Offering a variety of effective college admission and financing strategies

Discuss student’s high school course selection and extracurricular activities

Discuss student’s high school course selection and extracurricular activities

Are your student’s high school courses and extracurricular activities aligned with his or her college aspirations? In consultation with parents, we will help to shape the student’s path on the way to college.

Assess student’s strengths and weaknesses, and family’s preferences

What college major would best fit with your student’s interests and academic strengths? We want students and their parents to be on the same page—that the student’s college studies will result in an outcome agreeable to all, at a price you can afford.

Identify possible college fits

Can you sense whether the colleges on your student’s list would be a good fit academically, culturally, and geographically? Coming from outside the family, we will ask questions of the student, and offer suggestions, to reach agreement about which colleges to focus on—and how to obtain financial aid from them.

Explain the SAT and ACT process

Does your student’s ACT or SAT score make it more or less likely you would receive merit-based financial aid from the colleges the family is considering? We would like families to know what each college’s “sweet spot” is for offering financial aid based on test scores, and to determine whether taking additional tests might be worthwhile.

Review application deadlines

Is keeping track of application deadlines for multiple colleges something you want to do? Applications both for admission and scholarships can have rigid deadlines, which we can stay on top of for your family.

Highlight student’s accomplishments

Have you bragged enough (or too much) on your student’s college applications? We can highlight your student’s accomplishments while crafting an application that paints a picture of your student you want admissions departments to see.

Edit application essays

Could your student’s college application essays benefit from professional editing? We will polish your student’s writing, while making sure that it really comes from his or her own hand.

Proofread applications

Do you typically spot typos or other errors on the page? We will proofread college applications for both accuracy and completeness, making corrections or adding information as needed.

Locate opportunities for financial aid, including the FAFSA process

Would crunching numbers to fill out the FAFSA come easily to you? We can assess whether submitting the FAFSA is likely to reduce your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to college costs, and to assist in filling out the form itself.

Plan campus tours

Should campus tours come before or after applying to the colleges on your student’s list? We can outline the most efficient approach to visiting colleges and advise on how to get the most out of each trip.

Evaluate acceptance letters
and awards

Why do acceptance letters from some colleges offer more financial aid than others? We can evaluate each college’s financial aid package and decide how best to ask for more.

Make the best college choice
for student and family

Has your family done everything to make your student’s transition to college successful and affordable? At the end of the day, that is what working with us is meant to do.



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