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 Plus, a huge percentage of what’s currently on the internet regarding college planning is sorely out of date, since President Barack Obama drastically changed US college financing on September 13th, 2015, and most of the world has not yet caught up.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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My Best Debt-Free College Interview Yet

Listen On Your Drive to Work Today

To listen to my best debt-free college interview yet, click here.

Be sure your sound is on.

Short on time? Listen to 9 selected clips from this interview by scrolling down here

Listen while you’re driving or getting ready in the morning, and you just might change the life of a student you love.

free college

In March of 2018 I was interviewed by Andy Earle, a Loyola Marymount University researcher who focuses on parent-teen communication and teen thriving and flourishing.

I’ve been interviewed many times since my book LAUNCH came out in 2017, but this interview is by far the best. It’s the best produced, the most in-depth, the most inspiring, and the most informative.

To listen to the entire interview, or to quickly listen to just a few select clips, click here.

You’ll feel a growing sense of hope for the teens and 20somethings you love.

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My Top 10 Debt-Free College Articles of 2017

2017 was a year of explosive growth for my blog and weekly email newsletter readership. Parents, students, and financial planners began following me in numbers greater than I ever expected. Out of the more than 50 debt-free college articles I wrote that year, here are the top 10 that were most popular with my followers.

If you missed any of these, here’s your chance to catch up! Read to the bottom of this list to see the #1 most popular article I wrote all year.

#10. Hilarious Idea Makes Kids Eager to Apply for Scholarships

#9. Danger Ahead: Don’t Get This Kind of Student Loan

debt-free college articles

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7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA — Even If You’re Rich

FAFSA Is Live as of October 1st

This article was originally posted here on October 2nd, 2017. It was updated and re-posted here on August 30th, 2018.

You’d love for your son to get loads of free money financial aid to help him pay for college, but you’re pretty sure he won’t qualify for much. Your family lives comfortably, after all. You aren’t poor.

You wonder if filling out financial aid forms is even worth your time.

Seven Reasons Filling Out the FAFSA Is Well Worth Your Time.

1. You can have a high income and still qualify for help.

You make over $200,000 per year and have significant assets? Your kid can still get free “gift aid” money to help pay for college. I’m talking about free money that need never be paid back.

Because this is true, plan to fill out the FAFSA form every October 1st that you’ll have a kid in college the following fall. Put this October date on your calendar now, so you can put your kid(s) first in line for all the financial aid money they have coming.

FAFSA

2. The FAFSA isn’t just about getting PELL grants. 

Filling out the FAFSA puts your child in line for nine separate federal student aid programs, over 600 state aid programs, and most of the college-based (institutional) aid available in the United States.

Every year, people who were sure they were too well-off to qualify for any kind of aid are stunned to see what kind of generous help they actually qualify for at some colleges.

3. The FAFSA considers many more factors than just your income.

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Is “Advanced Placement” the Best Way to Earn College Credit In High School?

Every year, millions of high school students are fed this line: “Hey, you should take Advanced Placement (AP) classes! They’re way harder, but if you do well on the test at the end, you’ll get free college credit!”

It sounds like a great deal. But is it actually true?

Advanced Placement

Actually, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are the least dependable way for students to earn college credit in high school.

Shockingly, fewer than half the students who take AP classes actually end up getting the low-cost college credit they were promised.

This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”

The well-respected Atlantic said that? Wow.

To learn which early college option tends to be far better than APread on.

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Divorced? Perhaps Do This by Sept 30 and Save a Bundle on College

This article was originally published here on July 31st, 2017. It was updated and reposted here on May 22nd, 2018.

Are you divorced from your child’s other parent?

If so, there are specialized strategies you can use to reduce your kids’ future college costs.divorced

Here’s just one.

1. Figure out which of your child’s parents has the lower household income.

Is it you, or is it your ex-spouse? (Be sure to include the income of any new spouses when you calculate this income amount.)

2. Ask yourself, “Could my daughter possibly go to live with her lower-income parent, starting on September 30th of her 11th grade year?”

Think, would it be safe and healthy for your daughter to sleep 183 nights (or more) at her lower-income parent’s house between September 30th of her 11th grade year and September 30th of her 12th grade year?

Could she keep up this living arrangement until she goes away to college?

There are dramatic financial aid benefits for divorced parents who do this.

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Why You Should Never Cosign a Student Loan

And How to Save Yourself If You've Already Done It

Parent, I urge you: DO NOT cosign a student loan for your child.

Today I’m featuring information from an article by nationally syndicated radio host and author Clark Howard. I consider this to be must-read info for every parent. After you read below, you can find articles by Clark Howard, listen to his radio show, view his videos, and sign up to receive his money-saving advice right in your email inbox at ClarkHoward.com.

Are you considering cosigning a loan for an adult child who needs a car, a student loan, or a credit card?

Here are 7 deeply concerning things you need to be aware of before you pick up that pen.

cosign a student loan

1. If you cosign a student loan, you may unwittingly strain future family relationships.

Nobody likes to think about this, but there’s an almost four in 10 chance that when you cosign a student loan, you will be the one who has to pay off the balance. A CreditCards.com survey found that of the cosigners they surveyed, 38 percent had to pay some or all of the loan balance or credit card bill because the primary borrower did not, 28 percent experienced a drop in their credit score because the person they chose to cosign for paid late or not at all, and 26 percent said the cosigning experience damaged their relationship with the person they cosigned for.

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