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What Our Clients Say About Us.

A.H.'s parents hired me to help A .H. with college planning . After a review
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A.H.'s parents hired me to help A.H. with college planning. After a review of her college list, I suggested completely modifying the list. She initially selected mostly public in- and out-of-state universities. I shared with her that based on her high achievements and parent’s income bracket, she would be better off applying to selective private colleges. In the beginning, she was intimidated by the prestigious rankings and extremely high cost of attendance. She simply didn't believe she could make it there, and even if she did, she was terrified of becoming a financial burden to her parents. After completing the college applications, essays, and financial aid applications, A.H. was admitted to all of her college choices. Most of them even offered to pay her to attend their institution. If she stayed with her original college list, her parents would have borrowed $40,000 a year. The comparison is $120,000 in debt vs $300,000 in scholarships/grants.
Case study 7
Local Scholarships - Most students lose their motivation to apply for additional scholarships ...
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Local Scholarships - Most students lose their motivation to apply for additional scholarships once they get admitted to their desired college. T.Q. was a student who was determined to cover the total cost of her college education on her own, without the financial support of her parents. I helped her find many local and national scholarship opportunities and she applied for more than 50 scholarships. She didn't win every one of them, but getting scholarships is a numbers game. She won a total of $15,000 which helped her tremendously to meet her goal of paying for college on her own.
Case study 6
Corrections That Make a Difference 1. Student A. was admitted to the University
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Corrections That Make a Difference 1. Student A. was admitted to the University of Southern California. His parents were quite shocked when they received A.'s financial aid award from the university, and it showed they would owe almost $70,000 for his freshman year. After looking at the bill, A. was convinced he would have to attend community college due to the high cost. A.'s parents owned their own business and had experienced a business loss of $150,000. Their income was not even 0, it was negative. A's mom decided to reach out to me because she saw one of my social media posts. She was quite skeptical that I could help her son. She had already reached out to the financial aid office at USC and they told her there was nothing that could be done. After I reviewed A.'s student aid report from FAFSA and CSS Profile form, I realized the CSS Profile form incorrectly showed their business loss as income instead of as a loss. The system based the calculations on an income – not a loss – of $150,000. I drafted an appeal form to the financial aid office describing the CSS Profile form had an error and they should re-evaluate A.'s financial aid offer. The result was A. attending his dream college because the remaining balance of $60,000 was covered by the university. 2. Retirement rollover - I often get to share tears of joy with the families I work with after successfully executing their student’s college plans. But this time, the mom of a student was in tears of sorrow because she simply couldn't afford her child's college education while earning $35,000 annually. I carefully reviewed her child's student aid report and realized when she used the Data Retrieval Tool, the system transferred her retirement rollover as an addition to her income. We were able to correct that with the financial aid office of the university and her son was able to attend college. It is troubling to me that many students who are using the Data Retrieval Tool don’t know they may be disqualified for financial aid if their parents had retirement rollovers that year. I thought I would do everyone a favor by addressing that issue with the Department of Education and my local congressman. Unfortunately, 7 years later, that issue is still not resolved. But I've been able to help families who are in the same circumstances receive what they are eligible for by finding this error and helping them correct it.
Case study 5
Finding the path to success- Most students are not 100% sure about their major ...
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Finding the path to success- Most students are not 100% sure about their major and college choices. High school student S.D. was absolutely certain about one thing - college was not for him and he needed full-time work to help his single mom with the bills. When his father hired me, I promised I would do my absolute best to motivate S.D. to go after his full potential. Four years later I bumped into his father at a concert. His father was so appreciative, because his son graduated with an Engineering degree and just bought his first house right out of college.
Case study 4
The impossible way to Harvard - Imagine this scenario : A refugee from Sudan
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The impossible way to Harvard - Imagine this scenario: A refugee from Sudan who went through harsh obstacles of survival, spoke only broken English, and had a community college GPA of 2.7.... yes, a 2.7 GPA! I will never forget this student because his drive to succeed had a bigger influence on me than my assistance in getting him admitted to Harvard. I’ve worked with many students and this Sudanese refugee, who witnessed his family being killed, let this tragic event became his purpose to fight for freedom and justice for his country. I have been blessed to help him with his college admission essay. As a result, he got admitted to Harvard undergraduate and Law school. He is already working with diplomats on legislative changes to create his revolutionary legacy.
Case study 3
Appealing the admission decision A student of mine had a desire to attend ...
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Appealing the admission decision A student of mine had a desire to attend the Kelley School of Business at Indiana Bloomington. He was initially admitted with a pre-business major which he almost settled on as his decision. I advised him to proceed with an admission appeal for a chance to get directly admitted to the Kelley School of Business. After helping him with the draft of the appeal, we received a response that he has been directly admitted to the Business school. "Congratulations! Based on a comprehensive review of your materials, you have been granted Direct Admission into the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. You should be very proud of this accomplishment! We are delighted to welcome you to the entering Direct Admit class. We know that you will be a great contributor to Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business."
Case study 2
Negotiating cost of attendance - Lora Georgieva, owner of Destination College and Certified College
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Negotiating cost of attendance - Lora Georgieva, owner of Destination College and Certified College Planner, was able to help a high school senior negotiate the cost of attendance with Johns Hopkins University by receiving an additional $200,000. I was hired to negotiate college costs by a middle-income family who had a child going to Johns Hopkins University. When their student was originally admitted to her dream university, Johns Hopkins, they assured her cost would not be a barrier to attending the university. During the orientation session, they explained that because of their abundant endowment funds, they became a no-loan university for low- and medium-income families. When she later received a bill for over $50,000/year, however, the student felt she was misled. Tuition now became a barrier as her soon-to-be retired parents realized they would have to pay $50,000/year without having a college savings plan or anything saved for their retirement. After multiple attempts to appeal the financial aid award, the university gave her $28,000 over 4 years. Even with that additional aid her parents couldn't afford to send her to college. After continued negotiations with the financial aid office, they awarded her an additional $28,000 over 4 years ($56,000 total over 4 years). My clients were extremely happy with the result, but I wasn’t. I continued researching why they wouldn’t keep their promise of making college affordable for her, especially after the generous $6.5 billion dollar donation of Michael Bloomberg. To our surprise, the very next day, my student received an email from Michael Bloomberg that her tuition is paid for. Then I decided to reach out to Michael Bloomberg, who was a generous donor to the university, and describe her circumstances. I created a draft letter and had the student email it directly to Michael Bloomberg. My clients thought I had absolutely lost my mind. To our great surprise and delight, Mr. Bloomberg immediately responded and helped pay for her education with additional funds. Special note. When a university sends a financial aid award, it is really their first offer. You can counteroffer that. That has been the case while I was helping multiple students admitted at public universities such as Miami and Ohio, and private universities such as DePaul, Redlands, and Lake Forest College, to name a few. The additional funding after the negotiation exceeded $8,000 with most universities. You have nothing to lose by trying to negotiate the skyrocketing cost of college.
Case study 1
"Lora is a rock star when it comes to making college affordable! We knew our ...
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"Lora is a rock star when it comes to making college affordable! We knew our daughter could theoretically get into one of the selective colleges, but there are so many students out there with equally good qualifications, so how do you set yourself apart? In our case, Lora identified that an internship would be good and suggested where to turn. Our daughter got it with a flexible schedule to fit with her other obligations. She learned a lot and her experiences didn't just look good on her resume, but also gave her fuel for several college essays. Working with Lora at Destination College took a lot of the stress out of the process. We never needed to lay sleepless or spend hours searching the web, wondering if we did it right or not. The little tweaks we got help with are nowhere to be found as Lora applies her experience on an individual basis. Our daughter had all essays written and reviewed before senior school year started (yay!). and applied for early decision. On December 15, while her friends were still procrastinating on their essays, she was accepted into her dream school, Johns Hopkins, on full financial aid. They even pay her so she can buy her books and come home for the holidays! FAFSA and CSS profile can be daunting and it is easy to make mistakes that make you lose out on financial aid. I collect my numbers, take them to Lora and she walks me through the process and when I leave her office it is all done - with ample margin to the deadline. For busy parents, it is a no-brainer to hire Lora. Best return on investment ever!"
Testimonial 4
"Working with Lora from Destination College has been nothing but complete and absolute pleasure.
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"Working with Lora from Destination College has been nothing but complete and absolute pleasure. She is extremely knowledgeable of all the necessary steps in preparing for college and she has been assisting us through each and every step of that process from day one through present. Lora has guided us with properly completing the FAFSA application, all the college applications, brainstorming college essay topics, and the like. Furthermore, Lora helped my son explore other potential major interests that we were not aware of which were a great fit for my son. With Lora’s assistance we applied to approximately 7 Universities and my son was accepted to all of them. After my son was accepted and received the financial aid packages from all the schools, Lora guided us through the examination of all the proposals from the financial amounts offered to the ranking of the schools and his respective major and narrowing down on what our best options are. She has also assisted us in finding private scholarships and those applications and we are now scheduled to make our decision with respect to the University selection Lora will be also helping us with selecting housing and the application for housing and meals. Simply put, Lora is beyond amazing. She has been extremely kind, caring, helpful, and wonderful in helping us navigate this difficult and stressful college preparation stage of life. I highly recommend her to all the individuals who are going to undergo college preparation or who are currently dealing with that. It really isn’t an easy task and there are so many things that most people are not aware of that could really help your child get into their dream school and in some cases perhaps even make the school more affordable. Lora has the answers to just about any questions pertaining to college and preparing for college. She has been a guiding angel for us throughout this scary and overwhelming college preparation time. I highly recommend using her services. She is absolutely and totally worth it and will not disappoint." 
Testimonial 3
"We highly recommend Destination College as your college advisor. My son worked with Lora. She ...
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"We highly recommend Destination College as your college advisor. My son worked with Lora. She navigated us through the complicated (new to my family) process of the college admission in a few meetings and monitored my son during in-take to make sure he was making right choices. She empowered him to applied to prestige/semi-selective colleges and boosted his confidence. He was able to get to his dream colleges (!!). He got really good scholarships because Lora was advising to my son on his in-take profile and also having supporting documents to show his extra achievements. Her knowledge is exceptional in all areas. Lora is very flexible with meetings and very efficient. She truly helped my son to choose the best option for the next four years of his life and lowered the final tuition cost. I am really glad I used her services and it was stress free. It was one of best investment decisions. Thank you Lora for all your help!"
Testimonial 2

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We are a Chicago based firm, working with families to make college affordable for their children. Our team of tax, financial and academic planning experts specializes in creating a customized guide, making sure the students are matched to the major and school of their interests, and the parents can comfortably afford it.

The founder of Destination College, Lora Georgieva is a Certified College Planner with over 8 years of college planning experience. Lora graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a double major in Actuarial Science.