SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN! Here are the Top Five Questions Parents Asked Me Last Week

On January 4th, 2016 I announced exciting news about my upcoming book LAUNCH:  How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.

If you missed that exciting post, you can read it here.

In that post I asked my readers to complete a short survey designed to help me be sure that my book covers absolutely everything parents need to know about getting kids age 13-22 through college debt free.

The number of responses I got to that survey was absolutely overwhelming!

I got at least 60 times as many responses as I ever expected.  I feel stunned and humbled that so many people took time to jump in and help me with this!  If you were one of my responders — thank you so much!!!  For those of you who typed in detailed questions for me, I’ll be answering those in my future free email newsletter articles — so make sure you’ve subscribed using the form on this site and are opening my email newsletter every week.

(If you haven’t yet taken the survey, it’s not too late.  You can still let me know your biggest questions about debt free college by clicking here.)


Here’s a sneak peek at the top five biggest questions parents and grandparents are sharing with me — along with my responses:

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I’ve Created a Small Army of Kids EXCITED about Applying for Scholarships. (Here’s a Bunch to Apply For!)

About a month ago I filled a room to overflowing with teens and parents eager to learn how to write a scholarship application essay that would “Make Them Say WOW.”

17-year-old boys ran around setting up more tables for me, even though it meant that their long legs had less space to stretch out. Teens who reportedly “never” take notes in classes bent over tables, writing as fast as they could and shooting hands up to ask some of the best questions ever.

I love these kids.


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The Surprising Reason Your Kid Should Apply to At Least One College That’s Far Out of State

Great Info For Students Working on College Applications This Week

I know, I know.  You have a lot of people telling you that the local state university is your kid’s bargain basement choice.  Well…

Unless your child is able to become a part of the honors program at that state university, this is not likely to be true.  For the sobering truth about the cost of state schools, read my previous posts on this subject here and here.

The bargain choice for your child may actually be a private college located far, far from your home state.


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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.


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“We Can’t Save Any Money for College. Are We Doomed?” 7 Clever Strategies That’ll Make You Feel Better Immediately

You know that it’s a good idea to start early to save for your kids’ college, but what if your budget just doesn’t allow for that right now? Are there other things you can do so that you’re ready when dormitory move-in day comes?  Yes.

This week I’m hugely honored to be guest posting on the blog of Toni Schutta M.A. L.P., a Twin Cities based author, speaker, licensed psychologist, and parenting coach who’s been repeatedly featured in national parenting magazines and on TV news.   A large portion of her audience at is parents of children birth through middle school – and some of those parents are feeling nervous because they’re not yet saving for college. Here’s what I told her audience to help them feel better.manwithlaptop

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Put Down the Scholarship Applications; Let’s Jump Up and Help the Children in the Nepal Earthquake First.

A devastating earthquake slammed into Nepal on Saturday, killing over 4,000 people.  That’s hard to wrap your head around I know.  It’s such devastation, it’s such tragedy — it’s overwhelming.  We want to close our eyes.  We want to look the other way.  We want to busy ourselves with first world distractions so that we won’t feel the horror of the loss of so many.

But what if, just today, we don’t close our eyes. 

What if — just this once — we leave our hearts open to sorrow and compassion, and actively look for ways to help.

Nepal lower words help

At the bottom of this post you’ll find ways you can give financially to help families in Nepal.  But before you click there, I want to challenge you to consider doing something bigger and far more magnificent to help salve the wounds of international tragedy.

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Want Great Material for a Scholarship Application Essay? Host a Japanese Student in Your Home for 3 Weeks!

Imagine your child writing a scholarship application essay where she writes in detail about what it was like to have a Japanese college student living in her home for three weeks.

There are so many interesting ways to go with this kind of material — I can’t even begin to list them all.

If you’d like to host a Japanese college student in your Minneapolis/St. Paul area home for three weeks this August, here’s some information on a great program you can be a part of.


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Today is the LAST DAY to get my April 11th classes at a reduced cost. PLEASE SHARE.

My classes cost only $39 each, but that’s still unaffordable for some families.

Families who desperately need help getting their kids through college debt free.

Here’s help.  Families with documented financial need can get reduced rates on my classes.  But they have to call the school district that is sponsoring my classes today.  The number to call is . . .



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12 Ways to Help Kids Rake In More College Scholarships (Starting in 8th Grade)

The dad waited in a long line to get to shake my hand. He was beaming.


“We squeezed into a packed high school auditorium to hear you speak about debt-free college last year,” he told me. “You inspired my son to go home and apply for 20 scholarships he thought he’d never get. He won eight of them, and now has over $20,000 extra to help pay his college bills. I just wanted to say thanks.”

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