"I am enthusiastically writing about the services of Timothy Higgins in connection to our recent college search, application, and decision-making process. Tim’s expertise and counsel were instrumental in my family’s experience and ultimate decision to attend a very solid College.
From the beginning, Tim included my entire family in the process, which was critical, given the dynamics of our family’s situation. His efforts to include my daughter, first through a comprehensive yet not overly burdensome, questionnaire, actually set my emotions at ease as she was able to express what was important to her and compassionately challenged her to envision what she might be doing at college and beyond.
Next, Tim was able to take the information that was provided to him and very skillfully recommend certain schools that we had not even considered as part of the overall pool of schools. Two of these schools ultimately were at the top of our daughter’s list, and they never would have been considered but for Tim’s careful and deliberate process of getting to know us, and in particular, my daughter. This step was critical, as the college counselor at my daughter’s high school had not identified these options as additional schools that should be considered.
After obtaining several offers of acceptance, Tim assisted us in evaluating financial packages and gave us very valuable advice in the process of professionally and respectfully approaching the various schools in an effort to obtain better financial packages. All but one of the 6 schools we approached significantly altered the offer to our advantage based on letters drafted by Tim and advice about the timing and substance of the negotiation.
Tim’s expertise, support and advice at each stage of the process was much more valuable to us than the college counselor at our private high school. The main differences were stark: Tim actually helped us identify solid school choices should be considered based on the best fit for our situation and not the politics or agenda of the school. Secondly and extremely important, the financial piece that is completely ignored by high school college counselors as to true affordability is taken on directly by Tim. His advice combines the student and family’s top choices of colleges with sound financial advice as to affordability and a realistic plan to get there.
I highly recommend Tim Higgins for helping your family with education planning. His services were invaluable to our process and I will be consulting with him again soon to assist us with my next child, a high school freshman. Tim’s skill and compassion with this very emotional process created valuable college choices for us, and affordably so. I know that our partnering with Tim made a substantive difference in this critically important step of choosing appropriate colleges, evaluating the packages, and successfully negotiating a better financial solution. Tim was with us every step of the way, and I am very grateful to him for the help he provided us and highly recommend him for college planning."
Parent - Walpole, NH
" My eyes were opened after reading Tim’s book, How to Pay for College without Sacrificing Your Retirement. I had been unsure how I could navigate the costs of my daughter’s college education without taking out large loans or risking our retirement. In clear, easy to understand practical pearls, Tim’s book spelled it out.
Tim helped us develop and implement a financial game plan without raiding our retirement savings. With Tim’s advice our daughter was accepted into a number of schools, and received merit/financial aid offers of $20,000+ per year---dollars she would not have obtained without his input."
I would recommend Tim’s services to anyone with children approaching college.
Parent - Saint Louis, MO
Putting a child through college without sacrificing one's retirement is not an easy feat due to the steep price of higher education, however Tim was terrific at helping us very methodically work through numerous scenarios to arrive at a game plan in which we could put our son through a 4 year private university and not even tap into our retirement savings. Tim is the utmost professional who is extremely knowledgeable about both retirement and college financial planning and that combination puts him in a different league and is guaranteed to save you money. By reviewing our financial aid application, he uncovered a few but costly mistakes we made in completing it that will save us up to $80K over the four years our son is in college. You can't afford not to use Tim's Services!
Parent - Holden, MA
"I cannot imagine navigating the college financial aid maze without the help of a professional on the level of Tim Higgins. I have learned that you cannot separate your approach to paying for your child's education from the very serious business of planning for your own retirement. Tim is knowledgeable , insightful and patient with those unfamiliar with the process. His analysis is invaluable."
Parent - Shelter Island, NY
"Tim 's help was immense! He helped us to understand the college financial aid process and get all of our financial ducks in a row. He also gave us invaluable advice on how to represent our needs to the schools that our daughter was considering. When the smoke cleared, she ended up at Harvard! We can't recommend him highly enough."
Parent - Cambridge, MA
We stumbled upon Tim quite by accident--by attending one of his seminars. What a lucky break for us. We learned so much at his seminar, and were so impressed by him, that it convinced us that he was the right person to consult about financial planning, particularly paying for college and planning for retirement. Tim is very bright, savvy, personable, down-to-earth, has a good sense of humor (crucial in a process that has you sprouting gray hairs daily!), and has a wealth of experience with the college planning/financial aid process. We really value his holistic approach; in addition to looking at our financial position (i.e. assessing whether we have enough insurance, calculating our assets and projecting our retirement needs, analyzing our cash flow, and coming up with a suggested year-to-year strategy to pay for college) he also has given us invaluable insights and suggestions for our son, to help him find a college that is the right fit. Tim really makes you feel like he's a partner in navigating the seemingly daunting process of figuring out how to pay for college while keeping your own financial needs in mind, as well. We recommend him highly.
Parent - Arlington, MA
"Tim Higgins has provided us with college planning advice that has been unmeasurable. He helped us position our assets to produce the maximum benefits from financial aid in both private high school and college. Your first step should be to speak with Tim when beginning your college or retirement planning. His sound advice helped get our son into a top 40 Colleges that Change Lives, with an excellent award package."
Parent - Fitchburg, MA
The College application process is a stressful time for both parent and the student. We've all dreamed about our children going to the best schools and fear the possibility of anything but the best. Tim refocused our dream to the reality of what's possible and changed our way of thinking to what is important. This certainty changed the whole process and reduced our stress.
Tim interviewed our son, studied his academic record and test scores and developed a college list. This list was focused on him getting the best education with the greatest possibility of affordability.
Tim did a fantastic job analyzing our financial data, then restructuring this information to put our best foot forward. He further handled all the financial forms and made sure everything was delivered timely. We would have been lost without him.
Without reservation I wholeheartedly recommend Tim's services and the best endorsement is that we are now using Tim for our daughter.
Parent - South Windsor, CT
Tim is fantastic to work with! He helped us navigate the complex world of college financial planning while also keeping an eye on our retirement savings. His approach is smart, insightful, and easy to implement, but most importantly, he listens to your questions and takes the time to explain the answers in as much detail as you need. With our oldest heading to college next year, we're on solid financial ground knowing how much we can afford (without touching our retirement savings) and roughly what to expect in aid from the colleges. Tim is someone you want in your corner as you face the financial challenges of planning for college and retirement!
Parent - Natick, MA
"I wanted to know how much 'college' my husband and I could afford without derailing our retirement plans. Tim was able to answer that and much more. He re-aligned our retirement accounts, analyzed our cash flow, and even reviewed our current estate plan. I truly appreciate his holistic approach to financial planning and I would highly recommend him to any family."
Parent - Boxborough, MA
Thanks again for helping out on Sunday afternoon. Above and beyond the call of duty but I know my clients are very appreciative as that was the only time a meeting could be arranged and a filing deadline was fast approaching for Monday (yesterday). To be candid my client was extremely anxious prior to the meeting but we accomplished so much useful college planning that after the meeting she said to me that she felt as though “a weight has been lifted off my shoulders”. As appropriate I will gladly think of you again for some of the college planning that needs to take place. Thank you again!!
Financial Advisor - Boston, MA
"It was a delight to work with Mr. Higgins. His can-do attitude and sense of responsibility led to excellent results. We would eagerly use his services again."
Parent - Brookline, MA
I just wanted to say thank you for all that you've done for my family. Without your hard work, commitment, and guidance, I most likely would not be attending Bentley in the fall. . .I can't tell you how much I appreciate your extra effort and dedication. It really means a lot. Thanks again.
Student - Auburn, MA
"Tim calmly and confidently guided us through the process for appealing our financial aid package. Despite the fact that we thought it was a shot in the dark, the final award was increased by $7000 per year. We're now looking forward to Tim's help in planning our retirement."
Parent - Cambridge, MA
We initially pursued Tim's services to help us minimize tax costs as we moved money around to pay for my son's college tuition as we did not expect to receive any financial aid. Although the FAFSA is the same for all college's, Tim's detailed college knowledge showed us that each private school evaluates financial resources differently and this made a great impact to our approach for financing college. For example, some private school's do NOT count the value of your home and that meant it would be useful to pay off our home and then we would be positioned to actually receive some financial aid. Tim knew these nuances for about 140 local colleges and helped us make a much, much better plan for paying for college than we would have been able to do otherwise. Excellent job Tim!
Parent - Stow, MA
Choosing a college is very difficult. It is very easy to get tangled up in the web of standardized tests, applications, and financial aid forms. While the Common Application has in some ways made the application process easier, applying to a college is actually a lot more difficult now than 30 years ago. In the past, students applied to 3 or 4 colleges; today, it is not uncommon for students to apply to 10-15 different schools.
That’s where Tim Higgins comes in. Tim helped us navigate the entire process, right from the beginning. He brainstormed with us as my daughter made her first tentative list of schools and shared his knowledge of those schools as well as the type of student they attract and the financial aid packages they would offer. When she finally narrowed her list down to 10 schools, he offered insight into their admissions process. Tim guided me through the financial aid process, reviewing my FAFSA before I submitted it. When decision letters came in, and we had a problem with financial aid from my daughter’s first choice, Tim answered frantic emails from me at all times of the day and night. His advice was right on and we were able to secure financial aid so that my daughter will be able to attend her first choice in the fall.
Tim Higgins knows what he is talking about. He understands the college application process and is knowledgeable in all areas of financial aid. Tim proved to be an invaluable asset to me and my daughter. I don’t think she would be attending the college of her choice if it were not for Tim. We will be eternally grateful.
Parent - Westborough, MA
I couldn't have done this without you!! Thank you!!
Parent - Westborough, MA
Dear Tim-- Just want you to know how pleased we have been with our meetings about financing education costs. The immediate benefit was a general reduction in our stress level. Then, following some of your suggestions, we have been astounded with the financial aid packages we are receiving. We are looking forward to working with you for years to come.
Parent - Cambridge, MA
"Tim's guidance was invaluable in helping us figure out how to present our family's financial situation to colleges in a way that was both ethical and self-sustaining. This is a very complex process and it is so important to have a skillful advisor like Tim to help navigate it. Higher education is 'big business' and it really helps to have someone on your team looking out for your family's interests!"
Parent - Arlington, MA
Tim not only has proven himself to be quite knowledgeable in the area of personal finance and planning, but he has spent an inordinate amount of time over a number of planning sessions helping us understand completely his strategies and ideas.
We look forward to working with Tim for the foreseeable future and would recommend him highly to others in this incredibly turbulent time for the markets and economy.
Parent - Ashland, MA
"With our daughter headed off to college in the fall, we were looking to make sure we had a good plan in place for paying for her education. Tim met with us and developed a plan and process on where to draw the funds for not only our daughter, but he made projections out four years for our son as well. He made us feel more at ease that we had prepared properly and provided insight to maximize our resources and our opportunities for financial assistance. His advice was exactly what we were looking for. We only wished that we would have met him sooner!".
Parent - Southborough, MA
"Tim has been extremely helpful to us in planning for our children's college education. His knowledge of funding secondary education is extensive and invaluable as we plan our families future. We look forward to continue working with him."
Parent - Westfield, MA
Dear Tim, Thank you for all of your help with the financial aid process, we could not have done it without you. With 5 kids to educate, we knew that we needed some guidance. We are thrilled that we found you and we recommend you to anyone trying to figure out how to pay for college!
Your instructions and helpful hints really made the difference. We look forward to working with you each year. Today we opened the letter from the financial aid office of my son’s first choice college,thanks to you it contained a generous package. Gratefully. . .
Parent - Hopkinton, MA
"As I prepare to engage in the financial aid process, I believe that securing Tim's advice was a sound investment which will save me a lot of money over the next four years. He provides a lot of experience in what is a complicated and nerve wracking time for parents."
Parent - Shrewsbury, MA
“As college costs continue to skyrocket, it is crucial that parents and grandparents become educated savers and consumers. Tim Higgins’ savings and cost- cutting options coupled with his ability to understand the total financial picture is extremely valuable.”
Gregg Cohen, President, CampusBound.com
"Your dedication and hard work ethic helped us gain confidence both in the process and in ourselves. There can be a certain amount of anxiety and stress associated with planning for college and its future. Thank you for helping to significantly reduce these feelings. . .You made the process fun, exciting and very rewarding, thank you!"
Parent - Marlborough, MA
As a CPA, I am amazed at the numerous amounts of literature which rely on the repetitive mainstream concepts of “one-size-fits-all” planning. Tim’s book is a refreshing look into customized preparation and execution for the common consumer. His material is presented with critical analysis and easy to understand concepts. His focus on the individuality of the customer is a thoughtful and stimulating read. I look forward to his further publications.
Parent - St. Petersburg, FL
“Tim Higgins is unique in his field of college financial planning in that he truly understands the concerns families have about this huge investment, and he views the process holistically. Although college is a critical step for your child’s future, your own financial viability is also important. Tim demystifies the financial planning process and ensures that your whole family is served.”
Charlotte Klaar, Director, College Consulting Services
"Tim's assistance in helping us prepare for our daughter's entry into college was immense. He carefully outlined our options and did valuable research that allowed us to see clearly what we could afford and what we could do to get the best financial aid package possible. His work for us simplified what appeared at first to be quite complicated."
Parent - Shrewsbury, MA
After attending one of Tim's college presentations, what really sold us on Tim's services was his honest and frank approach about our financial position for college and the likelihood of obtaining financial aid. In addition to helping us understand our options for moving money around in the best way to pay for college, Tim also rebalanced our stock portfolio to achieve the same income level with less risk. I heartily recommend Tim's services!
Parent - Stow, MA
"Our sons are in 10th grade and 7th grade. Tim helped us understand what college costs will look like based upon our financial situation and the difference in the institution. I appreciate that Tim focuses on helping families understand that finding the right "fit" is more important than playing the "name game" when it comes to selecting a college. I like that we now have a clear idea of what's on the horizon for us, and it makes me feel a lot more comfortable -- much better than "winging it" and hoping for the best! Spending a relatively small amount of money now will pay for itself down the road - many times over. Thanks Tim!"
Parent - Belmont, MA
"I felt that you helped us to understand the way to go about planning for our son's college expenses. Your presentation is well - organized and makes a lot of sense."
Parent - Wayland, MA
“Affording college has become increasingly more difficult especially for the middle class. The cost of attending college and how to finance that investment are becoming increasingly more important factors when choosing a school. Tim Higgins gives excellent advice for how to most efficiently pay for college.”
Timothy B. Lee, Ed.M., Certified Educational Planner, AHP Educational Consulting, and President of the Independent Educational Consultants Association
I take pride in my relationships, not only among my clients but also within my industry. Read what some of my peers and clients have to say!