Tara Piantanida-Kelly

College Finance Consultant

Finance Experience:
Former Senior Financial Aid Officer at Menlo College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Holy Names University, among others
Former Consultant at San Francisco Art Institute, Golden Gate University, St. Mary’s College, Samuel Merritt University, among others

Winthrop University – Bachelor’s in Communications, Bachelor’s in Music

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:


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.      

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