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About Portico

Portico was developed to shepherd families college planning process with the sole purpose of helping students to discover and realize the best environment to continue their education.

Maximize Your Investment. As higher education costs continue to rise, selecting a college has now become one of the largest investments a person will make in their lifetime.  This reality has dramatically increased the importance of finding the right college fit personally, academically, and financially to ensure a student maximizes their potential. 

Access College Planning Expertise for Less. A lot less. Independent Educational Consultants exist to help families navigate the cumbersome process of finding and gaining entrance into the right college. While providing valuable guidance the cost, many times exceeding $10,000, remains a deterrent for most families.

Enter Portico. Our library of learning modules consisting of videos, infobytes, and interactive tools provide the guidance of an Independent Educational Consultant at a fraction of the price. With five categories of learning modules (Running Start, College Search, Application Prep, Scholarships & Financial Aid, and Decision Day) Portico's learning modules can assist students and their parents from the onset of the college planning process through decision day.


Superior Customer Service and Insight. Portico strives to provide superior customer service and insight, supplementing our learning modules with one-to-one consulting and group workshop opportunities. Our team of Independent Educational Consultants listen to a family’s objectives and use data and personal experience to guide each student’s search. Once we, together, discover the factors driving each individual search and use those to narrow a student's college list, Portico's team of consultants can also provide personal guidance in navigating the application process, essay writing, interviews, scholarships, financial aid, and the decision process.

Data-Driven Approach. Our customized tools, Portico Search & Portico ROI, have been carefully designed to assist students and their families assure they find the right college the first time.


Portico Search is powered by advanced algorithms that score impactful search factors rather than eliminate schools with similar traits, our business intelligence generated compatibility tool will produce a comprehensive list of institutions tailored to a student's search criteria and academic background. This unique tool allows candidates to appropriately weight college search factors, which in turn allows Portico to focus on fit while avoiding omissions, before categorizing compatible institutions into one of three categories (Safety, Target, and Aspirational) based on the student's academic background.

Portico ROI helps families to understand the full scope of their investment and expected return. In calculating an Expected 10-Year Return On Investment, Portico ROI finally allows families to compare college options from a financial perspective to help determine the best financial fit.


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College Planning Checklist & Timeline (Spring 2024)
Selecting High School Classes (Winter 2024)
Building Your Resume (Summer 2023)
Idea Journal (Fall 2023)
Discovering Majors & Career Paths (Fall 2024)
Applications 101 (Summer 2023)
The Common Application (Summer 2023)
Recommendations (Fall 2023)
Interviews (Fall 2023)
Making Sense of "Test Optional" (Winter 2024)
ACT Prep (Fall 2024)
SAT Prep (Fall 2024)
The Art of Researching "Fit" (Spring 2023)
Top 25! (Summer 2024)
Make The Most of College Visits (Spring 2023)
Final Application List (Summer 2024)
Scholarship Opportunities (Winter 2024)
The FAFSA & CSS Profile (Spring 2024)
Financial Aid Packages 101 (Spring 2024)
Financing Your Investent (Spring 2024)
Admitted Student Visits (Summer 2024)
Final Comparisons (Fall 2024)

Portico's History

For generations, architecture has played a central role in adding character to college campuses across the globe. And so, when the time arrived to brandish our company with a name and logo, architecture seemed like an obvious choice to add character to our idea.

Our name. A portico can be defined as a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns leading to the entrance of a building. With our mission to serve as your gateway to the start of your college career, Portico emerged as the obvious choice. To open the door to your dream school remember to first pass through Portico. 

Our logo. Our founder's undergraduate alma mater, Coe College, has a tradition for students to line up on the first day of orientation and walk in procession with each student taking a turn at ringing the victory bell to signify the start of their college journey. Four years later at graduation students will once again ring the bell signifying the successful completion of one chapter in their life and the start of another. With Portico serving as the start of your journey to college the Victory Bell seemed like the perfect inspiration for Portico's Logo.

Our Founder

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Brian Nigg
Founder & CEO

Brian is the founder and CEO of Portico. After graduating from Coe College in 2005 with a Bachelors of Arts in Computer Science and English, Brian has dedicated his career to higher education, having advised thousands of families throughout the various stages of their college search.


Previously, Brian has served as the Assistant Director of Admissions & Operations at Coe College (IA), the Senior Associate Director of Admission at Creighton University (NE) and Director of Admission at the College of William & Mary (VA).  With experience in a small liberal arts school, a midsized comprehensive university, and a "Public Ivy," Brian has developed keen insights into what colleges and universities look for in applicants and how important fit can be in a student's overall success.

Our commitment to provide world-class college planning support assures families access to complete and accurate information to use as the basis for selecting a college.
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