Does Part-Time Work Damage College GPAs? The Answer Might Surprise You

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series

Your college-age daughter calls you, sobbing, at 10:00 pm.  She’s feeling overwhelmed by exams and paper deadlines, and she’s begging you to let her quit the part-time job she’s been working while taking her full load of college classes.

You want her to be happy, of course — plus you worry that the time she’s spending at her job might be bringing her grades down.

Do you tell her to go ahead and quit?  The answer below just might surprise you.

I quit

Huge News! Technical School Education FREE for 1600 Minnesotans Next Year

Check out these 5 criteria to determine whether a student you love might qualify

About a month ago 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.

Today’s huge news is that starting next year, this very valuable type of post-secondary education will be FREE for an estimated 1600 Minnesotans.


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

It’s true!  Free technical school for 1600 Minnesotans!

Starting in 2016, Minnesota is embarking on a two-year pilot program where the state will pay tuition and fees for 1600 recent high school grads who enroll in job-skills training programs at public two-year colleges and pursue high-demand technical training in fields such as agriculture, manufacturing, and computer science and others.

Hot fields with high levels of future employability

Jobs in these fields “are very, very hot right now,” said Minnesota State Senator LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, who was the lead sponsor of the Minnesota bill that provided $8.5 million for the program.  “Nobody can get enough employees.”

Should Kids Be Expected to Work Their Way Through College? (Surprising Answer Every Parent Needs to Know, Below.)

Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

Years ago, a hardworking college student could earn enough money in a summer of life-guarding or burger flipping to pay for one year of college tuition.  If she continued to work for wages for as many hours as possible during the school year, lived in a tiny apartment with multiple roommates, and ate only macaroni and cheese, she might be able to cover her own living expenses during the school year as well.  Is this still the case?

No; it’s not. 

Students can no longer pay for their own college by working a minimum wage job.

Because of rising tuition costs, it’s no longer possible for college students to earn enough money to pay for college tuition as they go.

Parents, let me give you a better plan for getting your child through college debt free.

True or False: You Should Get Your Middle Schooler On RIGHT NOW

(The Answer Will Surprise You.)

The answer?  As long as your child meets the minimum age limit of 14, it’s absolutely true.

Your child needs one place to keep track of all of her accomplishments, achievements, work experiences, school and scouting awards, scholarship awards, job shadowing experiences, and volunteer and service hours and experiences, right?  LinkedIn is a spectacular place to do that.


PRESSURE’S OFF: 9 Surprising Reasons You Might Want to Talk Your Kid OUT of Applying to the Ivy League

Parents, you feel a lot of pressure to get your kids into a “good” college after high school.  But is all the work and stress really worth it?

Probably not, honestly.

William Deresiewicz, former Yale professor and author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and The Way to a Meaningful Life (due out August 19, 2015) has a fascinating take on this question.

In his controversial New Republic article, Deresiewicz, tells parents that Ivy League schools are overrated — that they’d be better off sending their kids elsewhere.

Here are the top 9 most jolting things I got out of Deresiewicz’s article:

Hand clipping Ivy Education-

The TEDx Talk Every Parent Needs to Hear

This video by Adam Carroll will give you night sweats, but hold on -- I'll give you hope.

Today I’m featuring a 16 minute TEDx talk on student loan debt by Adam Carroll.

This is a must-listen for every parent.  

Listen while you’re getting ready for work in the morning, commuting, or cooking dinner.  It’ll change everything you’ve ever believed about student loan debt, and it’ll change your kid’s life.

And if you find yourself breaking out  in a cold sweat after listening?  Don’t worry.  Request my “QUICK START Guide” on this website, and then click on your child’s age in my “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section.  I’ll give you free, clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt free and into jobs they love afterward.  To read my gravely concerned post on the topic of student loan debt, click here.

Here’s Adam Carroll:

Key Question for Students: “If I Go to College There, Will I Be Able to Get an Off-Campus TUITION REIMBURSEMENT Job?”

Your son or daughter has started looking at colleges, and at this point the discussion is pretty much centered around how pretty the buildings are, what kind of sports they have, and “the quality of the business program.”  But are there even more important questions that should be being asked?

Like:  “If I attend here, will I be able to get an off-campus job that offers me tuition reimbursement?”

A fantastic fringe benefit for college students

Most students work for money while they’re in college.  Highly strategic students don’t just work for money, they work for a paycheck plus a check that their employers write to their colleges to help pay their tuition bills.faveOf course you'll work during college.

No Kidding! Your Kid Can EASILY Get Into Harvard — AND PAY 70% LESS FOR IT

10 Surprising Facts About Harvard that All Parents Need to Know

Would you like your child to have a Harvard education, but without the nerve-wracking admissions pressure or the astronomical tuition cost?


Worried About the Upcoming PSAT Exam?

5 Things That Will Save You From Worry Over Standardized Testing

Parents nationwide are worried about how standardized tests for college entrance are changing.

If your child is taking the PSAT exam this fall, you may be wondering how it will be different from the old PSAT, and what your child should be doing in order to excel on it.

Today I’m providing  5 things that will save you from worry over standardized testing in general and the PSAT in particular.

life ring three

First, be sure you’re emphasizing the right things when it comes to college prep

In some cases, families will put $700 of hard-earned family money and hours and hours of student work into a test prep course – but then put no timeno money, and no thought at all into helping kids figure out career goal before they choose which colleges to apply to.

This backwards plan can result in students running up odious, burdensome student loan debt attending “good schools” that don’t even prepare them for the careers they’re going to love someday. (Boston University is a “good school,” but you don’t go there if your eventual career is air traffic controller. To see my interesting blog post on this subject, click here.)

What’s a parent to do? This.

I’m going to talk about standardized testing in a second here – but in the meantime, if you’re wondering how in the world we can help 10th graders to get a sense of career goal before they start picking out colleges, download my free PDF on that subject here.  (If your child is way past 10th grade, don’t worry; just read this free PDF as soon as you can.)

5 Reasons You Need Not Worry Too Much About Standardized Testing

1.  There are currently 850 colleges and universities nationwide that don’t even look at standardized test scores when considering students for admission.

These schools refer to themselves as “test optional.” You can find the complete list of “test optional” schools on the website of The National Center for Fair & Open Testing at

2.  The number of “test optional” schools is rapidly increasing. As a matter of fact, a record number of colleges and universities dropped their ACT/SAT score requirements in the past year. 

Schools who’ve declared themselves to be “test optional” just in the past year include Beloit, Eastern Connecticut, Hofstra, Montclair State, Plymouth State, Temple, Virginia Commonwealth, and Wesleyan, among others.

3.  Think that only “bad” schools would go “test optional”? The truth is that even top-ranked colleges are going “test optional” at unprecedented rates.

The “test-optional” list now includes more than 165 schools ranked in the top tiers of their respective categories. More than one-third of top-ranked national liberal arts colleges have test-optional policies.

4.  If you wonder how your son or daughter is likely to perform on an upcoming standardized test, here’s a step you can take for free.

You can have your son or daughter take a free SAT, ACT, or PSAT practice exam courtesy of the KAPLAN test prep company at KAPLAN provides these exams to the public as a free service; taking one will not obligate you to buy a KAPLAN test prep course.

5.  Are you feeling especially worried because your 10th or 11th grader will be taking the brand new PSAT exam this coming October, and so far nobody knows what will be on it? Here’s help. 

It is well worth a student’s while to try to succeed on the PSAT — because the PSAT is the first step to possibly qualifying for a generous National Merit Scholarship.

To help you feel better about the new PSAT, KAPLAN is offering free 90-minute online PSAT information sessions between July 19th and August 30th.

Here’s what these free KAPLAN sessions will cover:

  • How the new PSAT is structured, including an overview of the new test format, structure, and scoring.
  • Side-by-side comparisons of how the new PSAT differs from the old PSAT and the current SAT.
  • The rigors of the new PSAT, and how to strategically simplify its longer questions. 

To sign up for a free KAPLAN Test Prep PSAT information session, click here:

The upshot of all this? Students and parents, start with the end in mind. Parents, help your child to get a sense of career goal early on (preferably in January of 10th grade), and only THEN look at expensive test preparation if it’s obvious that it’s absolutely necessary.

Big announcement today! 

I’m going to be teaching a brand new one evening seminar in Woodbury, Minnesota this fall entitled “What Career Is Right For Me?”  In this seminar, students in grades 10 and up will use three separate assessments to get a sense of career goal that will guide every other aspect of their college prep.

Space in this class is extremely limited.  You can’t even sign up for this class yet, but do mark your calendar for Thursday, November 19th from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota. (The nearest airport is Minneapolis St. Paul.)  For more details about this and other classes I’ll be teaching in the fall of 2015, be sure you’ve subscribed to my email newsletter using the form on this website.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie Burlowski is a full-time consultant, author, and conference speaker.   She helps parents set their kids up to graduate college debt free and move directly into careers they excel at and love.  Her book LAUNCH:  How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward is due out in late 2015.  You can find Jeannie’s free help for parents in the “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section on this website.  Follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

“We only got around to doing a fraction of what Jeannie tells people to do in the free help on her website, and we saved well over $50,000 on college costs. Our daughter earned a four year degree from an excellent private university at age 20, and she’s now in California happily working her dream job at Disney. Get to one of Jeannie’s live classes if you can. Buy a plane ticket if you have to!”  — Liz and Tim Weatherhead, parents, Bloomington, MN

What about you?  What has your experience been in regard to standardized testing?  What advice do you have for parents and students?