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?

I think you’re asking me what lit a fire under me to write my book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward. Is that right?

This one’s easy.

For over 25 years, I’ve been an academic strategist at In this work, I help college students set extraordinarily high goals for themselves, and then plot out the fastest, least expensive way to get there. If you’ve got a kid applying to law, medical, business, or graduate school, for example, you hire me to help him or her look fantastic in that grad school application process. When I saw so many of my clients struggling—suffocating—under completely unnecessary student loan debt, I knew I had to write a book for their parents that would help families make excellent decisions starting as early as middle school—decisions that would result in kids completely debt-free, thriving in jobs they love after college. And completely ready for the medical and grad school application process, just in case that ever turns out to be a goal.

2. I know that this book, LAUNCH, is right at the center of what you do to help families. What’s been the response to it so far?

The best way to see the response to LAUNCH is to look at its more than fifty 5-star reviews on Anyone can look at them at any time at It’s clear that this material meets a deeply felt need for parents, that’s for sure.

3. Is LAUNCH mainly about applying for scholarships, and saving up money to pay for college?

No—those things are just too hard for many families. LAUNCH is about other, easier, more clever strategies for getting kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward.

4. Parents and students in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro are going to get access to two Saturday morning classes you’re teaching through us this fall. Are these classes just repeats of what’s already in your book?

No, not repeats at all. My live classes are each 2–3 hours long, and each of them drills down deep into a subject I was only barely able to touch on in LAUNCH. The first class, MAKE THEM SAY WOW: How to Write Brilliant College and Scholarship Application Essays teaches students ages 12–26 and their parents how to create one powerful scholarship application essay that can be used over and over again to apply for 80 different scholarships over 8 years. The second class, THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS Than Most Other People teaches students ages 12–26 and their parents the exact same research-backed strategies that top students use at Ivy League universities to get the highest grades possible while seeming to never study. It’s powerful stuff—especially for students I’m going to be asking to dive headlong into college level work as early as 11th grade.

Registration links are below.

5. What is one piece of advice you give to parents that they would never expect?

I’m a strong advocate of students taking three specific career assessments in January of 10th grade, or as soon as possible after that. Not the little computerized “assessments” offered at the high local school—I’m talking real career assessment work that is done under the supervision and with the assistance of a real, trained career clarification coach. I don’t do this kind of work myself, I refer out to others who do it. But I’m convinced that this is the one, main thing parents can do to save themselves $50,000 and boatloads of heartache later on. I cover this in every class I teach, and I explain it all in detail in chapter 13 of my book, LAUNCH.

6. Students and parents reading this interview are very likely thinking about signing up for your fall classes through us. Is there a place they can hear a sample of your speaking online? 

Sure. Anyone can hear samples of my speaking at There are over 100 testimonials from students ages 12–26 and their parents on there, there’s a great 3-minute video where I teach you a revolutionary time management strategy, and there’s also a link to a podcast where I was interviewed by a Loyola Marymount researcher who specializes in teen thriving and parent/teen communication. It’s an inspiring interview—very highly recommended for listening on a car ride, or when getting ready for work in the morning. I hope many families will listen, and then show up in person to meet me at one of my live classes.

7. Where can parents learn more, and register for the two classes you’ll be teaching for us in Minnesota in the fall of 2018?

(FREE) How to Get Kids Through College Debt-Free — Without Scholarships

MAKE THEM SAY WOW: How to Write Brilliant College and Scholarship Application Essays

THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS Than Most Other People

If you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help me by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

I’m Jeannie Burlowski, and I’m the author of the comprehensive guide to getting kids through college debt-free and into real careers afterward:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial planners and wealth managers love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Did you find this article through a Facebook post?

Please click the SHARE button on that Facebook post right now. You’ll be helping me get this info out to lower income families who might never otherwise find out about it.

What about you?

What surprising strategies have you found for getting kids through college debt-free, and directly into jobs they love afterward? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full time author, academic strategist, and speaker. Her writing and speaking help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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