College Planning

The Wealth Health Way

The Right School … for YOU … for Less

College is expensive. A four-year education can cost more than a perfectly comfortable home.

The Wealth Health approach to the college search, application and funding process can save your family thousands of dollars for each year a student is in college.


Our Free “College Planning 101” Webinar Series Shows You How


Starting freshman year in high school (or even sooner) gives you a head start towards a great college experience and time to enjoy the process rather than rush it.


Finding the Right school for you means sorting through thousands of options to find those few places that are a perfect fit with who you are as a person.


Each school must sort through thousands of applications. Yours should be crafted to help them realize that you are the perfect fit with that school’s community.


College IS expensive. There are ways to lower your out of pocket costs and have the resources to pay the bill without trashing the parents’ retirement.

College Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

When's the best time to start College Planning?


The sooner you start, the better will be your results … although there are diminishing returns in starting too young.

Kids who are groomed for college from preschool can bring more to the table than those who start (much) later. However, based on the current higher education system I find that the best time to start the planning process is some time before sophomore year in high school. There is plenty of time to establish a good GPA and board scores without over-stressing the student. The one area where starting even sooner is helpful is with sports, public service and extra-curriculars.

When is it Too Late to Start?


Starting earlier is almost always better. However, it’s almost never “too late” to get started on College Planning.

Even if the student is starting their senior year in high school, there are things that can be done from a College Planning standpoint that will help to get that student into a “great fit” school and can lower the overall cost of college for the family.

Is the student involved in the process?


The student is very much involved in the College Planning process. After all, they are the ones who will be making the application and attending the school and it is their college experience that determines whether or not the family money was well spent.

From my perspective the whole family is the client but the student is the key. They need to be on board in the early stages (through their high school career) as well as writing the essays, filing the application and choosing the school they want to attend.

We make a lot of money. Do we need your college planning services?

Yes! Anybody who pays full price for college is needlessly throwing away money.

True, your family may not qualify for Need-Based Aid (then again, I’ve seen families with income over $150,000 a year get need based aid from some schools), but the Right School may still offer your student thousands of dollars of free money (we don’t look at loans as “aid”) each year they attend that school.

On average, our clients have lowered their out-of-pocket costs for college by over $6000 a year and those results have not been dependent on qualifying for Need-Based Aid.

We don't have much family income. Can your college planning service help us?


While you probably already qualify for Need-Based Aid, you may find the out-of-pocket real cost of college (not counting loans which we don’t consider to be real “aid”) is still not financially feasible, at least not without our strategic approach to the College Search, Application and Funding process.

On average, client families have lowered their out-of-pocket costs for college by over $6000 a year and those savings have been above and beyond the amount of aid for which they would have normally qualified.

How much do your services cost?


We offer a broad menu of College Planning Services: everything from a single meeting, College Wealth Health Checkup ($197)  all the way to a full service College Planning Experience ($1995) which includes everything from coaching the student, timetable accountability, web tools, our full research resources (including historical school aid data), FAFSA filing review and awards appeal coaching (if necessary). Fees can be paid upfront or over time (case dependent).

Start with a Free College Planning consult and I’ll let you know what I think will work best for your family and especially the student.

Are there any guarantees?


Due to the nature of the process, we will not guarantee any specific aid amounts or application acceptance results.

I work very hard to be sure that all family members (and especially the student) enjoy their College Planning experience. The process should leave you feeling more confident in your decisions along the way to finding the Right School … for You. It just always seems to work out that this process also ends up saving several thousand dollars a year over not using our services.

The Legal Stuff:

ALTUS Wealth Solutions is a Virtual Registered Investment Advisor firm, registered with the State of California and created in late 2007 (proof that market timing is not our specialty – then again, nobody can time the market). ALTUS Wealth Solutions is NOT affiliated with any broker or dealer. We provide financial planning and investment management services for a fee, are not paid to make any specific recommendations and do disclose any and all conflicts of interest with the advice that we give.

John Buerger is the founder, owner, Chief Investment Officer, financial planner … and currently everything else in a one-person Registered Investment Advisor firm. John is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and a Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

John adheres to the fiduciary standard of care, makes every attempt to do whatever is in the clients’ best interest and put those interests ahead of his own.

Let's Stay Connected

Let's Stay Connected

Get access to our latest thoughts regarding Wealth Health: personal and business finance. We respect your inbox. You'll get an email once or twice a month. Promise!

Congrats! You're on the Wealth Health list.