Manage All Your Kids’ College Planning—Mostly By Yourself

If you’re concerned that you’re currently LATE to college planning, read this article now.

college planning

College planning can feel like being lost in a jungle. And sadly, your kid’s high school guidance counselor can’t help much with hacking through the underbrush. Oh, he or she would love to, but budget cuts have slashed the amount of time guidance counselors get to spend with college bound students, in some cases down to just eight minutes per year.

And your child, smart as he is, isn’t in any position to handle the complexity of college planning either. The stakes are high, both financially and career wise, and his brain won’t be fully developed until age 24.

And the internet? You sure don’t want to depend on the internet for college planning advice.

Don’t rely on the internet for college planning advice.

It’ll take you years to sift through everything the internet has to say about college planning. The bits and pieces of info and conflicting messages you hear from online resources will drive you insane. Plus, a huge percentage of what’s currently on the internet regarding college planning is sorely out of date, since President Barack Obama drastically changed US college financing on September 13th, 2015, and most of the world has not yet caught up.

You need a resource that will give you fast, accurate, specific instructions that the internet can’t provide. (I’ll provide a resource for you, below.)

7 things to do when you feel lost in the jungle of college planning

1. Don’t put off college planning because you feel overwhelmed.

I understand that you feel overwhelmed by the college planning process. Every parent does. But if you wait until your kid’s sophomore or junior year of high school to get started on college planning, 75% of the strategies you could have used to get your kid through college debt-free will be gone. Starting early is the best strategy, even if you can’t save a penny.

(If you’re worried that you’re currently late to college planning, read this article now.)

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The Surprising College Planning Strategy Most Parents Never Expect

Recently, a school district that’s bringing me in to speak interviewed me so that students and parents could get to know me better. I’m posting that interview here, just in case others would like to see it as well. To zoom straight to the college planning strategy most parents never expect, scroll to #5, below.

college planning

1. Jeannie, what originally inspired you to want to help parents get their kids through college debt-free?

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Jeannie Burlowski Book Signing | Roseville, MN | Sept. 22nd

Free and open to the public

Bring in the book you already own, or buy one on the spot. Remember, personally signed LAUNCH books make outstanding gifts.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

HarMar Mall

2100 N. Snelling Avenue

Roseville, MN 55113

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

2:00 pm–4:00 pm

Invite the world to this event! Tweet it out to the people who follow you.

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“Oh, No—We’re Late to College Planning!”

It happens to every parent—it’s not just you. The first day of school ritual goes like this: 1) Pack lunches. 2) Take smiling first-day photos at the front door. 3) Wave goodbye. 4) Panic that your child is suddenly another year older, and you feel like you’re late to college planning.

You are not alone. Almost every parent feels this way.

What can you do right now, if you feel like you’re late to college planning?

1. Don’t worry right now that you haven’t saved enough money to pay for college.

Fear and worry can be paralyzing. Some parents feel so fearful about not having planned earlier that they repeatedly put college planning on the back burner.

Don’t be that parent.

Let go of fear and worry over what you haven’t done, and look closely at all the clever, creative strategies you can use right now.

2. Don’t jump to the conclusion that a state university will be the bargain answer to all your problems.

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The 5 Love Languages, Explained with Burritos

By this time nearly everyone’s heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. It’s sold over 11 million copies, it’s the 12th most popular book on Amazon (where it has more than 13,000 5-star reviews), and it’s been a New York Times Bestseller 8 years running.

Want a super fast explanation of The 5 Love Languages?

This funny explanation by @Alonzo_Creed has been retweeted 52,000 times on Twitter:

1. Words of Affirmation: “This is a good burrito.”

2. Acts of Service: “I made you a burrito.”

3. Receiving Gifts: “Here’s a burrito.”

4. Quality time: “Let’s go get some burritos together.”

5. Physical touch: Arms around a person wrapped in a warm hug, like a burrito.

Are you wondering which one or two of The 5 Love Languages your teen, spouse, or other loved one is most wired to receive? Use the quick free 5 Love Languages assessment that author Gary Chapman offers on his website. You might also love Gary’s other book: The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively.

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These Top CEOs Went to College WHERE?

Your child feels a lot of pressure to “get into a good college.” Starting in 8th grade—or even earlier, he’s had the lie pounded into his head: “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.”

This lie can cause unnecessary anxiety for your kid and for your family. It can cause feelings of deep shame when a kid doesn’t get into his or her “dream school.” And, worst of all, it can lead students to drastically underestimate themselves and their future potential.

Let’s nip this lie in the bud, right now.

Take a look at where the current top 10 Fortune 500 CEOs went to college.

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How to Make Friends Before Arriving on Campus

It's Easier Than You Think

During high school, your teen didn’t have to think much about how to make friends. Friendships developed naturally out of middle school connections, and with any luck they flourished in the classrooms and activities that were regular parts of the high school experience. But after high school graduation, lifelong friends start to go separate ways. It’s at this point that your child (whether a quiet introvert or a people-focused extrovert) may start wondering—with some nervousness—about how to make friends at college.

Fortunately, technology can empower your kid to start forming on-campus social connections weeks before arriving on campus.

how to make friends

5 strategies for students wondering how to make friends on campus:

1. Connect with your roommate weeks before college starts. 

During the summer before dorm move-in day, the college housing office will usually provide you your future roommate’s name, phone number, and email address. Reach out, introduce yourself, find each other on social media, and start talking about your room. Who will bring the dorm refrigerator? Who will bring the microwave? Is one waste basket enough or do you need two? Get to know this person a little bit ahead of time, and you’ll lay foundation for what could end up being a lifelong friendship.

2. Connect with your future college community on social media. 

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Can Community College Lead to a Master’s Degree?

You’ve heard that your local community college can save you thousands on college bills due to lower tuition costs. But could community college hurt your kid’s future career prospects? What if your daughter wants to get a master’s degree some day? Or a Ph.D.? Will having community college on her transcript hurt her chances of being admitted to grad school? To medical school?

community college

Here’s your answer. Nearly 20% of those who earned master’s degrees in 2016-2017 started out in community college. Fully 21.5% of doctoral-research degree earners in health and clinical sciences started out in community colleges just like the one down the street from your house.

These full-color graphs created by the NSC Research Center tell the story.

In my own work with law, medical, business, and grad school applicants at GetIntoMedSchool.com, I’ve never once seen community college hurt a student’s chances of being admitted to even very highly competitive grad school programs. One top 20 med school told me, “Oh, we are fine with students taking first year Biology and Chemistry in community college. A lot of times, they actually learn more there.”

Read on to learn how your child can get through community college at the lowest possible cost.

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Should You Pay Your Teen to Do Things?

You’re parenting a teen, and you’ve just had a fantastic idea for him or her. Something that could pay off in huge ways down the line. But your kid isn’t interested. “Nah,” he says, scrunching up his nose and shaking his head. “Not gonna do that.” Meanwhile, he’s playing video games for hours each day. What can you do to motivate your kid to read a book that will transform his 20’s, or fill out scholarship applications, or happily attend a one-morning college study skills class? Is it a good idea to pay your teen to do these things?

Is it wise to pay your teen to do things she refuses to do otherwise?

Yes, yes, YES.

Especially because you can do this while spending less money on your kid than you are right now. Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.

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5 Ways Parents Head Off College Anxiety

This article is for you whether you’ve got a high schooler or a college student experiencing college anxiety.

When Samantha was in 10th grade, her Dad offered her a great suggestion. “Sam, why don’t we get your guidance counselor to sign you up for some college classes for next year, and you take those instead of regular high school classes? You can get real college credit for them, they’ll still count toward your high school graduation, and best of all, our state will pay for them!” Samantha hesitated, nervous apprehension squeezing at her stomach and working its way up to her chest and throat. It was her first experience with college anxiety. “I don’t know, Dad—couldn’t I just take a couple of AP classes instead?”

Don’t let your child retreat into AP classes to avoid college anxiety.

AP classes are the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school.

Contrary to popular belief, AP classes are not typically “easier than real college classes.” Think about it. Would you want to study a subject for months and months, and then have your success or failure depend on performing well on one big test at the end?

And then, after all that work, you find out that the college you’ll be attending may not even accept your hard-won AP credit?

That’s enough to exacerbate even the mildest case of college anxiety.

Here are 5 ways parents can head off college anxiety. (Number 5 is a big one.)

1. Emphasize that college success isn’t about how smart you are, it’s about how organized you are.

Your son is worried that he’s not smart enough for college. All kids are. If you went to college yourself, tell him that you really started being successful at college when you learned to use a calendar and make lists of tasks you had to do. Emphasize that organization is something anyone can learn.

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