“Please don’t let those kids get stupid degrees.”~What my Aunt said when she learned what I do.

Seriously, that’s exactly what my Aunt said. No pause. No holding back. Being in your 80’s gives you the right to speak your mind. You’ve seen more of life than most people and the consequences that go along with it. She talks with people all of the time. Neighbors, relatives, the person at the grocery store checkout, the barista at the local coffee shop. She has seen the result of “stupid degrees” for decades.

So this is my effort to honor that request.

(Although for my clients, that doesn’t seem to be a problem.  I tend to attract families whose kids are high achievers headed for engineering or business, and such.)

Three decades ago, only 30% of the population attended college. Today that statistic has flipped. 70% attend college.  

The following is my opinion. You don’t have to agree with it.

The statistic flopped because society was told, “You must have a college degree to be successful in life.” (Which we know is...

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Looking for GIANT scholarships?

"I've told my kids to not bother applying for scholarships that are under $10,000."

Really? $500 is more than you had in the bank yesterday!

A lot of families are looking for high-dollar scholarships. I understand. It seems like a waste of time to apply for $500 or $1000 scholarships when there are $20,000 to $100,000 or more $ available. And as cute as that sounds, it's a very poor scholarship strategy.

I hear it often enough though so I thought I should at least address it.

Jenn asked:

"Outside of Gates/Posse/Questbridge/Bryan Cambell/Jackie Robinson Scholarship are there any more scholarships that offer meaty scholarships like these to students at any school? (Looking for non-school-specific scholarships that can cover any major.)"

There are some REALLY big scholarship opportunities, some that almost anyone can apply for.:

The Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway
Ronal McDonald House Charities Scholarship
Burger King Scholars
Davidson Fellow Scholarship
Elks National Foundation...

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Love what you do.

This should go without saying, and the quote doesn’t end there. But let’s talk about how this quote applies to your teens.

It applies in several ways.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”~Steve Jobs

This is the key to college acceptance and winning scholarships. I talk about it in more
Detail at homeschool and financial conferences.

Career choice.
Although the many teens feel they “know” their college major and career path, statistically they don’t. This one misstep costs them their future happiness. You CAN get it right the first time! I have a team of experts who can direct your teen to their perfect career for them. (DM me “career life coaches for teens for my contacts.)

College acceptance-Where do you fit into the campus community? Who are you?
Colleges are Not looking for the Jack of all trades. They’re looking for “focus”, what light you up? What you love to do that is integral to who you are....

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How to not go to jail, get kicked out of college, or get fined tens of thousands of dollars or more

If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT by now it’s evident that you’re not on the internet. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important for you to understand, because the kids and young adults in your family either do or will know and will use it, or something similar. Our job as parents is to protect them from the repercussions of their naive actions, or even better, prevent them from taking those actions in the first place. 

So here’s a little to get up to date and what your kids NEED to know going forward so that they don’t get into serious legal trouble by using it.

What is Chat GPT?

The short version, it’s an artificial intelligence language learning tool. It responds to the user by taking information from the input it was given by its developers and responds back with what usually sounds like a coherent string of words. 

How people are using it

It’s being used in multiple ways as a tool for research, to write...

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Applying to colleges in their Junior year?? Your teen does not have to wait until August 1 to apply to colleges

It drives me insane when I read a post/question where 99% of parents answering the question are misinformed. Many are making assumptions. Others are quoting their high school counselor or some admissions meeting they attended.

(NOTE: This is not to be confused with the Early Action (EA) applications! EA is a specific type of application selection for colleges that offer an early look and an earlier than regular decision notification of acceptance. EA is literally a checkbox on the application. For some colleges with EA applications they have a set period of time that they review those applications, thus even if it were an option to submit, let’s say during the summer, they won’t review it until that period of time comes.)

Most believe college applications open August 1.
Not exactly. 
The “common app” opens on August 1, but it only covers 1/3 of colleges, and those colleges also have their own applications. The common app is a convenience, not...

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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,
prepare,
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.:

https://blog.prepscholar.com/colleges-with-late-application-deadlines-complete-list

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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