“A Consultant Told Us NOT to Apply For Scholarships…” ?!

Actual Email I Received From a Mom Recently

In June of 2016 I received this email from a mom:

“Jeannie, I’ve been to 3 of your classes and love hearing you as well as reading your information. I value your opinion.

We have recently met with a person who we could pay to help our daughter navigate sophomore through senior year with FAFSAs, scholarships, choosing schools, etc.

I asked many informed questions because of the information you have taught me. Overall, he agreed with your stance on many things. However, he did say that applying for many scholarships early (i.e. middle school and early high school) can hurt the student’s chance of getting money from the institute they wish to attend. (Jeannie’s emphasis.) He said that he finds schools for students based on their interests/skills/location, but also who will give them the most financial aid. His take was that trying early for scholarships uses up a lot of time with little success, (Jeannie’s emphasis) and any that are won must be reported, thus decreasing financial scholarships/offers from the school of their choice later. (Jeannie’s emphasis.)

I am curious about this since we have been gearing up for searching/writing scholarship applications before late high school. We have not hired this person as of yet and would love any comment/advice you can give in regards to this point of view.”

apply for scholarships

Here’s my reply to this mom:

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Think Student Loan Debt’s “No Big Deal”? Watch This 3-Minute Video

Does your kid believe that student loan debt is “no big deal”?  

Is your daughter balking at filling out scholarship applications because she mistakenly believes that the lie that “everyone gets student loan debt – that’s just the way it is – it’ll be easy to pay my loans off when I graduate“?

Watch this 3-minute movie trailer for the student loan debt documentary “Broke, Busted, and Disgusted.”  

Then buy or rent the documentary and consider watching it with the teens in your family.

horror

This documentary is guaranteed to light fire in your teens to do all they can to avoid student loan debt, and in you to do everything you can to get your kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterward.

Would you like help getting your kids through college debt free?

 I can help.  Watch for my upcoming book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward (due out in late 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.

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Drowning in Student Loan Debt? Here are 5 Legitimate Ways Out

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series

This article is part 3 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they’ve left college with student loan debt.  You can find the  first two very important articles in this series here and here.

Every year, frightening numbers of students finish college with $30,000 – $90,000 in student loan debt – and then find themselves completely unable to find employment that pays enough to cover their student loan payments.

Many of these 20-somethings work as nannies, restaurant servers, and cashiers, jobs that barely pay enough to cover rent and groceries.

What can be done about this?  Simply not paying is not an option. (You can read about the scary consequences of student loan default here.)

If you’re a former college student and you find yourself in this position, here are 5 strategies that will help.

student loan debt

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7 Questions That’ll Help You Kiss Student Loan Debt Goodbye

Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

This article is part 2 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they already have student loan debt.  To read the very important article that was part 1 of this series, click here. To read part 3 of this series (the one about student loan forgiveness), click here.  

consolidate your student loans

In the first article in this series I explained the 7  important things that student loan borrowers need do immediately after leaving college.

I didn’t have room in that article for this very important to-do item:

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Got Student Loan Debt? 7 Things To Do RIGHT NOW.

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

This article is part 1 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they already have student loan debt.  To see parts 2 and 3 of this series, click here and here. 

You recently left college for the working world, and the freedom feels great.

But wait.

Have you left college with any amount of student loan debt?

If you have, it’s important to do 7 things as soon as possible after you stop attending college classes.

(If you’ve been out of college for years and you’ve never done these things, do them now.)

student loan debt

 

1. List every debt you owe on one clean sheet of paper.

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3 Reasons Rested, Relaxed Teens Are More Successful

Mary’s father entered the library through heavy glass doors and started looking through the stacks for his daughter. He finally found her, bleary-eyed and exhausted, surrounded by books, notebooks, a laptop, and a half cup of cold coffee. “Honey, it’s late,” he said gently. “Are you ready to go?”

“Yeah,” Mary said, sounding beaten and tired.

Mary put her head in her hands. Full days in the toughest classes at school followed by afternoons and evenings crammed with activities “designed to impress” pushed her studying into late hours most nights of the week. The pace was frantic and the pressure intense, but Mary kept at it because of the carrot at the end of the stick. If she could just keep up this brutal pace for a few more years, she’d be able to get into a “good school.” That would automatically lead to a “good job,” and the money from that “good job” would lead to happiness and success.

At least that’s how the plan was supposed to work.

just relax

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More Cheerful Chores * Fewer Screens * More Fun

5 Ways Parents Can Have a More Fun, More Relaxing Summer

fewer screens

Carol kicked off her work shoes and put them away in the front hall closet. “Hi, kids; I’m home!” She called out.

It’d been an extremely long work day for Carol, and the commute home had been long and sweaty due to heavy road construction and her car air conditioning being out. All she wanted to do was get her shoes off and collapse.

When she walked into the kitchen, though, she gasped.

The kitchen looked as though someone had dirtied every dish and pan and countertop, and then run out in a panic.

In the distance she could hear machine gun fire.

The machine gun fire was coming from the TV in her family room, where her teens lounged on leather furniture, still in the t-shirts and sweatpants they’d slept in the night before. One stared, unmoving, at a movie on TV, one sat engrossed in Netflix on an iPad with headphones; the oldest was hunting and shooting camouflage-clad villains in a warehouse on a computer screen in the corner.

“Have you guys been in here like this the entire day??” She asked.

Many parents today worry about kids’ screen use during summer vacation.

But what’s a parent to do? It takes too much energy to constantly suggest: “Why don’t you go outside for a while?” Parents already tired from work don’t want to start battles with teens who might become sullen, snarly, and disrespectful when asked to disconnect.

How can parents get teens to do more chores, spend less time on screens, and have more of the kind of summer fun that satisfies most deeply?  

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“Help. Our Daughter’s Failing College. She’s Dropping Out.”

Actual Frantic Email I Received From A Mom Recently

What would you do if you found out that your son or daughter was failing college and dropping out?

Today I’m sharing the frantic email I received this week from the mother of a current South Carolina college freshman.

It’s my hope that this mom’s pain and heartache will light a fire under you to do everything you can to keep this from happening to your family.

(Subscribe to my free email newsletter using the form on this site, and I will help you.)

It’s also my hope that my answer to this mom will give you help and hope.  This letter is used with permission. Details have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Remember, you can always find out your child’s current grades by waiting for him or her to ask you for money.  When you get the money request say:  “Sure, Honey.  Would you just log me into the computer and show me all your grades first, though?  I like to know what I’m investing in.”  — Jeannie Burlowski

failing college

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#1 Thing Employers ACTUALLY Want In a “Just Out of College” New Hire

Recently, millions of high school kids committed to attend colleges that, frankly, weren’t their “dream schools.”

Some of these kids are still struggling with anxiety and depression over this turn of events, fretting and worrying because they’ve been told the lie that if they don’t attend a top school, they “won’t get a good job when they graduate.”

(You can see the article I wrote debunking this myth here.)

The graph at the bottom of today’s post will make these disappointed kids feel instantly better.

internships matter

For every kid who fears that their college isn’t good enough, here’s great news.

Today I’m featuring excerpts from a brilliant article written by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.

Thompson boldly tackles the question:

“Do employers really care what college you went to? What do they actually look at when deciding whether or not to hire a new college grad?”

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YOU Can Raise Creative, Confident, Innovative Kids

 

creative

The last thing you want to do is raise a child who’s just a dull drone, pouring out memorized facts as though facts have the power to save the world. You want to raise a child who will be valued in a future workplace for being creative, confident, and innovative.

But how can you build creative, confident, innovative ability into your child (and yourself!) right now?

In this fascinating 8-minute video, former Yahoo! executive strategist and bestselling author Tim Sanders provides brilliant research-based insight into where creativity and innovation actually come from.  

Here’s how I believe you can make these principles of creativity and innovation come alive in your kids:

1. Let your kid know that genius isn’t necessary to accomplish great things.

Sanders says that it’s a myth that great innovations come from lone wolf inventors who have sudden “eureka moments” strike like lightening from the sky and change the world. “We want to be heroes,” Sanders says, “so that’s how we tell the story.” Actually, though, Sanders says, true genius creativity comes from another place altogether. It comes from collaboration.

2. Explain to your kid the tremendous value of collaboration.

It can be liberating to a 12 -22 year old to realize: “Hey, I don’t have to have all the answers! It’s OK if I have one piece of the puzzle and someone else has another piece of the puzzle. It’s even OK if 20 other people are also contributing pieces of the puzzle. We can work together, and in doing so accomplish something bigger than I could ever do on my own.”

As Sanders says: “Little ideas combine with other little ideas, and these improve into game-changing ideas.”

This realization – that it’s OK to have only one piece of the puzzle – helps kids to relax. It relieves pressure and anxiety that can actually stand in the way of creativity and innovation.

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