It’s May! Let’s Think About Having Your Middle Schooler Take a CLEP Test!

And Your High Schooler? Yes! Absolutely!

Imagine your 7th grader earning real transferable college credit for the knowledge she just gained in her middle school history class.  Are you astounded that this is possible?

Students of all ages can turn their regular school learning into real college credit in 33 different subject areas — thanks to the College Board’s CLEP® program.


CLEP® provides one of the best, fastest, cheapest ways for any student to earn real college credit before they ever set foot on a college campus.  And if your middle schooler can do it?  Then the high school or college student in your life certainly can.

This coming summer will be the perfect time for your child to work on earning CLEP® credits — but only if you take three steps now to make that happen.

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Got an 8th Grader? Plan A Very Special Meeting With Him or Her for May or June of This Year.

Researchers tell us that the brains of middle schoolers are growing at an explosive rate, faster than at any time since infancy.  New connections are being formed, less-used pathways in the brain are being pruned away, and new experiences are imprinting deeply, in technicolor, in ways that will not be forgotten even in adulthood and old age.  For this reason, 8th grade is a prime time to have a conversation with your child that covers what you as parents are and are not willing to do to help with their life after age 18.

Here are 5 things parents need to do to prepare for this pivotal 8th grade meeting.

Must Watch Video for Parents

TEDx Adam Carroll

Are you a parent wondering if student loan debt is really that big a deal?  Watch this powerful, entertaining video by Adam Carroll at TEDx UWMilwaukee.  It’ll be the best 15 minutes you’ll spend on your kid this year.


Sprint – Then Rest. 9 Surprising Ways to Achieve More by DOING LESS


We’ve all had those days.  You have a mountain of work in front of you that you genuinely want to get done, but you find yourself procrastinating. Struggling to focus.  Failing to get tasks completed.

What’s the problem?  It’s probably not that your time management system has failed.  It’s probably not that there “just aren’t enough hours in the day.”  Instead, you’re far more likely to be suffering from a crisis of energy.  You may have drained all your energy by running yourself too fast and too hard for too long, and you’re long overdue for replenishment.

The good news?  It’s fixable.


Your Kid Just LOVES That Expensive Out-of-State College? Here’s What it Takes to Get In-State Tuition in All 50 States

You and your 10th grader are researching colleges, and all at once you’re both about to jump out of your chairs.

You’ve found a college that sounds absolutely perfect.

There’s only one problem.  It’s out-of-state and so extra expensive.PUSHPIN What it Takes To Get In-State

Pop Quiz: What’s the #1 Way Your Kid Can Increase Post-College Earning Power? (It’s Not What You Think.)

That fancy name on your kid’s college diploma?  It hardly matters.  So sorry if this is hard to hear.

In the 21st century, paid internships are the crown jewel of the college education.  Top college students aim to find, apply for, and work at one, two, or three paid internships during college – and they reap big benefits for doing so.


“Well, Highly Paid Professionals Don’t Struggle with Student Debt — Do They?”

Many parents mistakenly believe that if their children will just become highly paid professionals, such as doctors or a lawyers, “they’ll be able to easily pay back their student loan debt.”    Is this true?


Photo by Dr.Farouk

No — it’s not true.

Increasingly, even highly paid medical doctors struggle to keep their heads above water when it comes to student debt.

THE FREE RIDE: 10 Elite Universities Where Middle Class Kids Don’t Pay Any Tuition

Every year I have parents tell me:  “I’m not letting my kid apply THERE.  Do you have any idea how much that school costs?!?!”

OK: let’s all just calm down a minute.  I know what the elite school sticker price appears to be, but I also know this:  that sometimes, the most elite schools are so generous with need-based financial aid that attending one of them can end up to be cheaper than attending a local state university.  For this reason, I always recommend that students apply to at least one college or university they believe they could never get into.  Students, you never know whether you could get in until you try.


“We Can’t Save Any Money for College. Are We Doomed?” 7 Clever Strategies That’ll Make You Feel Better Immediately

You know that it’s a good idea to start early to save for your kids’ college, but what if your budget just doesn’t allow for that right now? Are there other things you can do so that you’re ready when dormitory move-in day comes?  Yes.

This week I’m hugely honored to be guest posting on the blog of Toni Schutta M.A. L.P., a Twin Cities based author, speaker, licensed psychologist, and parenting coach who’s been repeatedly featured in national parenting magazines and on TV news.   A large portion of her audience at is parents of children birth through middle school – and some of those parents are feeling nervous because they’re not yet saving for college. Here’s what I told her audience to help them feel better.manwithlaptop

Put Down the Scholarship Applications; Let’s Jump Up and Help the Children in the Nepal Earthquake First.

A devastating earthquake slammed into Nepal on Saturday, killing over 4,000 people.  That’s hard to wrap your head around I know.  It’s such devastation, it’s such tragedy — it’s overwhelming.  We want to close our eyes.  We want to look the other way.  We want to busy ourselves with first world distractions so that we won’t feel the horror of the loss of so many.

But what if, just today, we don’t close our eyes. 

What if — just this once — we leave our hearts open to sorrow and compassion, and actively look for ways to help.

Nepal lower words help

At the bottom of this post you’ll find ways you can give financially to help families in Nepal.  But before you click there, I want to challenge you to consider doing something bigger and far more magnificent to help salve the wounds of international tragedy.