Peter Ratzan 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).
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.