Welcome to the California, San Francisco - Bay Area, College Financial Aid Planning Specialists


College Financial Aid Planning Testimonials 

Hello Gerna, Jessica and Dan:

Regarding Tori’s college decision, she has selected Vanderbilt University. I truly believe that this school in the perfect fit for Tori.  Walking around the campus and talking to every student willing to talk to us (100% did by the way), made us realize how special this place really is.  From the students to the professors, everyone is just so relaxed, generous with their time, and willing to help.

On several occasions, Tori and I struggled to hold back tears of joy for the opportunity she has been given.  This opportunity started because of all of you!  Gerna, Jessica and Dan, you were her cheerleaders and teachers, letting all of us know that Tori should reach for the stars.  Dan you were behind the scenes with your great emails that we did read.  We had no idea that private universities have more funding than public universities, nor did we know that it can take longer to get through a public school versus a private one.  All of you held our hands and coached us through every step to get to where we needed to go.  During a very hard time in our lives financially, you never passed judgment and simply treated us with respect and a strong willingness to help.    

We know how hard Tori has worked to get here, but she never would have even looked at Vanderbilt as an option without your coaching and guidance.  It doesn’t matter how much prep Tori did in high school, without your input, Tori would have never applied to Vanderbilt, and as much as we love our daughter, we didn’t have the tools or knowledge to guide her to this decision.  Charlie and I both have state university educations and we would have guided her in that direction.  You taught us to look differently at this situation and Tori did.  She reached for the stars and grabbed the moon.  She is going to Vanderbilt University because of all of you!  Thank you seems to be such a trivial word right now.  But, thank you!

Truthfully, the four of you have changed the life of our daughter and the course she will take forever.  The opportunities that will now be afforded to her are truly endless and it’s up to her to make the most of it.  But, it all started with all of you and the knowledge and belief in Tori you brought to our family.  And now, Tori is a Vandy student and a commodore…go Dores’!

For the ongoing phone calls, emails and meetings, the Ham family sincerely thanks all of you!!!  And, of course, you aren’t getting rid of us now.  Morgan needs your help, and indirectly, all of you are now shaping Morgan’s life through watching her big sister, Tori, soar!  You are indeed angels on earth making a difference…thank you!

With much gratitude,

Tori, Shelley and Charlie Ham


Hi Gerna:
I am writing to thank you for your help with Becca.  Today, she got accepted into USF, and she has indicated that is where she plans to go.  I know the meeting with her was grueling, but I think she needed someone to really make her aware of her whole education goals.  She really took to heart what you said about Academy of Art selectivity, etc. 

Tim and I want to say thanks again.  We really value your expertise. 

Best Regards,

N. B.


Hello Gerna,

Thank you very much for giving Eric the help and attention… Words are not my strength; to express my sincerity, “Thanks again”.

Happy Thanksgiving. 



Hello Gerna,

I am emailing first with a big THANK YOU! I am at Oberlin College and Conservatory (double degree program), and I absolutely love it. College is amazing. My professors are passionate and provide a wealth of knowledge and resources, and the conservatory is a metropolis for music. I couldn’t be more pleased with how this year is turning out, so I’d like to let you know how much I appreciate your help throughout the college application process.

-Elizabeth A. (Student)


Before knowing Bay Area College Specialists, I was feeling too overwhelmed with the complexities surrounding college planning. I was so stressed to think I don’t know how to start the process. Anyway, I forgot how I got the contact info for their company, but I called to take advantage of their free consultation. And since I am a working mother, the more I realized I needed their expertise.

I consider Gerna and Dan like family members who care so much about my children’s college education. They provided guidance to my children as far as choosing the right university for their major. They helped my girls apply for private scholarships and now both of them are attending Dominican University of San Rafael with generous scholarship grants.

I have been worry-free since I made them my partners in my girls’ college planning. Thank you guys and God bless.

Amor S.,

Martella and Mickaela R.

Pinole, California


After 2 years at Montana State University, my college savings ran out and I was sure I would have to take out private loans to pay for school. My mom called Bay College Planners and thanks to Gerna and the team, I now have all my tuition paid and then some. Bay Area Planners is a lifesaver for me and my college career. Thanks so much Gerna, Jessica and all those of you at Bay College Planners
Thanks Gerna
Will H.
I cannot begin to tell you how valuable College Planning Specialists’ expertise has been for our family in this arduous process of college applications and financial aid applications.
When I attended your free seminar at the Alameda Free Library, I was so impressed with your presentation and the information about the process, I decided immediately to take advantage of the free hour of consultation.  During that hour you provided me with so much more information, that I had no doubt that I needed to retain your services.  An additional factor was that one of our friends totally blew it when she did the FAFSA and did not receive any financial aid for her daughter when they applied to colleges.
I have been extremely impressed with your level of professionalism and the fact that you have available to speak with me at any time.  It has been worth every penny! I could not have navigated this minefield without you.
I have recommended your services to two families and will be happy to do that for more of my daughter’s friends who are sophomores and juniors this year.

Gerna and his staff at Bay Area College Planning Specialists have done a great job with the necessary paperwork and timing to enable us to get the best financial aid package available. Their work has helped us to offset the ever increasing cost of college for our daughter Tempest.

I would recommend them to anyone who has children that are planning to attend college.


Craig and Kathy H. Vacaville, CA


To Whom It May Concern:

My wife and I came to Gerna after a free presentation that he provided in our area about college financial assistance. I was very proud of our daughter when she was accepted to UC Santa Cruz. The first year we paid all cost out of our pocket, and at that time I had started a software company and was not receiving a salary. I started working with Gerna early in the year to see if we could qualify for any aid for the upcoming year since we no longer had the money to cover costs. Gerna worked quickly with us to get all required information we needed, explaining our story to the financial aid office, and following up many times with them after we submitted all the paperwork. I never once had to call the college myself. Many months went by without any response from the college, until late in July when we received a letter stating we did not qualify due to a large amount of money drawn from our retirement account. Gerna was very quick to contact the financial aid office and explained to them, with research in hand, that this was an error on their part. Within a couple days their decision was reversed, and our daughter received 100% financial aid for the coming year.

My wife and I have been extremely pleased with Gerna’s dedication to the service he provides. He is very prompt on answering emails and returning phone calls. I’m not sure how Bay Area College Planners compares to their competitors, as we never shopped around. From the first time I met with Gerna I know we would be well taken care of.

In addition, I find the weekly, sometimes more often, College E-Letter and tips provided by Bay Area College Planners to my email very informative and helpful. If you’re seeking financial aid for you or your child, I would encourage you to at least spend a consultation meeting with Gerna or Dan. I’m sure you will be pleased!

Thank you Gerna!
-Mark & Diana K., Vacaville, CA
Thanks for showing me why private grants are important as a means of off setting our student’s self help”
Michael L., Fairfield, CA  

We are here to make parents feel confident that their student has an attainable plan to get into a college program of your choice comfortably. 

You deserve the piece of mind that comes from working with a trusted Certified Advisor. Take charge of your financial future by working with a Bay Area College Planning Specialists Certified Advisor to develop your personal plan to pay for college without going broke.   

Get your share of the over $100 billion in grants and financial aid that is awarded each and every year.


Phone 510-686-7979                                               Fax 510-405-8880

We proudly serve the State of Hawaii, all of Marin County and the following additional Northern California San Francisco Bay Area communities including San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Dublin, Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Moraga, Berkeley, Lafayette, Alameda, Brentwood, Fremont, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Pacifica, Milbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Mill Valley, San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Daly City.