Meet The Team
College Planning Experts – Meet The Team
Brian Safdari is America’s leading authority on getting your child into the college of their choice without using all your savings, sacrificing your current lifestyle or going plain broke. After his personal tradegy of getting injured playing soccer and counting on a big athletic scholarship, he was left in the dark his senior year wondering how to afford college. After incorrect advice, he turned down his dream school of USC and got himself in over $50,000 in student loan debt. After his painful college experience, he decided to devote his life and career helping kids and parents learn the truth about the college planning process and what it takes to get accepted to any college of the child’s choice, receive thousands of dollars of financial aid, regardless of income or assets, and properly fund for the cost of college without going broke.
Brian has been featured in LA Times, Daily News, The Signal Newspaper, SCV TV, AM 1220 KHTS radio show, and as seen on many TV channels such as Fox News, USA network, Bravo, E network, ABC family, Food Network, TLC, Tru TV, VH1, Animal Planet, Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, CNN, and much more. Brian has helped raise over $121,000 in charitable contributions to many non-profit organizations and been awarded by The US House of Representative, Congressman Howard Buck McKeon, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, California State Assembly, County of Los Angeles, California State Senate, California Legislative, City of Los Angeles, City of Santa Clarita, and more.
Brian is a member of : National Institute of Certified College Planners, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Western Association for College Admission Counseling, Toastmasters International, Ambassador at Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, San Fernando Valley of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, National Association for College Funding Advisors, National College Advocacy Group, Higher Education Consultants Association, National Collegiate Advocacy Group, and Santa Clarita Valley Concierge.
Raised in the San Fernando Valley, Brian was a four-year varsity soccer player. As Chatsworth High School’s soccer captain and center midfielder, he was one of the highest ranked soccer players in the West. He was a player for Valley League, an Olympic Development Program, for the California State Team, and for the US Junior Tournament Team at the France ’98 World Cup.
Brian had many NCAA Division I colleges recruiting him in his senior year to play soccer. He was banking on a full athletic scholarship and made no other college plans. When a career ending injury took college soccer off the radar for Brian, he was lost. Brian was the first in his family to attend college and did not have anyone to turn to for advice. He decided to attend CSUN and live at home since he thought it was the least expensive plan because he did not understand the financial aid process. After procrastinating and making multiple mistakes on his financial aid forms, Brian took on over $50,000 in student loans.
In 2003, Brian met his mentor, Ron Caruthers, the nation’s leading expert on college planning. Brian decided to devote his career to teaching and guiding families through college planning process to save them from making the same mistakes he made.
Brian has worked with over 1,000 families helping them attain their college dreams. His clients come from as far as Palm Springs and attend educationally diverse schools from junior colleges to Harvard University.
He is the co-host of the monthly smash hit radio show “College Planning Secrets EXPOSED!” on KHTS 1220 AM, Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 PM. Brian has also published his own book College Planning Made Easy
Kriscia is a San Fernando Valley native. She went to Granada Hills Charter High School. She attended the University of California, Riverside were she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology/ Law and Society and Political Science. Always the Southern California girl, she attended the University of San Diego for her graduate studies in Counseling. She earned her Master’s in Arts in Counseling, specializing in school and college counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. She is a very dedicated sports fan. Her passion is to be a resource to others who strive to better themselves by pursuing higher education. She provides continuous and expert guidance through the many details of admissions. We have put together a highly credentialed team of College Counselors and Planners. They have experience in both high school and college admissions, and hold Masters and Bachelors degrees from prominent colleges and universities. As members of NACAC, (National Association of College Admission Counselors) they are truly experts in their field. A unique advantage for your student is that we can partner them with a College Counselor that is an expert in the area of their top college choice(s). This provides the student with an “insiders” perspective of any particular school. They can easily answer questions about the campus atmosphere, tips for visiting the school or even about major corporations in the area that provide internships etc… It is our commitment to your student to be easily accessible!
Initially Johanna became associated with College Planning Experts as a client and like most parents, she had saved some money for her son’s college, yet had no idea how she would ever pay for the expensive private university he was accepted into. Being the eternal optimist, Johanna knew that if “there was a will, then there was a way”, and she just happened to see an article about a Free College Planning Workshop for parents and students to attend on “How To Get Free Money For College”. So, she and her son attended the Free Workshop where College Planning Experts opened her eyes and taught her how to save thousands of dollars for college, take control of a very complicated administrative process, and most importantly, showed her and her son how to attend the college of his dreams where her son is now thriving in his education. This process made an lasting impression, and now she is sharing that knowledge with other parents, teachers, counselors, principles and employees of local businesses by coordinating free workshops, college planning parties and on-location expos for business and the local community.
Nathan is a Southern California native, born and raised in Bakersfield, where he attended high school and college. Nathan was an athlete in school and maintained a 3.80 GPA while doing so but he didn’t take advantage of any guidance during his high school years. Because of that, Nathan neglected taking the SAT’s and had no choice but to attend his local Jr. College. After squandering around trying to figure out what he wanted to do in life, he spent an extra year at his Jr. College not realizing that the financial aid he was receiving to pay for school was only good for 4 years. He wasted a whole year of financial aid due to a lack of planning and not seeking out guidance.
Once Jr. College was completed, he found out that if he wanted to transfer to a 4 year University and continue his education that he would have to pay full price for his final year of school since he wasted an extra year of financial aid at his Jr. College. Knowing that his final year of college would have to come from out of pocket and that his family would not be able to afford the rising cost of college, he decided to head into the work force.
Now Nathan is a proud father of 2 young boys and wants to make sure his son’s don’t go through the same mistakes that he made in regards to receiving a higher education. After a lot a research he found College Planning Experts. After learning about all the mistakes that he made when going through the college planning process himself and being so impressed with the passion that College Planning Experts had for helping him and others navigate the daunting task of planning for college, he joined their mission of “No Parent Left Behind” to help create a generation of parents that understand what it takes to get their child into the best fit college without sacrificing all their savings, retirement, or going plan broke.
C. Marie Perez – Financial Aid Specialist