What Parents Say

We hope this is helpful to other families looking for advice. Thanks again for all your help!

As a first step in planning for our daughter’s college expenses, we called Steve Shapiro to ask about an unusual financial situation in our family. Although Steve came highly recommended from several friends, we expected him to be of only limited help because our question was out of the ordinary. What we got, in just a few minutes, was so much more.

Not only did Steve dissect and explain all the relevant issues clearly and succinctly, he even calculated, on-the-fly, estimates of our college expenses under the different scenarios we were considering. He also recommended a book and a website, and answered many other questions that came to our minds during our conversation. In just 45 minutes, we learned what we thought would take weeks of laborious research!

–M.C. and B.P.   




As a newcomer to the daunting world of college financing, I was completely overwhelmed. Stephen Shapiro was my savior. I cannot sing his praises enough. There has to be a special place in heaven for people like him. Thanks to his competent, knowledgable and experienced insight, I got a great education on how to pay for college. He even answered my impromtu telephone calls and emails! He gives free seminars too. I highly recommend his services for anyone with a child going off to college. There is a LOT to learn, and you will be in capable hands.

— Catherine B


I just realized that I never circled back to thank you for helping me with my request for reconsideration for my son’s college offer. His private college actually increased his grant to $28,980 (an additional $10,000) which was huge! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me and provide your valuable insight. Your kindness is appreciated more than I can say … Best,


Dear Steve,
You and your information were what put me on a path to get my sons through UCSB and UCSC. Without the information I learned from you, I would not have been able to do this – you helped make this possible.  Both boys are financially on their own – and, no student debt!

Warmest Regards,

— SH

I just wanted to thank you for all of your wise counsel over the years. Our daughter has received acceptance offers from two of six so far, both with sizable merit awards. I would not have encouraged her to apply to very expensive private schools if it hadn’t been for your talks. And, as it turns out, she can get a small, private college’s liberal arts education for the same price as a UC! Thank you again. You are doing us all a great service!


I thought that I’d give you an update on our daughter’s plan to attend Pitzer. I did as you suggested and called/wrote to explain our situation and, after several requests for additional information and clarification, Pitzer offer her a grant for $11,700, work study for $2,640 and a no-interest loan for $3,700. The net amount that we (parents) have to pay is less thank Lewis and Clark and about $10k more than Berkeley. All things considered, she and we have decided to accept Pitzer’s offer. She’s very excited about the work study opportunity and plans to work in SC this summer. Thank you very much for your help .. let me know if there is anything I can do to return the favor. Sincerely,

— TB

Dear Steve,
I want to thank you again for your generous and kind-hearted response to the plight of our orphaned kids seeking help with college. You are a wonderful man for your outpouring of assistance to these kids who are dealing with heartbreak and uncertainty. Sincerely,

— MS

Well, your suggestions worked. Again, thanks for all your help. We wouldn’t have survived this mess without you. You can rest assured we will be sending everyone we know in the same boat your way. Take Care.

— Richard B

We followed your advice regarding the funding of our daughters’ higher education. This has made a huge difference in our financial situation while they attend college. Thank you so much.

— Annabelle

I am so grateful for the information and guidance that you gave our family regarding financial aid and the labyrinth of college finance information. It all seems unfathomable to parents like myself! With your help, we managed to get some very critical financial aid for our daughter’s next year in college. You also gave us a better understanding of how to look at the whole picture and how to approach those that are able to give assistance to folks like ourselves who are struggling with the financial commitment to a good education. The forms and the process are so much less overwhelming now and I have someone to go to for expert advice in the future.

— Mary P

Your recent financial advice had a big payoff for which we’d like to thank you. To refresh your memory, we had a huge one-time increase in income . . . we followed your recommendation and wrote a letter of explanation [using the points you described] to the financial aid department and I am pleased to report that Sarah Lawrence granted a $10,000 increase in aid over last year’s package. Thank you again for the great advice. We are feeling much more at ease.

–Albert S

I was filled with fear … but you really helped me through all this … you made it simple, answered every question and took a lot of stress out of it.

–John S

Your advice saved us several thousand dollars.

–Mariabruna S

Thanks for your help with the financial aid process and in evaluating the offers we received from my son’s top two colleges.

With your help, we were able to save thousands of dollars in tuition, by clearly presenting the challenges of our financial situation to the financial aid officers. You helped make an intimidating process less so through your patient explanations and clear guidance.

I strongly recommend that any family applying for college financial aid use your services. I know many families don’t bother because it is too complicated, and they don’t expect to get any benefit. I think that they will be surprised at how much they can save, by spending well-focused time on the process.

— Jeanette C

Thank you for your invaluable assistance in helping us plan our daughter’s college admission and financial aid applications. Our daughter received several extremely generous financial aid packages from major universities, and now has the privilege of attending a university of her choice. We feel she deserves the opportunity, because she worked hard for it. At the same time we firmly believe that it wouldn’t be happening without your timely advice. We will always be grateful to you for your part in helping our daughter have the college experience she’s dreamed of.

–Craig & Michelle B

Many thanks for your advice which has been very helpful in making our son’s dream of attending Stanford a reality! We last met with you in October before John’s college applications were submitted. In mid April, we requested a revised offer from Stanford’s financial aid office and Stanford did match Princeton’s offer. John accepted Stanford’s revised financial aid offer of a 30% scholarship along with their early action admissions offer before May 1st. Thanks again!

— Jane & Ralph H

In February 2012, we heard your speak at the high school when our daughter was a junior. We listened, took your advice and we did our research. Our daughter has chosen to attend the University of Redlands. With scholarships, grants and a small loan, she gets a “discount” of more than 60% off tuition, room and board. The best part is that my husband and I can fund the remainder without taking out any loans or eating ramen noodles for the next 4 years. If she had chosen to attend a state or UC school, we would have paid so much more. Thank you so much for all of your advice and for your newsletter!

–Laura L