Something to Think About (Move Out Day)

I know you’re not thinking about this.
Your kids just went back to school from a long, or short, winter break and are preparing for mid-term exams.

But trust me. NOW is the time to...
think about,
and take action.

Move-out day is coming. And it will be here sooner than you think. (And for some college towns you're already too late.)

If your teen is in the dorms, they will likely have to remove everything. If they are in an apartment with a year lease, they will likely be able to leave everything (everything that they don’t worry about being stolen or broken by roommates and roommates' friends.)

So let’s talk about moving out.

How close are they to you?
If close enough, do you have enough vehicles and drivers to go pick up their stuff? Or will you need to rent a van or Uhaul?

Does your kid have a car on campus?
Will they drive all the way back home?
Nice idea, but then what to do with their dorm stuff?

Will they fly home?
How will they get from the...

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Terms You Need to Know

The following terms are briefly defined so that you can have an understanding of the terms and acronyms you’ll begin hearing regularly in the high school to college journey.

ACT: A standardized test used for national college admissions. All 4-year colleges and universities in the US accept ACT scores. More on the ACT.

Associate’s Degree: This is a 2-year degree typically offered by junior or community colleges, and sometimes at 4-year colleges and technical schools. More on associate’s degrees.

AP Classes/Tests (Advanced Placement Classes/Tests): The AP program offers standardized courses that give students the ability to earn college credit while in high school. Credit is accepted by participating colleges for students who score high enough on AP tests. More on AP Classes and Tests.

Award Letter: A financial aid document sent to admitted students that outlines the terms of an awarded financial aid package. More on award letters.


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What is a meets need school and what does it mean?

What is a "meets need" school and what does it mean?

Got a low FAFSA EFC? You may have some options! 

While the sticker price for college is certainly shocking, there are financial options for many families based on their financial need.

Some colleges promise to meet the financial need of accepted students whether they are in-state, out-of-state, or international students.

Demonstrated financial need is the financial gap between your FAFSA EFC and the cost of attendance at the particular school. Generally, your EFC increases with your income and assets. Cost of attendance is generally the total cost including tuition, fees, room, board, books, and other costs associated with attending that college.

If your FAFSA EFC is 0, then a 100% meets need school, without loans, might be the way to go. With an EFC of 0, that college may cover 100% of the cost of attendance and your teen would attend that college for free. Of course, your teen still needs to be accepted. 


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Late to the Party? Got a senior who hasn’t applied to colleges yet?

You’re LATE to the party! 
If you didn’t know, applications should have been submitted months ago.

What to do next.:

I see this mostly from parents who are from outside of this country AND parents who remember applying to college in the spring of their senior year. ‍ Things have changed, folks!

This is a complete list of what’s left listed by application deadline.:

Yes, get your kid off of his/her butt, and get those applications submitted. 

(Planning on a gap year? It’s better HAVE an acceptance and then ask them to hold it than to hope for acceptance during your gap year activities.)

It’s not just about getting accepted this late in the game. You also have to consider the money. (Many colleges have scholarship deadlines that are earlier than their application deadlines, including colleges with rolling/open or late admissions application deadlines.)


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What’s a good school for…?

What’s a good school for…?
I hear this asked in many groups especially when it comes to engineering, computer science, and other tech industry degrees.
You’ll get a LOT of suggestions, usually names of schools that people have heard of and probably a “ranked” school. But the truth is, “almost” ANY college or university will be great for these. Seriously.
When  evaluating a college for a particular degree program you should ask a couple of questions first.:
- 1) What industry does your teen want to work in after college?
- 2) Are companies in that industry actively recruiting from that school?
- 3) What is the entry-level salary of graduates of your program?
Here’s why this is important. In certain industries, (all engineering, all tech, etc) your teen’s “lifetime” earnings will be set by their entry-level salary.
(I’ve talked with enough high-level...
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Before You Start, start with, "Why."

As you are setting goals for the new year and making plans to get to those goals don’t forget to focus on your “Why”.
If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action”, please do. It’s very enlightening.
If you want to INSPIRE your children and teens to greatness, start with, "Why."
I  didn’t realize that this style of parenting may have been a part of the success of our children but it certainly was. Not just because from a very young age they were given the “why” of nearly every instruction or expectation, but because the “why” taught them to use logic in making decisions. Yes, I did teach them formal logic as a high school elective but they had some of that from the moment they could walk.
It’s such a simple question. Yet in any given situation, the responding answer can be very...
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Why is it a Bad Idea to Pay for Your Kid's College?

Why is it a BAD idea for you to pay for your kids to go to college?
We think it's a good idea. Our kids won't have student loans to pay back, or they'll have less than their peers. They won't have to work during school. THey won't have to worry about where next semester's tuition will come from. They can STUDY! Get good grades.
Most would think I’m talking about attending college being a bad investment and while that is definitely true for some, that’s not what I’m getting at.
(1) Parents are not doing the math. regardless of whether you are significantly financially well off,
You  sacrificed and saved, or you’re finding other methods (loans, home equity loans, borrowing from investments, etc),
There’s something missing from this equation.
It’s the math. Parents are not doing the math.
The average 4-year cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, and books) to a state flagship...
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Is your college kid looking for a summer internship?

Is your college kid looking for a summer internship?

Here are some tips:

Do a general Google search -your town, summer internship, college major or job title. (Depending on where you live, there may or may not be opportunities close to home. It’s good if they can live at home though. Otherwise you have to find summer housing and pay for it.)

Using indeed dot com is a great start. Use keywords such as “summer” “internship” and “entry level”-that one may be a checkbox.

The college career center should have a relationship w handshake or some other online service where employers who recruit from your college post job opportunities thru the college.

Once your teen finds a company with an internship that fits, look through the rest of the summer internships with that company. There are usually other internship positions your teen will qualify for.

The Majority of Online applications are using an “applicant tracking system” to screen...

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Why Complaining About the High Cost of a college is Stupid

January 13 is "National Blame Someone Else Day" (yep).

You can’t escape the “College is too expensive” rhetoric. But just like some of the most expensive cars in the world, no one is twisting your arm to buy one. It’s not a requirement. A used Ford will do. You “need” a car to get to work. It can be a beater as long as it gets you from point A to point B.

There’s really nothing wrong with the price of college. It’s a free market. If there weren’t so many buyers willing to pay the price, prices would come down, just like any product. That’s the way it works. (With test optional, colleges have a record number of applications. So don’t expect prices to come down.)

You DON’T need a college degree to be successful in life. As a matter of fact, you don’t NEED a college degree for most employment.

But let’s say you WANT a college degree. Ok. You can want it, and attain it, without going broke. You...

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How to Calculate the Cost of College

It's not uncommon for a teen to have an offer to attend a college the family can afford, only to have the teen pining over their "dream school." Having this conversation long before the college list is made can prevent a lot of heartache, tears, and parents from hocking their investments so that little Suzie can get what she wants. (Yes, there's definitely sarcasm here.)

I don't subscribe to the dream school concept. I believe it's a made-up marketing gimmick by pricey colleges. There is no evidence that having a degree from an expensive college equates to more success or more income. Unfortunately, "dream school" and "top school" have come to mean the same thing. Money. It's gonna cost you. The question is "how much?" So how do you figure that out, and how do you know if it's worth it?

It's all in the numbers so grab a spreadsheet and let's start doing a little math.

In my example, Alice had an offer to attend a very reputable college with a scholarship, and her mom could...

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