Popular Demand! We’re Doing it Again! (Got a College-Bound Middleschooler? Don’t Miss This)


Your kid’s in middle school?  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.

We did this event with middle school and high school families in Minneapolis on April 7th, and the response was overwhelming.   Both students and parents told me afterward that they felt so much more excited, so much less pressure, about college.

“Jeannie makes me feel like I can launch my kids. Next time, make it longer and keep telling stories!” — Parent

The big message Minnehaha Academy recieved on comment cards after this event was:

“You have to do this again!  My husband needs to hear this!” and “Please schedule this again.  I want my other middle schooler and my high schooler to hear this — plus my niece!  Can you do this again please?”

Yes.  Our encore performance will be May 5th, 2016 in Minneapolis.

Here’s the link to register.


I’ll be covering these important topics:

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College Study Skills Class Coming May 14th!

(7 Reasons Why Your MIDDLE SCHOOLER Should Take It)

LIve class coming August 27th!

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class.  I’ve seen it a thousand times.

Oh, I know that on the surface it would seem to make more sense to give kids college study skills training right before they’re actually going to need it . . . .

*   Right before starting a “dual enrollment” college class (or AP classes) in high school

*   Right before moving into dorms freshman year

*   Right after a disastrous semester where the grades were C’s and D’s and a lot of tuition money was wasted

Those are all fantastic times to take a college study skills class.  But 6th or 7th grade?  That’s absolutely magical.

 7  reasons why MIDDLE SCHOOL is the best time for your kid to take a college study skills class:

(If you just need the live class info, speed straight to the red writing at the bottom of this page right now.)

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Top 5 Lies We Tell Kids About College

Read This When Your Kid's in Middle School.

This post is a scary one. But read all the way down to the red print at the  bottom and I’ll give you a boatload of hope about college.

1. “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.”

This statement is completely and utterly false. Let’s all be honest for just a minute. Don’t you know people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Let’s get even more honest. Don’t you actually know many, many, many people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Why do we purposely scare kids with this lie?

2. “You, of course, shouldn’t even consider technical school.”

The bias against technical school gets communicated to kids from the age of 12 on up in a thousand insidious ways.

The subtle message kids hear is: “Tech school is for kids who aren’t as smart as you.” “Tech school is for kids who can’t get into real college.” “We won’t even show you a catalog of job training programs available at a technical school. We don’t care if tech school would empower you to make really great money after only two years of training. We won’t even suggest the possibility of going to technical school first and then perhaps four-year college after that. You’re smart and you come from a good family — that automatically means four-year college or university for you.”

(To see my post on “Could Your Kid End Up Wealthier and Happier by Not Going to College?” click here.)

3. “Of course you’re going to take out $40,000 in student loans to go to college. Don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to pay those loans back with the excellent job you’ll get after you graduate.”

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Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kid Get More College Scholarships (Starting in MIDDLE SCHOOL)

The dad waited in a long line to get to shake my hand.  He was beaming.


“We squeezed into a packed high school auditorium to hear you speak about scholarships last year,” he told me.  “You inspired my son to go home and apply for 20 scholarships he thought he’d never get.  He won eight of them, and now has over $20,000 extra to help pay his college bills.  I just wanted to say thanks.”

I beamed back at him.  Nothing excites and energizes me like seeing students achieve things they thought they never could.  And when they rake in the scholarship money?  That’s the best feeling ever.

Winning college scholarships is only one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting kids through college debt free. In all honesty,  other strategies that I provide to parents can net even greater return for families.

If you want to maximize scholarships, though — here are just a fraction of the scholarship strategies  I recommend for students and parents.

1.  Don’t assume your kid won’t qualify for scholarships because of grades or test scores.  

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Genius Idea: Some Minnesotans are Getting Free Tech School Education, and THEN a Bachelors Degree!

Share This Post With a Parent of a Minnesota 12th Grader Now.

In 2015 I wrote about how some students could end up wealthier and happier by not going to four-year college after high school.  It was a life-changing post for many.  If you missed it, be sure to read it here.

But what about this great idea?  Your kid could go to community or technical school in a fantastic, in-demand career field for two years and gain excellent, immediately-employable job skills . . . and then start work on a bachelors degree in a related field at age 20.

Want to have your kid learn college level study skills straight from me? Here’s info on the “Strategic College Student” class I’ll be teaching in Minneapolis on May 14th, 2016!  — Jeannie Burlowski

“Wait, a minute . . .” I can hear you objecting.  “Who wants to go to college for six straight years, and not get finished until age 24?  The credits my kid would earn in technical school probably wouldn’t transfer to a four-year college, right?”

You’re right, college credits don’t generally transfer from technical schools to 4-year bachelors degree programs.  But imagine this.  What if your 18-year-old teen had already completed two full years of bachelors degree college credit in high school at state expense — as I explain in this webinar?  That teen could complete two years of technical school between age 18 and age 20, and then finish up a bachelors degree between the ages of 20 and 22.

But wait — the news gets even better!

If your child is a Minnesotan graduating from high school in 2016, the very valuable technical school education I’m talking about may be FREE for him or her — even if your family income is well above average.


If you’re going to help your child access this benefit, though, there are several things you need to know right now.

technical school

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6th Graders Need to Know THIS About Choosing Career

Your Kids Are Older? Tell Them Now.

“Jeannie, are you serious?  We need to talk to 6th graders about career?”

Yes.  And if not in 6th grade, then as soon as possible after that.  Why?  Because when your child is in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, his or her brain is growing faster than at any time since infancy.

Whatever you tell your daughter now — whatever she experiences — will imprint on her powerfully, very likely staying with her into high school, college, and adulthood.  This is why I am so emphatic about teaching middle schoolers college study strategies like how to use a calendar and how to use the time-saving “quiz and recall method” for college level studying.  (You can see the emphatic post I wrote on this subject here.)

minnehaharealblogWhat should we be telling middle schoolers about career? 

Six things:

1.  “Wow; you’ve got some outstanding natural abilities that are going to help you have a great career when you’re an adult!”

2.  “When you work hard at activities that develop these abilities, your brain grows by leaps and bounds.”

3.  “In the old days college kids used to take random college classes to see what careers they might interested in.  Ha ha ha — people don’t do that anymore.  That career strategy never really worked anyway — and these days college is way too expensive to do that.”

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Expensive Education Leads to a Happier Life. True or False? (The Answer Might Surprise You.)

Your 12th grader is in tears, desperate for you to give him the go-ahead to attend an elite university that’ll cost him $950 per month for 10 years after college.  You want him to be happy.  Do you say yes?


Before you respond, you’ll need to be clear on the answer to this one question:  “Is it really true that elite private education is so enriching that it automatically leads to a happier, more fulfilled life after college?”  What does the research say?

In a 2014 NPR article entitled Poll: Prestigious Colleges Won’t Make You Happier In Life Or Work, Anya Kamenetz cites a Gallup survey of 29,650 college graduates of all ages that demolishes the argument that top college grads lead more fulfilling lives later in life.

Here are the top 6 surprises found in the Gallup data Kamenetz cites:

1. The college you attend doesn’t actually affect your future happiness after college.  “When you ask college graduates whether they’re “engaged” with their work or “thriving” in all aspects of their lives,” Kamenetz writes, “their responses don’t vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.”

2.  The college you attend doesn’t move the needle one bit on five separate measures of human happiness.  Gallup pollsters asked college grads an array of questions designed to measure how well they were doing in regard to financial health, sense of purpose, physical health, financial security, physical health, close relationships, and community pride.  The astounding finding?  “(The results) did not vary based on whether the grads went to a fancy name-brand school or a regional state college, one of the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings or one of the bottom 100.”

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What Does ROMANCE Have To Do With Financial Aid?

It Turns Out, a LOT.

Well, Valentine’s Day is over for another year.  Tissue paper from wrapped gifts litters the bedroom floor, chocolates have been devoured, and pink and red greeting cards have been set up in display mode on the kitchen counter.

It’s now the day and the week after Valentine’s Day – time for romance to pull on work boots and get back into the trenches.

If you’re married, you probably understand well that though Valentine’s Day is nice, real romance is actually lived out every day, 365 days a year, in the normal course of every day, up-and-down, regular life.

Today, moms and dads, I’m going to talk about that regular old “365-day-a-year-romance” you have with your spouse, and what that has to do with your kid getting financial aid for college.


Here’s the special message I have for you for today, parents:  Your marriage matters when it comes to your kid eventually getting financial aid for college.

“Seriously?  How does my marriage affect how much money my kid gets in financial aid for college?”

Because of idiosyncrasies with the CSS/Profile financial aid form, if you at some point decide to divorce your child’s other parent and marry someone else, your child will be disadvantaged in the financial aid process at the most competitive colleges in the country.

“Disadvantaged!  How so?”

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What’s the One Key Difference Between Kids Who Excel at School and Kids Who Don’t?

You desperately want your children to excel at school, but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.


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5 Surprising Tips For Anyone Wondering about Commercial SAT/ACT Coaching

Recently I got such a great question from a mom.  I’m hoping many parents will benefit from hearing why I told her: “No, I don’t.”

Jeannie, I was wondering if you do coaching for students looking to study for the ACT/SAT tests?  I have a daughter who is wanting to take the PSAT and the ACT this year and her high school counselor told us to invest in a good testing coach.  I honestly have no idea where to find one, but thought of you because of the work you have already been doing in this area.  Do you provide tutoring services to students who want to do well on standardized tests?

My answer to her is below.


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