About Mark Lerner

My line of work has been in educational book publishing since the 1970s, but over the past few years I’ve spent many hours trying to get my children the best college deals possible. Our oldest child received merit-based financial aid from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, cutting our family’s college costs by almost 40% for each of his four years. Our second child attended the University of Minnesota, where her academic scholarships cut tuition almost in half. Our third child, now a senior at Furman University in South Carolina, has combined athletic and academic scholarships to reduce our family’s outlay by two thirds of the sticker price. Our fourth (and last) child is in her freshman year at Loyola University in Chicago, where merit-based aid reduced our cost by about a third. Had she followed her father’s advice, our discount would likely have been higher—but that’s another story.

Paying for college is not at all like buying food at the supermarket; it’s more like buying a car. If you’ve never done that before, you’re at the mercy of the car dealer. With help available, why go it alone? I look forward to working with you.



Thanks for the advice on colleges, Mark. Without your guidance, we would have wasted a lot of time looking at schools that we didn’t know were poor matches for our son. You quickly and efficiently pointed us toward schools that were great fits for him academically and athletically. He is now studying mechanical engineering and playing football at the University of North Dakota. You were so helpful. Thank you and we would recommend you to anyone.

M.H. and D.H., Edina, MN parents


Mr. Lerner clearly explained the financial picture my family and I were looking at in deciding which college to attend. He estimated what our Expected Family Contribution (EFC) would be, and whether my GPA and ACT score would qualify me for merit-based aid. I ended up going to my first choice school, the University of Minnesota, and I love it. I thank Mr. Lerner for helping me through the process of getting there. He’s really nice, smart, and very easy to work with. I totally recommend him.

R.A., University of Minnesota freshman


Mark’s college knowledge is amazing. He led us to look at schools large and small across the country, including ones we were not familiar with. Mark pointed us toward colleges whose football coaches were looking for players at our son’s position, and he even helped edit our son’s high school highlight video. Mark was a joy to work with, always pleasant and patient. He followed up with us regularly, really showing how much he cared about our son’s future. If you’d like help in finding the right college fit for your child, I recommend Mark without reservation. Our family was really grateful for what he did.

S.L., Edina, MN mother