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College Planning of Greater Long Beach

College Planning of Greater Long Beach was established in 2004 with a mission to educate the community and parents of college bound students on the complex aspects of all components of planning for a successful college entrance to the right university for the students. While lecturing at California’s community colleges, Skip learned of the many struggles with student loan debt because families did not know how the financial aid process works. This lack of financial preparedness for college hindered their higher educational dreams.


As a fiduciary in the private financial sectors, Skip quickly realized that there was a need for a college planner in our community and set out to simplify the college admissions and financial aid process by providing hundreds of free College Planning Workshops at our local libraries, community organizations such as the YMCA and Jewish Community Center, and high schools. Additionally, he has counseled thousands of families on a one-on-one basis in his offices – helping those families send their child to the college of their dreams while simultaneously preserving the parents’ retirement.

Our Team

For years, Skip Dawson has been educating the community on the intricacies of the entire college planning process. He works with family units ranging from single moms to corporate CEO's. Skip’s college planning specialty is tailored to each family, providing private financial consultations with families guiding them through the college planning process without killing their retirement savings.  

Skip Dawson, the author of How to Pay for a 4-Year College Education Without Going Broke, is an expert in planning for the enormous cost of a four-year college education and beyond. He has taught thousands of people proven techniques to take control of the college funding process and get the maximum amount of free college financial aid money for their children’s education. Skip directs families on things to consider when choosing a college, how to pick a college major and why career planning is important.  For the parents, he offers college planning financial advice to achieve the goal of attending the college of their dreams that will support their chosen field of employment following graduation.  

Skip holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees from California State University of Long Beach in Business Administration and Management Information Systems. In addition, he holds several notable professional licenses, as well as a Lifetime Teaching Credential from the California Community Colleges.

Skip Dawson, President and Founder

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Mary Claire Yanga, Administrative Assistant

Mary Claire Yanga, Administrative Assistant at College Planning of Greater Long Beach, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Creative Writing from USC. Post graduation, she worked in the social services field assisting the homeless and chronically mentally ill population to find affordable housing and connect them with other community resources to help with their stabilization and recovery. She worked in outpatient behavioral health clinics and organizations in both California and Hawaii.  Following her creative spirit and love of art, she found herself working at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. Her focus there was on customer service and membership relations.  


Through her supporting role and administrative efforts at College Planning of Greater Long Beach, Mary Claire assists Skip in developing relationships with students and families and works to help every family achieve their goals of finding the right career, major, and college for the college bound student.

My personal mission is to make sure college is accessible and affordable to my families, while simultaneously preserving their retirement funds.

Need more details? Contact us

We are here to assist. Contact us by phone or email.

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