Each year thousands of families needlessly limit their options and leave millions of dollars on the table. We created our programs to ensure that regular families would have access to independent and unbiased college admissions and funding guidance.
Jill’s version: I met Peter on my very first day of college and he instantly fell madly in love with me. After we graduated, he followed me to Washington, DC and we both went on to receive MBAs.
Peter is an over-achiever so he actually received his Masters and his MBA. But you know what else we got? A whole boatload of student loan debt.
So, Peter’s true passion of teaching was no longer a realistic option. After working our butts off in corporate America to pay back our student loans, Peter was finally able to combine his love for education and his expertise in finance and opened a boutique college planning firm with the sole purpose of preparing students for college and keeping their parents from losing their life savings in the process.
Peter’s version: Jill isn’t telling the true story! We met on the first night of college. The rest is completely true. 😉
She did, however, leave out that I was a high school social studies teacher and basketball coach (which I loved doing), that SHE followed ME to Miami (before we both decided to move to DC), and we also have two pretty cool children…one of whom is soon to be a high school graduate, the other who is about to enter high school.
Like you, we’re also on the college planning clock, and very much, understand what your family is going through. So, in the words of Hairclub For Men Founder/President Sy Sperling, “I too am not just the President, I’m also a customer.”
Peter has been helping students prepare for college for more than two decades, first as a high school social studies teacher at Ransom Everglades School in Miami (his alma mater), as a guidance counselor to 12th grade students at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach and since 2007 as the owner/operator of College Funding Specialists, Inc., our boutique college planning firm.
He has personally helped more than 1100 families (and counting) successfully navigate the college process (and stay sane in the process).
He writes a weekly college planning column, is the author of two books on the business of higher education and his ‘Thick Envelope Magic’ for rising 12th graders is in its 8th edition. Peter is also a frequent lecturer on the current state of higher education, and a nationally-recognized expert in making college affordable for families across the board.
Peter also serves as a Mentor and a Member of the Corporate Council for Take Stock in Children, a mentoring program for at-risk youth. He is a former Advisory Board Member for the Alexander Muss High School in Israel and has served for 8 years as a Coach and Board member for Weston Area Little League.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Medford, MA and an MA/MBA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Peter is also a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association and of the American College Funding Association. He lives in Weston, FL with Jill, their two children – and Marley (their ferocious 7 pound silky terrier).
(As previously mentioned by Jill, Jill is both Peter’s business partner AND his better half.) She’s also a business builder, communicator and problem solver who has hired, developed and coached thousands of recent college grads, employees and entrepreneurs on multiple continents.
Jill spent 12 years with Discovery Channel, starting straight from graduate school in 1995 to build their college internship program. She was hire #425, and by the time she left in 2007, she had personally hired & trained more than 1,200 recent college grads, and opened 3 offices on 3 different continents.
She has co-written two books on higher education. She was also the founder and principal of Weston Yoga, Weston Florida’s first yoga school. Jill is a qualified administrator and interpreter of multiple interest and personality assessments to help students choose schools, college majors and careers based on their personal preferences and unique skillsets.
Jill graduated from Tufts University where, according to her parents, she majored in Peter (which is not true). After Tufts and a brief stint waiting tables at Houston’s, Jill got her MBA from American University where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow.
And though she played competitively until her first semester of college, she does NOT enjoy playing tennis on Saturdays, and she prefers the pre-game tailgate to actually watching the Dolphins on Sundays (which makes Peter crazy).
Carla Holness is a professional with more than 20 years experience in higher education. She grew up in Western Massachusetts and graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (formerly North Adams State College). Carla landed in Florida in 2000 and hasn’t looked back at those cold New England winters since she arrived.
After many years working in Admissions at both public and private colleges, Carla transitioned to the “dark side” (Student Loans). She continued her work in higher education on the financial aid side of the
house as a professional with Nellie Mae, Sallie Mae and SunTrust. A shift in the student loan industry gave Carla an opportunity to return to the wonderful world of admission where she had the opportunity to continue to assist students and their families with the process of choosing the right college or university.
In her spare time, Carla loves spending time with her husband, Dennis and friends, traveling and dancing. She has a great sense of humor and believes that having a positive spirit in all circumstances is important. She is passionate about her work as a higher education professional and knows she can make a (positive) difference to those she interacts with.