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Tara Piantanida-Kelly

College Finance Consultant She/Her/Hers
Tara Kelly
College Finance Consultant
Former Senior Financial Aid Officer Menlo College
Former Senior Financial Aid Officer Rochester Institute of Technology
Former Senior Financial Aid Officer Holy Names University
Former Consultant San Francisco Art Institute

My Background

Upon realizing my passion for helping students and families, I left a higher-paying job to start my career in financial aid. It was the best career move I ever made. I worked my way up from an entry-level counselor position to director of financial aid, and then started my own financial aid consulting business. Since then, I have consulted with a variety of colleges and universities. Along the way, I also spent years training other college financial aid administrators at colleges and universities throughout the United States, and I wrote a book about how to find the right college at the right price.
Excellent resource for us as a family and reduced the anxiety and complexity in a stressful and overwhelming application process.
Parent of a UCLA student

Why I Joined College Coach

After spending many years working for colleges, universities and student loan guaranty agencies, I really wanted to get back to my favorite part of my career – helping families and students understand how to pay for college. As a financial aid professional, too many times I have sat across the desk from a family and/or student as they ask for financial help to stay in school, and too many times I have seen students have to leave a school that they love but simply cannot afford. I want to help families prepare so that they can avoid this situation altogether.

Get to Know Me

My Education

Winthrop University Bachelor's in Communications, Bachelor's in Music
Tara Piantanida-Kelly

Some of my favorite pastimes

Traveling and spending time with my husband, children, grandchildren and dogs; riding my horse in horse shows and hunter paces; practicing karate and taikwa; Investing in real estate; playing with Kelley’s Heroes band


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