SMART Kids Go to College



Our Mission:

Reduce the cost of higher education for families and communities through careful financial and first career planning


What we do:

Emerald College Planning provides families and their financial advisors with the tools and information they need to pay for college in the most efficient and economical way possible. With our expertise in financial aid, education tax benefits, financial planning, and college admissions, we will help answer the questions people have about college.


Some of the ways we do it:

  • Limit time in college by picking right major & college: 1st career, not lifetime decision
  • Make sure assets aren’t reducing aid
  • Use your business to the fullest
  • Use tax capacity of your kids
  • Use tax laws to your favor
  • Consolidate debt
  • Lots more

About Emerald College Planning

Gregg Schlaudecker was born in Cleveland, Ohio on St Patrick’s Day. After graduation, he served all over the globe as an Army Air Defense Artillery officer. When active duty ended in 1990, he and his wife Susanne settled in Tacoma, Washington where Gregg began his financial planning career with John Hancock.

Conferred the Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter professional designations in 1993, he led the financial services department of a large property casualty brokerage in Cleveland. He went on to found his own financial consulting firm in 1996. He moved to Greensboro in 1998, where he continued his practice. Since 2005, his company, Emerald College Planning has focused on helping high school parents fund college expenses in the most efficient way possible; upper and middle-income families, whether eligible for financial aid or not, can employ a wealth of strategies to reduce their out-of-pocket costs. As past president and board member of the Greensboro Society of Financial Service Professionals, Gregg, his co-chairs and committee have grown a community network of hundreds who are dedicated to nurturing, recognizing and rewarding the highest ethical standards in central North Carolina.


Bachelor of Science – Management & English, University of Dayton, 1986
Chartered Financial Consultant, The American College, 1993
Chartered Life Underwriter, The American College, 1993
College Doctor, National Institute of Certified College Planners, 2010


Society of Financial Service Professionals, Greensboro Chapter, all leadership positions (1998-present)
Director, Better Business Bureau of Central NC (2013-present)
Director, Society of Financial Service Professional, Philadelphia HQ (2016-present)
Director, Greensboro Foundation For Financial Service Professionals, Inc. (2014-present)
Paul S. Mills Scholar, SFSP
Chair, Piedmont Business Ethics Award (2006-2011)
Greensboro Estate Planning Council


Married to Susanne for 29 years
Two awesome kids, Jake (Tarheel) & Caitlyn (Wolfpack)
Hobbies: Leveraging technology, replacing paper, making wine



“Even though we’d been through the college process with our older kids, Gregg’s guidance was crucial. His process helped clarify our thinking, kept us on track and saved us a bundle.” Janet Speckman, Grammar Principal, Caldwell Academy

“Gregg Schlaudecker at Emerald College Planning was instrumental in significantly reducing our daughters’ college costs at Davidson and Wake Forest. His deep knowledge and process have contributed greatly to our peace of mind.” Day Atkins, President, New Homes Guide

“When Maggie decided on SCAD, we were delighted and a bit apprehensive. Gregg at Emerald College helped us see that the college was in reach. He made the daunting financial aid process easy. His work saved us thousands.” Jim Hoyle, President, Audio & Light

“Gregg has helped simplify the college funding process for our family. With Gregg’s help we have been able to build a plan to make college finances affordable.”
Steve Brinkey, C@PSTONE Signature Solutions

Emerald College Financial Planning Blog

Smart Funding for Smart Kids

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As you begin your journey to your first career, remember that’s just it. Your first career. Chances are you’ll have five. So one of the ways you can reduce the cost and time in college is to laser focus on that first career and the major to get there. Commit to explore your talents and passions now, so that you can pick the right college, the right major and the right first career. Commit to sticking with it once chosen; college is the most expensive place to change your mind.

You are about to start a process that can help you define that first career. The more information you share, the better and deeper the recommendations. You can get a quick result in just 5 minutes, but I urge you to spend some time with this tool and visit often.

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