How would you handle $1,000,000 in Student Loan Debt?

Just because there is the very real potential of a large income, does not mean you should blindly take on excessive college loan debt. This gentleman has $1Million in student loan debt. Yes, he has a high income, but he will have to live like a broke college student to get through it. (Think of it as a $100,000 debt on a $25,000 income!) 
It won't be pretty.
Do the math. After taxes, an extremely huge chunk will go toward those loans. And he has more than one!

Download the Checklist, "12 Scholarship Hacks: Tips from Prestigious Scholarship Judges" and help your teen get on the path to a debt-free degree. (Link in the sidebar.)

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What Should Your High School or College Student be Doing During Winter Break?

Yes, I know your kids need downtime, but they should take a little time to do these few things that will ensure their success!

After watching the video be sure to check this list before sending in any scholarship applications!
 https://www.getaheadoftheclass.com/12-Winning-Scholarship-Hacks-Opt-In-Download 

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PSAT Scores are In! But What does it Mean?

PSAT Scores are released December 9-11, 2019 but what does it mean for your teen? And what's the next step? 

Find out here!

TRANSCRIPT:

The PSAT scores are in! What’s a good score?. If your teen took the PSAT exam in October this year, congratulations you should be getting their scores either today or in the next two days. Scores are released based on the state you live in.

If you have a high school Freshmen or sophomore who took the test, don’t be at all concerned with their score Good or Bad for this year. It literally means nothing. If they did great this year, they could totally bomb next year, If they bombed it this year, they have time to work on next year. For freshmen and sophomores, the point of taking the exam is to get used to the test and the tasing environment. Now if they took the PSAT 8/9 or the PSAT 10, totally and completely blow off those scores because those tests are specifically designed for 8th, 9th and 10th graders and are easier than...

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Which College Grads Make the Most Money?

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article, which I'll link below, siting their review of an interactive chart for what I call, government transparency. The chart seeks to give students and parents a little more information when choosing a college and a degree program when it comes to student debt and first-year income. 
 
Although this is good information that students choosing a college and a degree program should consider, keep in mind a few things:
 
-- The data is 3 and 4 years old. Meaning the economy is better in the last several years, thus the job rate and pay rate is higher than just a few years ago.
-- Much of this should be COMMON SENSE. There are degree programs that should not be degree programs in the first place. Spending $100k on an Underwater basketweaving degree is not a wise decision regardless of what school is chosen. When coaching your children, at least council them to be a little realistic about the income they would likely...
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Poor-Man's Mocha & The Myths of the PSAT

 

Transcript:

Mmmmm. I’m sitting in a hotel room drinking a hot mocha.

But don’t get excited, this is a poor man’s mocha. It’s just hotel coffee blended with hot cocoa mix. It’ll do in a pinch.

But today I want to talk about the PSAT exam which is coming up in just a couple days for most High School juniors.

If you have a junior, listen up. If you have an 8th, 9th or 10th grader, this is for you too.

I believe there is more Misinformation, and assumptions on this topic by well-meaning individuals AND well-meaning professionals, than anything else related to the high school to college process.

Here are a few of the often-repeated MYTHS surrounding the PSAT exam.

(1) It’s just a practice SAT test. So my kid doesn’t have to take it seriously, or my kid is only taking the ACT so there’s no reason to take the PSAT since its only to practice for the SAT.

WRONG: The PSAT is NOT a practice test. It has been used as a practice SAT, and the...

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Ever Wonder How the Government Calculates Your EFC?

Your 'EFC' is your Expected Family Contribution. It's a number that represents just how much the federal government thinks your family can contribute toward your teen's college expenses...every year! It is not only used by the federal government to determine if your family qualifies for need-based aid (the Pell Grant, for example) but colleges also use the EFC in determining need-based aid (and sometimes scholarships). However, most private colleges also use another set of calculations, called the CSS Profile. 
But here it is. How the government calculates your EFC. 

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/2021EFCFormulaGuide.pdf

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What is RAISE.ME and How Does It Really Work?

What is Raise.Me and How does it REALLY work…

Raise.me is not a scholarship program in the sense that most people think of scholarships.

#1 Raise.me partnered with about 200 of the nearly 5000 colleges and universities in the US. That’s a very small percentage.

#2 These particular schools partner with raise.me to guarantee a ‘small’ scholarship amount (see #3 for how the money is earned) to the student who applies and is accepted to that one school.

#3 Students ‘earn’ scholarship money by getting good grades, participating in sports and extracurricular activities. The value of each depends on the college.

But here’s the rub…

The scholarship amount is the MINIMUM that the student will receive, and is NOT in addition to entering freshmen scholarships the school may offer. It is called a ‘micro-scholarship’ because it will be less than the school would generally offer an entering freshmen with decent stats.

It is intended to...

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Major Red Flags in College Admissions Applications

Top colleges Deans of Admissions let you know what red flags they see in college applications.
Jordan Goldman moderates The Wall Street Journal's special event "Inside The College Admissions Office." Panelists include the Deans of Admissions from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, Wesleyan University, Bryn Mawr College, Grinnell College, Marquette University and the University of Vermont.

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College Major: The Right Choice?

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College Major: The Right Choice?

I've noticed teens are not paying much attention to what they choose as their college major. Yes, I understand the draw of ‘follow your passion’. I agree you don’t want to be in a job 8 hours a day that you absolutely hate. But that’s the point. You need a job. Something that actually pays some amount of money. Even if the job with your major begins at minimum wage or just above, the question to ask is, are there advancement opportunities? Can you move into management or freelance that skill and become an entrepreneur once you’ve got some time under your belt? Minimum wage isn’t usually enough by itself to pay the bills, and the last thing you want is college debt for a job you could have gotten right out of high school.

I ask this question so that you, the parent, can sit down with your teen and have a frank discussion about their goals. They don’t have to know what they want to do for the rest of their...

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Does your teen need a summer job?

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Does your teen need a summer job?

The Employment Resume. It’s not quite like it used to be.

You are probably familiar with the Employment Resume. Anyone who is going to apply for a job should have an employment resume. Yes, even a high school student. I know there may not be much of anything on it, but believe me when I say, a student that shows up to apply for a job with a resume in hand has a major advantage over every other student applicant.

And the truth is, if you sit down and think about it, there could be a lot more on that resume than you initially thought (communication skills, leadership skills, community service…). All of these reveal character traits that employers and college admissions officers are looking for.

Those having been in the workforce might remember that it’s a good idea to tailor the resume to the employer. That’s still true. But you also have to consider the differences in paper applications and resumes vs online applications...

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