Debt Free College Event * Edmond, Oklahoma * Nov 5

Would you like to see someone you love get through college debt free?

Students age 12 – 22 and your parents, don’t miss this life-changing live event, November 5, 2016 in Edmond, Oklahoma.

debt free college

Event title

What Is #RadicalCollegePrep?

What Every Middle School and High School Family Needs to Know

Link to pre-register:

Event Description

Why would you want to prep for college the same old way everyone else does? That’s the surest route to mediocrity! In this jam-packed Saturday afternoon event, author Jeannie Burlowski will explain:

  • 12 things that parents can do right now to put their kids on the fast track getting through college debt free
  • Why pressuring kids to “get into a good college” and then pushing them to take on suffocating debt to pay for it is not the fastest best route to career satisfaction and future financial stability
  • How kids as young as age 15 can get an exciting, liberating sense of possible career goal early on, and then sign up for only the amount of college absolutely necessary to accomplish that.
  • How kids as young as age 12 can get a massive head start on racking up the 10,000 hours it takes to be viewed as expert in a career field
  • How students age 12 – 24 can rake in more college scholarships despite ordinary grades and test scores
  • How to create one brilliant college and scholarship application essay that can be used over and over again to apply for 80 different scholarships over 8 years.
  • Why deeply inspired caring — not the fancy name of the college you attend — is the key to fulfilled, satisfied career life in the long term.

The afternoon will include multiple breaks, lots of laughter, and life-changing, stress-relieving college strategies that work for students age 12 – 22 and their parents.


Jeannie Burlowski is the author of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward (due out in 2016). You can find her online at and on Twitter @JBurlowski. You can read what other students and parents are saying about her speaking at


First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma

1001 S. Rankin Street, Edmond, OK 73034

Date and Time

Saturday, November 5th 2016

Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Click here to pre-register.


12:30 pm – 1:00 pm: Registration

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm: Session 1

1:50 pm – 2:00 pm: BREAK

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Session 2

3:00 pm – 3:20 pm: SNACK BREAK (With live Q and A)

3:20 pm – 4:20 pm: Session 3

4:20 pm – 4:30 pm: BREAK

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Closing Session (KEYNOTE)


This session is open to the public and is presented at no charge courtesy of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma

To Register

Space is limited and pre-registration is necessary. Click here to register.

Parents of Seniors: 5 Things to Do With That Student Aid Report (SAR)

About 2-3 weeks after you fill out the FAFSA financial aid form for your college-bound high school senior or current college student, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). One of the things this Student Aid Report will tell you is how much it is believed that your family can afford to pay for college. (Look for the line that says: “Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).”

student aid report

If you find yourself laughing or crying at how high this number is, you’re not alone. Millions of families feel shocked and stunned at the high Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) listed on their child’s student aid report.

My reassuring words to you? Don’t worry too much about this right now. If you’re following me, you’re going to have many strategies you can use during the next year to bring these college costs way down.

For now, here are five things to know about your child’s Student Aid Report.

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5 Places to Get Help With College Financial Aid Forms

Are you filling out financial aid forms for a kid who’ll be in college next fall? Great. October is the perfect time to do that.

But what do you do if you get stuck? Where do you go to get help with college financial aid forms?

help with college financial aid

Here are five places to get help with college financial aid forms.

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Want More Scholarships? The Surprising FUN Strategy That Works

You’d love for your college-bound teen to get more scholarships, but you worry that his GPA just isn’t high enough. Am I right? Well, worry no more.

Good news. There are thousands of college scholarships available to students with GPAs as low as 2.50.

I’ll give you tips for finding more scholarships to apply for at the end of this post.

The question for today is: Besides high grades, what can your college-bound teen do to make himself or herself a powerful, attention-getting applicant who will get more scholarships than most other people?

The answer might surprise you.


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3 Ways KIDS Can Get More Financial Aid For College

Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

Is your child a senior in high school, or older? This post is part 2 of a 2-part series on what to do each September to make sure the FAFSA form you fill out in early October will get your child maximum financial aid for college. To read part 1 of this very important series, click here.

You’d love to help your kid get maximum financial aid to help pay for college.

Why? Because financial aid is free money that need never be paid back.

The great news? You can get a lot of financial aid help – even if you have a relatively high income. This 2-part series will help.


Get your child all the free money he or she has coming.

To be sure your child gets all the free money he or she has coming, you as a parent will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every October that you’ll have a child in college the following fall. Fill this form out every October, even if you’re convinced “you won’t get anything.”

Every family of a 12th grader should fill out the FAFSA. Here’s why.

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URGENT: Will You Have a Kid In College Next Year? FAFSA Help Here

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

This post is part 1 of a 2-part series.  To read part 2, which talks about what to do about the money your child has sitting around in his or her name before you fill out the FAFSA, click here.

If you’re parenting a 12th grader or a current college student, one of the most important days in your family financial life is coming up on October 1st, 2016.

Why is this date so important?

This is the first day you’ll be allowed to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Every family of a 12th grader or a current college student should fill out the FAFSA, even if you think that your son isn’t going to college, even if you believe that your income is far too high for you to get any aid to help you pay for college. Your son could change his mind in the next year, and as far as your income – did you know that you can make up to $200,000 per year and have substantial assets and still get free money financial aid to help pay for college? Besides that, if your child does end up needing any loans for college, the FAFSA form is the one and only gateway to the best, lowest interest federally subsidized student loans.

Don’t pass up free money that your daughter might have coming to her.

The only way to find out whether you might qualify for free money to pay for college is to fill out the FAFSA form.

The FAFSA form uses a confidential process to gather information about your family’s income and assets since January 1st of your child’s sophomore year of high school. It then uses that information to determine how much it is believed that your family can probably afford to pay for college.

Let me be blunt about what I’m about to say next. Parent, it will help if you can appear as poor and needy as possible on the day you fill out that FAFSA form.

This week, use these 7 last minute strategies to help tip the FAFSA equation in your favor.


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Want High Grades This Year? Ask Your Kid These 5 Questions

There’s one thing parents long for far more than straight A report cards.

Parents want kids to do their own homework in a quality manner without the parent needing to prod, nag, oversee, or push.

Want to increase the chances of having academically independent children and teens at your house? Ask each of your children these 5 questions. 

High Grades

First, be sure your teen has a calendar, planner, or special notebook for recording assignments and due dates. Second — keeping this particular student’s personality in mind — provide some individualized teaching on the subject of workflow process management.

5 Questions:

1. “So, Sarah, when the teacher gives you a printed sheet with math problems on it and tells you it’s due Friday, what’s the one place where you always automatically put that sheet?”

2. “Then what’s your plan for remembering to get it done by Friday?”

3. “What method are you going to use to remember to get it out during homework time at home without anyone asking you about it?”

4. “What are you planning to do to be sure it gets back to school and back to this particular teacher on the right day without anyone reminding you?”

5. “Would you like to hear some ideas that other kids have tried for this?”

Help your teen to design a workflow process that is likely to work well for her as an individual. Whatever the plan, though, it should boil down to: 1) Listen carefully to everything the teacher says. 2) Write down all assignments and due dates in an assignment notebook or calendar. 3) Put worksheets and other not-yet-done paper assignments in one safe place where you know right where they are and (whether at home or at school) can always find them in under 10 seconds. 4) Look at your assignment notebook or calendar every day after school and make a plan for how you will get your upcoming assignments done on time. 5) Do the work neatly in a quality manner, always trying to give the teacher more than he or she expects. 6) Immediately put finished assignments back in the one certain safe place where they are sure to make it back to the teacher on the right day without your having to think about it.

Parent, think of yourself as a business consultant.

Help your child think through: “What worked last year, and what processes might be tweaked or changed for this year?”

Clearly emphasize this very important point.

Emphasize that success in school and in life really has little to do with brains or luck, and everything to do with organization, process management, and continuing to try hard every day. Nobody’s stuck forever with a certain finite amount of brainpower. Brains are changeable. They grow exponentially with every hard thing you tackle. What feels hard now will not feel hard a year from now.

During the school year, parent, do this.

Let your teen manage the process of listening in class, recording due dates in a calendar, storing assignments in one certain spot, planning when to do homework, handing assignments in on time, and remembering to study for tests. Do, however, quietly keep a careful eye on your child’s progress by using the online assignment tracking that the school provides and checking in with teachers. You’ll want to intervene (maybe with reduced amounts of TV and video games?) if your child’s effort in school takes a downward turn.

Even when intervening, however, resist the urge to micromanage, helicopter, or control.

Consider this strategy, used by one wise father when his son suddenly stopped putting forth effort in school. The dad kindly and empathetically suggested to the boy that it must be because he didn’t have enough time at home to do homework. “We all know you’re capable of doing well,” the dad said to his son in a thoughtful voice, “so this has got to be a not-enough-time issue.” The dad then told the son that he’d arranged the family schedule so that the boy could simply sit at a table with his schoolwork, books, and pencils for a hour each evening, and either “do homework or think about it.” Completely the boy’s choice. It worked a miracle for this family, and it’s a strategy I highly, highly recommend.

Students must learn to manage their own schoolwork well before they enter high school.

If they don’t, they’re going to be academically ineligible for some of the greatest strategies there are for lowering future college costs during the high school years.

If none of this works for you and you find yourself parenting a perennial underachiever, get this great resource:

I highly recommend this award-winning book by Charles Fay of From Bad Grades to a Great Life! Unlocking the Mystery of Achievement for Your Child. You can order it here. This book will help you put a decisive end to fretting and nagging about homework, and build into your child the character that will lead to a lifetime of achievement – whether he or she ever goes to college or not.

Would you like to know what to do first to get your kids through college debt free – even if you can’t save a penny?

Grab the free, full-color e-Book at the top of this site. You’ll quickly get ten great ideas you can use right now – whether your kids are in high school or in diapers.

Then, watch for my upcoming book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward (due out in 2016). This book will provide clear, step-by-step instructions on how to get your kids through college debt free and into a great job afterward — starting in middle school.

Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 10 – 17? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin right now.

What about you? What strategies do you have for helping kids have the most academic success possible during the school year? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski, Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

 Jeannie is a full time author, academic consultant, and speaker. Her writing helps parents set their kids up to graduate college debt free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. She also helps students apply to medical school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

WAIT! Don’t Throw Away the Receipt for the School Supplies!

Are you looking for the article “Want High Grades This Year? Ask Your Kid These 5 Questions”? Sorry; you were accidentally directed to the wrong place. To get to the article you’re looking for, click here.

To find out why you should always save the cash register receipt when buying school supplies, read on.

Save your cash register receipt when buying school supplies. Here’s why.

school supplies

Every notebook, pen, and graphing calculator you buy just might lower your eventual state tax bill — even if you have a very high income.

In some states, such as Minnesota, K-12 school supplies and other expenses qualify for an “education subtraction,” which can mean money in your pocket. An “educational subtraction” means that you get to subtract school-related expenses from your taxable income on your state income tax return. This can mean less tax for you, even if you’re from a very wealthy family.

But wait; look at at these other school expenses that may also reduce your taxable income!

Save all of your receipts and invoices from:

  • Music lessons
  • Purchase or rental of musical instruments
  • Fees paid for after-school classes and instruction such as science exploration, dance or art lessons, and study habits courses
  • Fees paid for academically oriented summer classes
  • One-on-one tutoring by a “qualified instructor”*
  • Expenses paid for field trips including entrance fees to exhibits
  • Tuition for academic summer camps such as language or fine arts camps
  • Fees paid for all-day public school kindergarten
  • Instructor fees for driver’s education courses
  • Text books, academic books, and materials purchased for use during the regular public, private or home school day as long as they are nonreligious in nature
  • Fees paid to others for transportation to/from school or for field trips during the normal school day
  • Private school tuition
  • Tuition for college courses that are used to satisfy high school graduation requirements
  • $200 worth of the home computer hardware you purchase in a given year including printer, monitor, CD-ROM drive, modem, additional hard drives, and memory upgrades as long as that computer is not also used for a trade or business
  • Educational software
  • Gym clothes required for gym class
  • Money paid for school supplies used either at home or at school including pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, folders, rulers, erasers, and calculators.

* A “qualified instructor” is a person with at least a baccalaureate degree who is not the student’s parent, grandparent, or sibling. The baccalaureate degree need not be in the field the instructor is teaching.

These expenses may reduce your taxable income — up to $2,500 per child per year. This can really add up.

The rules vary from state to state. Call your state’s department of revenue to find out what the rules are where you live.

The listed items definitely qualify for “subtraction” in Minnesota, where I live. (You can see the actual Minnesota Department of Revenue Fact Sheet on this subject here. It’s informative and easy to read.) If you’re from a different state, Google “department of revenue phone” and the name of your state. Ask: “Does our state have an ‘educational subtraction” or “education tax credit’ for K-12 school expenses? Can you help me find a fact sheet on that?”

Don’t bother carrying around messy paper receipts; use Evernote®.

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Parents of College Students, Time to Schedule a Special Celebratory Dinner!

Include These 6 Things in the Dessert Conversation

I post this article every year at this time, because every year there’s a whole new crop of students heading off to college. Here’s to giving your child and your family the best four years possible!

Your son’s about to leave for college, and there are a thousand things you want to talk to him about before he goes.

This month, take him out for a special celebratory dinner — and include these 6 things in the dessert conversation. You’ll make the next four years much, much easier on your family and on him.



1) “Let’s talk about how often you want us to call you while you’re away at college.”

Parent, you might want to say something like this: “We hear that a lot of college families schedule a specific once-a-week time for parents to call. How would Sundays at 1 pm work for you? We can always change the time later on if another time works out better.”

Of course, you can call or text us any time. We’ll always be happy to hear from you.”

2) “Let’s talk about how often you’d like us to visit you at college.”

“We’ll come for special performances or games, of course – and then maybe one time a semester besides that to take you out to dinner? Tell us what would feel good to you.”

3) “Son, let’s talk about what life will look like when you come home on college breaks.”

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Looking for Scholarships? Here are 1.5 Million of Them.

Includes Info on My Live Class in Edmond, Oklahoma * November 5, 2016

This week, a wonderful mother wrote me, asking how she could find scholarships for two kids who are both in college right now.

My reply to her might help your family too.


I’m so glad your kids are going to be applying for scholarships while they’re in college. That’s a fantastic plan!  My recommendation is that students apply for ten scholarships every year starting in 8th grade and going all the way through graduate school. 80 scholarships in total if possible!

Here are 6 great ways I can think of to find scholarships to apply to.


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