Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH!

LAUNCH

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon.com by clicking here: bit.ly/burlowski.  

(Tell your friends.)

There’s been an overwhelming, excited response to LAUNCH since it released on January 4th, 2017. Parent response to this book has already exceeded anything I ever thought possible. Whenever there’s a lot of excitement there are also a lot of questions, so here are the top 9 questions parents are asking me — along with my answers.

1. “Our son is only in middle school. Surely we don’t need to be thinking about college yet!”

Let me be blunt here. If you wait until your son’s in 11th grade to start thinking about college, 75% of the best ideas for getting him through college debt-free will be gone.

Continue Reading »

7 Criteria To Decide: Should Your Healthy 20-Something Kids Live With You?

So, your 20-something daughter wants to live at home in her childhood bedroom. Should you happily say yes and make a plate of warm cookies to welcome her back?

Or could this put you (and your child) in a bad spot?

I’ve written in a previous post about the horror of loving mothers and fathers who sacrifice for years only to find themselves in their 50’s, stressed and anxious over unkempt twenty-something children still living in their childhood bedrooms.  Many of these parents despair over dependent 20-somethings sleeping in past noon, lounging afternoons away on parents’ couches, helping themselves to food from their parents’ refrigerators, and then staying up long hours into each night gazing into the flickering blue screens of online video games. 

You know that there are hundreds of thousands of parents living this nightmare every day, right?

What can you do to avoid becoming that parent?

1. Is your child enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic program?

When your child is in elementary and middle school — or as soon as possible after that — start telling your children this important sentence: “Honey, we will be happy to provide free room and board to you after your high school graduation, as long as you’re enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic or job-training program.”

2. If your child is still in high school, clearly lay out the plan for the summer after high school graduation.

Continue Reading »

Teen Constantly Angry? It Could be “Launch Anxiety.”

I’m thrilled to be guest posting this month on Julian Caldwell’s GetConnectDad blog, where 150 authors from 15 countries write about practical ways to be a great dad. (This article will be very helpful for moms as well.)

Here’s the article I have appearing this month on GetConnectDad:

15-year-old Luke had been in a dark, angry mood all day long, starting from the moment his mother wished him a cheerful, “Good morning!” and set hot scrambled eggs and a fresh hot caramel roll in front of him at the breakfast table.

Luke ate in broody silence, and his mother felt momentarily thankful for the quiet. If Luke could just get off to school without a screaming mood swing and slamming doors, today would be a good day.

Luke’s mom looked at him chewing the buttery, drippy carmel roll. His eyes were flat, his face devoid of appreciation or joy. She felt anxiety rise in her own chest, but then rationalized it away. “It’s probably just hormones,” she told herself, “and there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Actually, it’s probably not “just hormones.” It’s more likely “launch anxiety,” which is something you can help with more than you realize.

depressed boy blog photo canva

Rather than hormones, your teen’s dark moods, depression symptoms, mood swings, blunted, flat emotional responses, and hair-trigger anger are far more likely to be linked to a psychological condition called “launch anxiety.” The good news? Keep reading. There’s a lot parents can do to alleviate “launch anxiety” and help teens to feel better.

What is “launch anxiety”?

Continue Reading »

Ordinary Students—Extraordinary Financial Aid

It's February—Time to Ask Colleges for Extra Financial Aid Money

You’d love for your son to get loads of free money financial aid to help him pay for college, but you’re pretty sure he won’t qualify for much. Your family lives comfortably, after all. You aren’t poor.

You wonder if filling out financial aid forms is even worth your time.

Seven Reasons Filling Out Financial Aid Forms Is Well Worth Your Time.

1. You can have a high income and still qualify for help.

You make over $200,000 per year and have significant assets? Your kid can still get free “gift aid” money to help pay for college. I’m talking about free money that need never be paid back.

Because this is true, plan to fill out the FAFSA form every October 1st that you’ll have a kid in college the following fall. Put this October date on your calendar now, so you can put your kid(s) first in line for all the financial aid money they have coming.

financial aid

2. The FAFSA isn’t just about getting PELL grants. 

Filling out the FAFSA puts your child in line for nine separate federal student aid programs, over 600 state aid programs, and most of the college-based (institutional) aid available in the US. Wow!

Every year, people who were sure they were too well-off to qualify for any kind of aid are stunned to see what kind of generous help they actually qualify for at some colleges.

3. The FAFSA considers many more factors than just your income.

Your household income may look high at first glance, but income is only one of several factors used to decide your child’s financial aid eligibility. Age of the older parent, household size, whether your family owns a small business, number of family members attending college simultaneously, and many other complex and interwoven factors figure in too. Any one of these factors could greatly increase your family’s eligibility for free money for college.

4. Parents can use multiple strategies to get extra free money for college from the FAFSA form.

I provide 10 (ten) safe, legal, ethical strategies that parents can use to get thousands extra in financial aid money out of the FAFSA form. They’re too numerous to list here, but they’re all carefully detailed in chapter 10 of my book, LAUNCH.

The best time to find out about these strategies and get all set to implement them? The winter and spring of your child’s 9th grade year. If your child is already further along in high school or even in college, though, it’s not too late.

5. If your fortunes happen to suddenly turn for the worse, you’ll want your kid to be in the pipeline to receive help.

Every year there are very wealthy families whose fortunes turn suddenly and unexpectedly for the worse. People lose businesses. They divorce, lose jobs, or suffer house fires. They may get devastating medical diagnoses. If this happens to you, you’ll want your college-age children to be in the financial aid system where they can walk into a college financial aid office and get the help they suddenly need.

6. At the very least, you’ll want to qualify for the very best student loans if those become necessary.

Continue Reading »

Could Your Kid’s College Texting Habit Cost You $28,000?

A Simple Way to Make Sure It Doesn't

texting

Quick. Picture your son sitting in a college class.

Got that picture in your mind?

Let me guess what you just imagined. You pictured him absorbed in his college lecture. You pictured him paying close attention to every word the professor is saying. You pictured him diligently filling page after page with carefully organized notes.

You may have just imagined wrong.

The typical college student squanders one-fifth of his class time doing this.

Texting. Emailing. Checking Facebook. Surfing the web. Playing games on a phone, tablet, or laptop.

A 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study of 675 college students across 26 states reveals that nine out of ten students report that texting is “their main diversion during class.”

About 75% of students polled admitted to emailing or checking the time on their phones. 70% reported scrolling through Facebook and other social media during the time they were supposed to be learning. Nearly half surfed the web during class, and one in 10 spent class time playing games.

What’s the cost to parents? Let’s do the math.

Let’s say your son attends a private university that charges $5,880 for a 3-credit course. If your son texts, emails, checks social media, surfs the web, or plays games during just one-fifth of his class time, which is a lowball estimate, that diversion will end up costing your family $1,176 for each class he takes. If your son takes 18 credits per term during every term other than his first one on campus — as I advise students to do in order to graduate faster — this seemingly innocuous habit will cost your family $7,056 per term. $28,000 or more over the course of an entire four-year college career.

Not to mention the cost to your son when that knowledge base isn’t available to him when he tries to enter the workforce later.

It’s no wonder today’s college students are having trouble getting real jobs after college.

I have a magical way to solve this problem.

Continue Reading »

Social Security Checks Garnished To Pay for College

Elderly Parents in Poverty, Still Paying for Their Kids' College

Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?

Yes.

You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.

Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.

social security checks garnished

The Danger of Parent PLUS Loans

Continue Reading »

Hilarious Idea Makes Kids Eager To Apply For Scholarships

If you’ve got a child between the ages of 12 and 22, you know how difficult it can be to motivate him or her to want to apply for college scholarships.

Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.

1. Give your son a meager allowance.

Make sure it’s just barely enough to cover his bare minimum life expenses. Set up an automatic bank transfer so that this amount goes into his bank account reliably, every two weeks.

2. List for your son all the purchases this money will have to cover.

“Son, we’ll expect you to use this allowance money to buy all your own school lunches, cell phone service, clothes, shoes, gas, football fees, school activities, and all your personal spending.” Add anything else to this list you can think of.

3. Then, wait for an emergency.

scholarships

Continue Reading »

“Can I Make An Entire College Degree Out Of CLEP Credits?”

There are at least two colleges in the U.S. that claim you can make an entire college degree out of CLEP credits, but I think it’s a ridiculous idea.

CLEP

Do you want a doctor who never actually went to any college classes? I don’t.

Learn how to safely and wisely make CLEP a low-cost part of a college degree program.

Continue Reading »

TONIGHT! This Free Event Could Save You TONS on College Costs

Ideal for Families With MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

Your kid’s in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?  It’s time to set him or her free to feel jazzed and excited about college. Plus — as a parent– learn 8 things you can do right now to keep that kid’s future college costs low.

live event in Minneapolis

 

I’ll be covering all this in this free live event in Minneapolis tonight, January 10th, 2017.

Give your middle schooler (or high schooler!) a huge jumpstart on college.  Bring the kids and join me tonight for a free live event sponsored by Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

I’ll be covering these important topics:

Continue Reading »

Buy LAUNCH Before 1/11/17 — Get Bonuses Worth $248

Today I’m announcing the extra bonuses your family will receive if you purchase LAUNCH by January 11, 2017.

LAUNCH

Continue Reading »