In the beginning, Felicia worked primarily with parents of young children who were interested in providing for their children’s future college eduction. But she kept running into parents of high school students who were very concerned about how they were going to pay the high cost of college. Many of them were looking at taking money from their retirement plans, incurring additional debt, or suggesting their children consider “less expensive” colleges. After having to tell the parents of a high school senior that it was too late to save enough to pay for college, and seeing the disappointment on their faces, Felicia decided to educate herself on the financial aid rules and regulations to see if “something” could be done. In doing the research, she realized that there is a big difference between getting into college and graduating from college – and the difference often is having the money necessary to complete a student’s education.
Felicia Caldwell Gopaul is a parent and committed advocate to families wanting to afford the colleges that admit their children through graduation. She is Certified Financial Planner® professional and a Certified College Planning Specialist – one of less than 500 people in the United States with that designation. In addition, she is the president of College Funding Resource and the creator of the CollegeExpertsTalk product and system which helps educate families on how to make college an affordable reality, without jeopardizing the family’s retirement and other financial priorities.
Mrs. Gopaul was a guest speaker at Joseph Hurley’s Savingforcollege.com 529 Boot Camp for Advisors, a presenter at the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc Financial Planning Clinic, has been a guest on Point of View, Daily Connections, Protect Your American Dream and What’s In Your Hand. She has contributed her views and articles that appeared in The Star-Ledger, Garden State Woman Magazine, The Bottom Line, MorningstarAdvisor.com and divorce360.com. Mrs. Gopaul is highly sought after and has spoken at: Anderson Consulting, Mitchell & Titus LLP, Department of Treasury – US Mint, New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, Social Security Administration and many other organizations.
Felicia is a member of the National Institute of Certified College Planners and the New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
My parents raised us on the importance of a college education. In our house, it was not “if” you were going to college, but “what” college you were going attend. My father was the first in his family to get a college education and he expected nothing less for his three children.
And so we got our college degrees – each and every one of us. And I know my brother and sister are raising their children to expect to go and graduate from college.
In 2006, my sister Felicia got sick – very sick. In the time of recuperating and recovering, she reexamined her core business. While she loved working with individual families, she also realized that her business evaporated when she was too sick to provide individual services. It forced her to look for another business model and that’s the business I now run.
When my sister, Felicia Gopaul, asked me if I would continue her college funding business when she was no longer able to, I said “yes I can and yes I will.”
“Yes” because I believe in my little sister’s mission to make college an affordable reality for both parents and students. And “yes” because I knew what she had started would make a difference for parents and students throughout the United States.
I had confidence because my baby sister had been specializing in helping parents afford the colleges that admit their students for more than 5 years although she has 15 years experience dealing with personal finances. She has hundreds of posts on AllExperts.com and is one of less than 500 people in the United States who is both a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a Certified College Planning Specialist.
But what turned the table for me, was her frustration that parents were not getting the information they needed to make better decisions about selecting and paying for college. Most parents focus on getting their kids into the right college academically and stop short determining how they are going to be able to afford the colleges that admit their child.
They rely on what they did when they were going to college, what the neighbor said about attending college, or books they read about applying to college and worst of all, what they hope will happen when they apply to colleges.
Good college planning information with a bias to college funding is out there. But it is scattered and you have to find it, process it and apply it to your situation. Our vision is to gather together and deliver quality targeted information and solutions related to college directly to parents and the students themselves.
P.S. I just wanted you to know my sister is now healthy and recovered from her illness but now prefers to devote her time, energy and efforts to raising my beautiful nieces.