with a plan that works for your family.  You will meet with them several times to refine the plan until it's exactly what you want.  The flat fee (which you can pay over time) covers all your kids until they graduate from college.  I have 3 kids spread out over 7 years, so it's a no-brainer for me.  Even if it was otherwise, I would still pay for it.  The peace of mind knowing there was a plan in place to pay for college is worth every penny.  You can reach out to me if you'd like more information.  

    There is a service/business called Financial Aid Navigator that does exactly what you are asking for. I spoke with one of their advisors, Angela, last year before my son chose a school and she had great advice. You can reach out to them at pierrejospe [at], or check out their website for more info.

  • Hello,

    We are seeking recommendations for independent financial advisors who are knowledgable about paying for college. 


    Jeff Miller is a financial planner who handles everything finance but his speciality is college funding. He belongs to "college funding Coach" non profit organization. You can have a consultation for free. I have been able to allocate my assets so that I Can pay less out of my pocket for college tuition.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Advisor - Paying for College

March 2012

Can anyone recommend someone local who is experienced in: 1) evaluating college financial aid offers, 2) making recommendations about how to pay the expected family contribution, such as accessing retirement funds? Home equity? student and parent loans? 3) College financial planning for kid #2. Prefer someone who can advise and does not want to sell any financial products. Last of all, how much can we expect to pay for this type of consultation and how quickly can a meeting be arranged? Thank you! anon

Hello Frances Fee is the person you want to talk to for financial aid advice. She helped us tremendously all four years of my son's college education, and with her help, he got a substantial award. She really knows the ins and outs of the financial aid process. You can reach her at ffee [at] Btw, you should make an appointment as early as you can. She gets booked up fast. Good luck, Jamie

LGBT Friendly, College/Retirement Financial Planner?

Oct 2009

Can anyone recommend a financial planner/adviser who understands the unique financial considerations for gay families regarding college financial aid & parents contribution, (our child) applying for college scholarships and loans, retirement planning, filing CA taxes and related concerns? We would prefer an independent adviser, as opposed to one who is affiliated with a particular company and thus in the business of selling certain investment products. Berkeley moms

North Berkeley Investment Partners fits all of your criterion to a ''t''. They are on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. Both partners in the firm are long time Berkeley residents, with strong ties to the community, deep experience and the utmost integrity. Grateful client

I would recommend Nancy Corrigan of Beacon College Funding Solutions, Inc. She is a college funding strategist whom I have found extremely helpful. She helps parents understand college costs, sources of financial aid, the amount families are likely going to have to pay for college, as well as long term financial planning. She actually started doing more college focused consulting when her financial clients started asking for more help in that area a number of years ago. She is an independent consultant. I spoke with her about whether she knew about the technicalities of LGBT financial situations and she does and has a number of LGBT families as clients. Her website is and her number is (415) 377-4210. Sharon

College Financial Aid Advisor needed

Dec 2006

Who do you recommend for giving practical advice about maximizing the chances of getting college financial aid, i.e. where to put money, how to deal with special circumstances, etc. etc. Right now we need advice on financial planning with financial aid in mind. In a couple of years, we'll need advice on the application process as well. Contra Costa County is preferrable, but we could do Berkeley/Oakland - or travel further for someone great. THANKS!

Once again, I can not express too highly, my experience dealing with Paul Wrubel. David

We had a bad experience with college financial counselor Paul Wrubel, who seems to get glowing recommendations in the newsletter. We explained our circumstances, and he assured us that we would get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $20,000 (that's how much we would be expected to pay for college). We paid him $800 to help us fill out the FAFSA/CSS Profile. But it turned out that our EFC was $35,000! That is close to the entire cost of a private college and way beyond what the UC's cost. It felt like we paid the $800 for nothing. anonymous

Consultant for planning financial aid

October 2006

I'm needing questions answered regarding financial aid planning. Specifically how to maximize our current assets in retirement accounts, taxable accounts, etc. Does anyone have recommendations for a competent college financial aid consultant who knows more about the process than just how to fill out the forms? Thanks

I have some experiance with Financial Aid counselers and I can not rave enough about Paul Wrubel.
He is on the Peninsula but I look forward to the drive again this year. He has held my hand with phone call and email David

Hi, I am working with a woman named Frances Fee, and she's extremely knowledgeable and helpful. You can reach her at ffee[at] you're interested in her help, get in touch with her soon as her schedule fills up quickly. jamie

Try Frances Fee--she works exclusively in financial aid counseling and nothing else. I've had a family I was consulting with use her, and we had fantastic results.
Frances Fee Independent Consultant 280 Caldecott Lane #303 Oakland, CA 94618-2417 (510) 548-0896 ffee[at] Description - Comprehensive college financial aid counseling. I work with families to help them understand and navigate through the financial aid process. I complete the financial aid applications, and I assist with letters of special circumstances and/or appeals, should such be necessary.

Rick Grisel
Veritas College Admissions Counseling

May 2006

Just having completed the college application process for my son, I wanted to share a valuable resource: I sought the assistance of Frances Fee (ffee[at] Frances helped me navigate the treacherous financial aid forms and letter of special circumstances. Thanks to her guidance, I am able to send my son to a fine private school that I would never have thought I would be able to afford. She is well worth her reasonable charge.
Relieved Parent

Edifi Financial Aid Service?

Feb 2004

My son is a sophmore in high school. We have started receiving all sorts of invitations for information from colleges and related services. Most of these I have just tossed in the garbage. But we just received one from an college financial aid service called Edifi offering a free 90 minute ''interview'' to discuss issues such as scholarship opportunities and other financial aid possibilities. I am very suspicous of this ''offer''. I am also a little taken aback that we are receiving this information at all. Has anyone ever heard of this company or have they had any experience with them? Thanks,

Just wanted to warn you and others -- don't get sucked into these offers -- it's a waste of time and money. A few years ago, I spoke with the BHS college advisor and others about it, and was told these are basically cons. These companies prey on the fact that so many parents worry about the cost of financing their child's education, and their come-on is that they'll do all the work for you if you pay them $500-$600 for their services (not true--you have to provide them with a lot of info about yourself and your child, and there may be other hidden costs as well). However, if you use the info you have and start your own search for resources that are free (on-line, the library, school), beginning with a college handbook (and BHS has its own college handbook), you'd see that financial aid is pretty much formulaic and begins with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)--just type in Google, FAFSA--the website is self-explanatory). One good book I liked, and think is worth purchasing, that helped me understand financial aid was Paying for College Without Going Broke, by Kalman S. Chany. This is like a research assignment--it's worth doing your homework on this one. Good luck! --j.

More Recommendations

Sept 2007

Re: Financial Planners
This is a message for parents of high school seniors beginning the financial aid application process. I have found an expert who made a big difference in our quest for financial aid. I want to share her with other families. Frances Fee helped make my daughter's dream of attending an east coast university come true. As a single mom public school teacher with limited resources I did not think my daughter would be able to attend college on the east coast despite an excellent academic record. Frances helped us prepare the FAFSA and CSS Profile, advised us of the financial aid policies of the various schools my daughter was considering, and even helped me write an appeal letter that yielded additional money. She answered every question I came up with and allayed my fears as we went along. This fall my daugher will be attending George Washington University in D.C. with the help of a substantial financial aid package. Frances is tops in our book. As we must reapply for financial aid each year, we will be using her services in the future. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Frances Fee can be reached at ffee[at] Robin D