About Us

Our Core Beliefs:

  • Make the complicated college financial aid process simple and obtainable
  • Get students motivated by finding the best fit schools where they receive the highest level of success
  • Give confidence and peace of mind to parents who would do anything for their child and provide them with the support it takes to make college affordable
  • Allow students to explore various opportunities by strengthening their skills through ongoing guidance

While the thought of sending your child to a good college may seem to be the best investment you can make, too many families put themselves in a heap of debt trying to do so. The typical alternative is to send the student to the local community college where they can save money while staying at home. This notion is partially why we see overcrowding at the community colleges with little guidance offered to the students.

Parents are afraid that if their child gets accepted to a good university they will need to make the tough decision of either mortgaging their home or taking out other forms of loans. College is changing the way they accept students and how financial aid offers are awarded all the time. No wonder parents are confused with the entire process and ultimately make poor decisions.

Crystal Clear College Planning has put an end to that confusion. We begin with the student’s needs first then find out how to make their top choice colleges affordable for the parent. This approach has opened the doors to a new way of planning for college. Your child has worked hard to achieve this opportunity and we want to see you make the best decision for them and your pocketbook.

Since college costs continue to go up we feel it is important to figure out what the cost of a degree will end up being for your student before you apply to that particular school. What college can offer you the best education for the most affordable price without compromising quality? The majority of families we see will have an out-of-pocket expense no matter what college they want to apply to. Although it is our belief that a family should pay their fair share for college we do not want to see them pay more than they need to. This is where our team of advisors become a families best friend and show them how to avoid making costly mistakes.

To find out more about what we do we invite you to attend a local seminar or webinar.

Crystal Tate-President

Crystal Tate graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance.

As someone who was entirely responsible for selecting a college to attend and then personally paying for her own education, she acutely understands the challenges facing students today.

Crystal spent her first two years out of college working for Harsin Wealth Management where she created financial plans and did performance analytics for a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner.

During her time there she also became an in-house resource for all issues involving college planning. Crystal eventually left Harsin Wealth Management to start Crystal Clear College Planning, so she could devote herself full time to her passion: helping families and students plan and prepare for college.

She is associated with a nationwide network of college planners who for years have used strategies that help students attend schools particularly suited to them while simultaneously helping families maximize financial aid and scholarships.  Crystal is also a member of the National College Advocacy Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students, families, and other advisers on the issues surrounding college planning.

Cori Murphy- Student Positioning Counselor

As a Student Positioning Counselor, Cori works with families to navigate the career and college search aspects of college planning.  Cori has the unique ability to break down complex college planning information and translate it for parents and students in an easy to understand manner. Cori teaches our families how to use our proprietary tools to select the best fit schools for each student.

Ten years ago, when Cori started working with families, her children had yet to start elementary school. Now with one in middle school and another in high school, college is on the horizon, and she knows exactly how overwhelmed and stressed parents can be. Her knowledge and expertise provide the calm within the storm.

Abraham Garcia- West Coast Service Center Rep

With over 10 years of customer service experience Abraham has connected with clients in various facets including face to face, over the phone and by way of online chat. He has learned to fine tune his listening skills to better understand complex questions and is able to confidently simplify the answer to put any concerns at ease. Abraham understands the importance of problem solving to achieve the best overall resolution for our clients. He wants the best for every client and treats each case as if it were for his own kids.

Karen Lynn Maher- Essay Coach

Karen is a writing coach with over twenty years of experience helping writers create engaging, well-crafted works. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/Creative Writing from Seattle University and has taught a variety of classes and workshops on the craft of writing, primarily at Cascadia Community College, Seattle University and an array of private venues. An area of her expertise is the art of writing the personal essay. Karen will guide you to complete six steps to writing your personal essay, a critical process towards achieving your goal of college admissions.

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