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Today I’m going to teach you a little-known, really clever debt-free college strategy that’ll take you less than a couple of hours to implement—and all by itself, it can save you thousands and thousands on college costs.
One 18-year-old used this strategy even though he was pretty sure it couldn’t possibly work for him, and he was shocked to walk away with $30,000 extra in free money to help pay his college bills.
You’ll need this strategy in your back pocket whether you’re currently parenting elementary schoolers, middle schoolers, or high schoolers.
Here’s why you need this strategy in your back pocket—even if you’re parenting little kids.
Because we live in a world where mistaken, ill-informed people are telling you:
“OK there are three ways to pay for college. 1. You apply for financial aid and don’t get any because you make too much money. 2. You push your kids to apply for scholarships but they refuse to do it. 3. You save up $180,000 in advance. That’s pretty much it, so good luck. By the way, your kid’s life is on the line—so be sure you don’t make a mistake.”
Oh my goodness—that is discouraging and disheartening!
It produces anxiety in parents and kids, and it’s completely unnecessary.
If you’ve been with me for even just a very short time, you’re not going to fall prey to that.
Parents who follow me have this constant mindset—from the time their kids are in middle school:
“There are all kinds of clever ways to get college paid for—and I as a parent know exactly where those ideas are, and I know the best point in time to implement each one, and I’ve got a reliable way to get my questions answered as I go along.”
“My kids are going to be OK. They’re going to be more than OK. They’re going to flourish.”
So, parents, take today’s strategy and tuck it away in your back pocket, so that when you hear the misinformation coming at you, you’ll immediately think, “No—not true. I’ve got this little secret in my back pocket that most guidance counselors and financial advisors don’t even know about, and I know where to find dozens more strategies just like it.”
The back pocket strategy I’m teaching today will be useful for almost everyone.
It’s one you can use when your child is in the spring of 12th grade—after all financial aid forms have been filled out—and you’re sitting at your kitchen counter flipping through “financial aid award letters” from each college.
This is the moment when most parents get the sick feeling in the pit of the stomach.
“This college is expecting us to pay how much out of pocket? They are telling my kid to sign up for how much student loan debt?”
Many parents think they have no recourse at this point.
They think they have to just swallow what’s handed to them.
But in reality—parents have quite a bit of recourse.
It is actually possible for parents to go to college financial aid offices and politely request more free money to help pay for college.
The term for this is “Appealing a financial aid award.”
Here’s how it works.
You call the general number for the college and say, “Can you connect me to the financial aid office?” Once the financial aid office is on the line, you say, “I need to appeal my child’s financial aid award. Who can help me with that?”
Not a confrontation—just opening a door to a conversation.
A conversation about how you and the financial aid office might work together to bring college within reach for your child.
Is it worth it to try this?
Well, the 18-year-old I just talked about—the one who was just SURE he wouldn’t get anything if he tried this—he would tell you yes.
Besides that, according to one national study, approximately half of all financial aid appeals result in higher financial aid awards.
Parents who hear this idea almost always think, “Great! I’m going to try that. It can’t hurt! But what exactly do I say to convince the financial aid office that we should get more money?
Well, on just two pages of chapter 26 of LAUNCH, I explain this whole strategy, and I give parents six questions to ask that may very well inspire the financial aid office to give a child more money. Sometimes way more money.
And because this strategy is located in a chapter titled, “February 1st to Early April of 12th Grade,” parents know exactly when to think about maybe using this strategy.
But what if you’re doing this, and a question pops into your mind about your particular situation?
You might think, “We are still paying off medical bills from two years ago. Does that count as a complicating factor that could get us more financial aid money? I don’t want to sound dumb asking the financial aid office that if that’s just a ridiculous idea.”
“I wish I could ask Jeannie about this.”
“I wish I could ask Jeannie if it would be OK to bring up the medical bill thing.
Ugh—this is a scary process, and I’ve never done it before, and I need some support!”
I want you to be able to get help straight from me when you have questions like this.
Whether you’re a parent, or a financial advisor, or an admissions consultant—when a question like this pops up, I want you to be able to get live access to me to get a good, solid reassuring answer.
I don’t want you to have to fly to one of my speaking locations to ask me your question.
It’s true that anybody can get live access to me if they come to one of my live speaking events and just come up to the stage afterward—but I don’t want you to have to wait for that. I don’t want you to have to get on a plane to get access to me.
I want you to have regular access to me. 10–15 times per year.
And I’m able to do that through my TRIBE membership.
I’ve had a lot of questions about this, so let me lay out exactly what my TRIBE Membership looks like.
Parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers inside my TRIBE Membership have an open door to be with me live, in person, online, in a group setting, 10–15 times per year.
This is not a big commitment—and attendance at these online TRIBE Membership meetings is never required.
A lot of parents will think of my TRIBE membership the way they think of their AAA auto club membership. Use it only when you get stuck! Other parents will put all 15 membership sessions on their calendars—using our online meetings as a way to hold themselves accountable to keep moving forward toward their debt-free college goal.
And maybe best of all? The parents, financial advisors, and admissions consultants who are inside my TRIBE membership get free online access to my classes and seminars that other families pay hundreds of dollars to attend.
Now most parents hearing this think, “Awesome. But I’m busy. How much time is this going to take out of each month?”
Most months of the year my TRIBE meets online just once per month—because I know—parents need to keep schedules as free and open as possible.
During the first two months in the membership, though, you get extra help from me.
In the first two months after you first enter my membership—you meet with me online TWO evenings per month.
Two evenings per month—so—four times total over 60 days.
And here’s why.
Because the first thing we do once we are all safe inside the membership, is I teach you a 3-session overview class where I take you to the top of the mountain, and show you breathtaking views of the twelve biggest, most powerful ways parents can get kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward. Regardless of parent income level.
This 3-session overview class is inspiring and encouraging.
I especially love this class because it doesn’t ask you to do anything different from what you’re doing right now. It just shows you twelve exciting, exhilarating possibilities.
When you’re in this 3-session overview class with me you’ll hear me say, “All I want you to see for now is 10 beautiful, breathtaking places that we could visit together if you’d like to. Don’t worry about how you’re going to get there. Don’t worry about step-by-step hiking instructions right now. Those will come later. Just enjoy the view. Just envision the kids you love living there.”
Again, this class is free—it’s included—inside my membership.
People who are not my TRIBE Members can take this 3-session overview class too, but it costs them $899.00.
The good news for you is that a whole year in my TRIBE Membership doesn’t cost anywhere near $899.00.
Please don’t worry at all if you have to miss a session.
Anytime you have to miss one of our 3 overview classes (or another one of our live online group meetings), recordings be available to you inside our private membership portal.
The time commitment is really low here.
Many times you’ll miss an online TRIBE Membership group meeting and you’ll think, “Oh, no big deal. I don’t have to get the recording of that one. I didn’t have any questions about that topic anyway.”
Doors to my TRIBE membership open just twice each year.
Five days in March, and again for 5 days in September. The rest of the year the membership is closed, and I am concentrating on serving the people inside.
So—how do you get a spot in my TRIBE membership? (There’s only one way to get in.)
You will have to open my free weekly email newsletter every week—so you know exactly when the doors open.
You—and your friends, and your financial advising clients, can all subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter at this link: bit.ly/helpfulnewsletter.
If you’re reading my newsletter each week, you’re safe. You will get invited into my TRIBE Membership.
Try to join on the first day the doors open if you can, because I have limited space, and if I get too many people I will have to close the doors in fewer than five days.
To learn about my specialized credential for being able to guide you on this journey, do this.
Listen to the first 9 minutes of Episode 1 of my podcast. It tells my whole story.
You can find Episode 1 here.
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You can see why financial planners and wealth managers love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
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.
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What’s your favorite little-known strategy for getting kids through college debt-free?
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, author, speaker, and podcast host. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting 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, and on CBS News.