Paula's advice and assistance proved invaluable as we negotiated the financial aid labyrinth, seeking to fund college for three children at once. Paula showed us how to predict our children’s awards, prepare FAFSA and CSS Profile submissions and gather and complete supporting documentation. With Paula’s help, based on her personal interest in our situation, we maximized our awards to “afford” two very pricey New England liberal arts colleges and an out of state public university. Utilizing Paula’s professional expertise was a very wise investment. Thank you, Paula.
Brad F, Attorney Mount Vernon, WA
I met Paula during a high school football game! We came to her for college advice and help with the financial aid forms when my daughter was preparing for college. I'm a single mom with limited income, and felt it was hopeless to send my hardworking daughter to an expensive school. She showed me a book that a young man wrote about how he made it through college debt free. Fast forward four years - my daughter recently graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca NY majoring in Human Biology, Health and Society and Minoring in Global Health with a 3.98 and DEBT FREE!!! My daughter is now headed to medical school!
Paula and the book that she showed us inspired her. My daughter had worked so hard, and took the time and effort to apply and receive scholarships, grants, etc. She also worked 4 years at Cornell to help with spending, in addition to the small amount I was able to give her. I want to thank Paula for our first baby step in the right direction!! Paula is quite humble, but I am one proud momma!! Thank you for your initial guidance. Truly appreciated.
Debbie H, Seattle WA
From: Lynn O’Shaughnessy, author “The College Solution” and creator of college blog www.thecollegesolution.com
Paula Bishop is one of the nation's premiere financial aid practitioners.
She has worked for many years with parents who are confused about whether they will qualify for financial aid or not. These parents also turn to Paula when they need advice about what colleges and universities are generous and which are not. Paula knows the answers.
In fact, when people attending my college presentations or visiting my college blog ask me questions about their complicated family issues and how they might impact financial aid, i suggest that they contact Paula.
Just as importantly, Paula is an extremely ethical person. I highly recommend Paula to families who have financial aid questions or who need an expert to complete their CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE or the FAFSA.
For many parents, college tuition for their child may be their most expensive purchase -- possibly even exceeding the cost of their house. Further, college tuition is ideally paid in 4 years. Facing such a situation, it helps to see the true college cost as soon as possible. By seeing accurate estimates, parents can make the hard choices of choosing how to budget and being honest with what they can afford. Performing such an estimate early in the process can also give the parents the ability to research other schools which may offer their child excellent opportunities without an Ivy League cost. Paula Bishop's work gives the parents that ability. I found her work very valuable and very affordable (especially when compared to the cost of college)."
David L, Indianapolis
Paula was my lifesaver from the seemingly endless sea of PROFILE questions (the more complex financial aid form). From the very first conversation, I felt my stress, anxiety and frustration melt away. With my first child applying to college (first out of 5!), I needed a hand to hold through the daunting financial aid process and she was right there.
Paula is extremely efficient, prompt, thorough, and tells it like it is (very refreshing). She made the entire process painless and no question was too small (I bugged her a lot). When I was ashamed to ask for a reconsideration of our aid award with the college, she encouraged me to do so because she really felt that we needed one. She helped me explain, in detail and with honesty, our financial situation to the college.
We received an incredible award, for which we are so very grateful! After the PROFILE was completed (in under a week, due to my questions), the FAFSA was truly a piece of cake. There is no way I could have gotten through it all without Paula and I will be calling her again year after year. Aside from being the consummate professional, she is a very kind and caring person (and funny too!) She made the process unintimidating and I actually am not dreading it next year because of her! Thank you, Paula!
Nicole, Vienna, VA
Our family has worked with Paula for over a year, exploring the different financing options of colleges to understand what we can afford and what might be reasonable choices.
Paula even helped with tax returns and tax advice. We are in California and Paula is in Washington, yet the distance was seamless. Paula works to get the job done, not by the clock.
As divorced parents, each with different viewpoints & timing, Paula was able to navigate effectively through these challenges.
Emily in Palo Alto, CA
This spring I was accepted into the Foster School of Business as an Accounting and Information Systems Major at the University of Washington. As a student of a school that is ranked 18th nationwide for its undergraduate accounting program in the U.S., I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn amongst some of the most talented individuals and network with the largest firms and companies. This summer alone I was taken out to lunch by recruiters from all four of the Big Four accounting firms such as Deloitte, KPMG, Price Waterhouse Cooper, and Ernst Young.
All of this could not have happened without the tremendous help of Paula Bishop, who I can testify has been a godsend for me in my path towards higher education. As a first generation student from Indonesia, me and my mother had no knowledge of the American college system, nor could we of even dreamt of being able to afford it. Without Paula’s assistance, no amount of my intelligence or determination could have led me to where I am today had I not been able to afford my education in the first place. I’m extremely grateful that my high school was one of the many she visits annually and I hope that every other person that receives Paula’s help does not take it for granted, it is truly a blessing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Paula.
Andry (student) Seattle, WA
Paula Bishop, CPA
Financial Aid for College Advisor