Meet the Expert »

Raised in the San Fernando Valley, Brian was a 4 year varsity soccer player. As Chatsworth High School's Captain and center midfielder, he was one of the highest ranked soccer players in the West Valley League, an Olympic Development Program player for the California State Team and a player on the US Junior Tournament Team at the France 98 World Cup.

Brian had many NCAA Division I colleges recruiting him in his senior year to play soccer. He was banking on a full athletic scholarship and made no other college plans. When a career ending injury took college soccer off the radar for Brian, he was lost. Brian was the first in his family to attend college and did not have anyone to turn to for advice. He decided to attend CSUN and live at home because it was the least expensive and he did not understand the financial aid process. After procrastinating and making multiple mistakes on his financial aid forms, Brian took on over $50,000 in student loans.

In 2003, Brian met his mentor who taught him the Higher Education Act. Brian decided to devote his career to teaching and guiding families through this process so that they do not make the same mistakes he made.

In 2003, Brian launched his college planning firm. Since then, he has worked with over 1,000 families helping minimize the college costs and maximize the child's education. His clients come from as far as Palm Springs and attend colleges with diversity from junior colleges to Harvard University.

Brian is now one of the nation's leading experts on helping students find the best colleges in the country to attend and show the parents how to receive financial aid regardless of the parent's income and assets in order to make the student's education dreams come true. He works with Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon on the US Higher Education Act.

Seen on cable television, he is also the host of the weekly radio show, "Your College Planning Power Hour" on KHTS 1220 AM, Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

Contact Information
Phone: 661-295-9946
Fax: 661-294-9996
Address: 28494 Westinghouse Place
  Suite 206
  Valencia, CA 91355

College Planning Questions Answered by Brian Safdari »
Section: College Planning
Q:  I know I have to take the SAT and ACT for college. What is the difference between them? Is one preferred over the other?

The SAT tests the following:  Math – up to Geometry and Algebra 2; Reading and Writing.  There is a ¼ point deduction for wrong answers.  The maximum is 800 points per section for a total of 2400.

The ACT Tests the following:  Math – up to trigonometry; Reading: Writing (optional but required by most schools); Science and English.  There is no penalty for wrong answers.  The maximum is 36 points for each subject, averaged for a composite score.   

Almost all schools will except either test for admissions purposes.  Although rare, some schools may state they prefer one over the other.  You would have to check each individual schools admissions website to find that out.  

We have a program that can assist you to decide which test will be best for your situation and help you increase your test scores up to 250 additional points. The increase in score has helped our students get into their dream college and receive up to $35,000 in grants and scholarships.

Call our office at 661-295-9946 and speak to Angela Harris for assistance in our SAT and ACT programs. 

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Section: College Planning
Q:  I start college next fall. Is it too late to apply for scholarships?

No, it's never too late to apply for scholarships. You can search, apply, and receive scholarships as early as 7th grade and as late as in college. Scholarships are given annually to all types of students. 

For links to scholarship websites, go to and click on the "Resources".

Also, be aware of scholarship scams as it's one of the largest scams according to FTC, Federal Trades Commission department. Keep in mind that scholarships are FREE to apply. You don't need to pay a fee to apply.

 Good luck! 

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Section: College Planning
Q:  Where can I find information on scholarships?

Go to our website and click the "resources" tab for scholarship search engines.

Also, go to your counseling office and request for a list of local scholarship programs.

Make sure when you search for scholarships, you don't pay a fee to apply. Their are lots of scams out there.

Be careful and good luck! 

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Section: College Planning
Q:  Brian, we have a family of four, two of them are going to college (UC Merced & COC) we have managed to obtain loans for both but it's becoming a huge burden. Is there anything we could do to obtain any type of assistance? I keep hearing other parents getting grants or federal aid! I'm the only source of income for the our family and was wondering if you could make any recommendation(s). Thank you Javier G.

Hi Javier,

 The financial aid process requires planning. The financial aid forms you have submitted (FAFSA) gives your family an "EFC", expected family contribution. The EFC has to be reviewed against the Cost of Attendance to determine if you demonstrate a "need". "NEED" is how much money your family is eligible for.

I need to review your entire financial situation to access your current EFC and if there is a strategy to reduce your EFC in order to qualify for "need" based financial aid.

I've seen families in excess of $500,000 a year income qualify for financial aid. Their is free money for all income level families but it depends on the school you are attending, the percentage of financial aid the school provides, and what type of family the school is looking to recruit.

We teach all the strategies to receive free money at our workshop or one-on-one college planning analysis. 

If you want to register for our upcoming workshop, please go to or call our office. If you want to bypass the workshop and come in for a one-on-one analysis, please call the office.

 Brian Safdari 

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Section: College Planning
Q:  Someone told me I need to start saving now for my 2 year old twins' college tuition because Pell grants vs. tuition can't keep up. They're not joking, are they?
A:  They are actually not joking!  By the time your twins are college age, you could be looking at an annual college costs of up to $75,000 each!  that being said, there are right ways and wrong ways to save and postion your savings for college.  We hold FREE monthly College Planning Workshops to get you started.  Since your kids are so young, it would be benenficial to find out what the best way to save is so it is not counted against you.  Call our office for some no obligation help today. 661-295-9946

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