To Increase Academic Success, Ask Your Teen This, Now

Many teens believe deep down that academic success is only for “smart people.” For kids that got lucky at birth and were granted more brainpower than others.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Research by experts such as Stanford’s Carol Dweck tells us that the human brain is malleable and changeable throughout life, and that “dedication and hard work” actually increase brainpower.

This month, increase your teen’s potential for academic success by asking this one question:

academic success

“When your teacher explains something important, or gives you an assignment to do, where are you going to write that down?

Writing—not typing or tapping—most solidifies information taken in through the eyes and ears. (Learn here why laptops are not recommended for taking notes in class and keeping track of school assignments.)

To dive deep into this subject, see the article I’ve written entitled 5 Things to Ask a Kid Every September. This article will help you to play the role of “business consultant” for your kid—and get him to set himself up for greatest academic success.

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3 Reasons Every Teen Needs A Part-Time Job (AUDIO)

This episode also includes a hilarious idea for making your teen want to go out and get a part-time job!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 4 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. How working a part-time job increases the odds that a teen will be academically successful in college.

2. How the advice of author Meg Jay can help your kids leave behind fake, empty confidence and develop genuine professional confidence.

3. The most interesting points Jeffrey J. Selingo made about this subject in his acclaimed Washington Post article.

(10 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

Do you worry that having a job might damage your kid’s GPA?

Read the helpful, reassuring article I’ve written on this subject here.

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Could Graduating High School With an AA Degree Hurt a Kid?

Today I’m writing on topic I never, ever thought I would. Could graduating high school with an AA degree in any way do a student more harm than good? My eyes are bugging out just writing that.

graduating high school with an AA degree

Could graduating high school with an AA degree HURT your kid?

For many moms and dads, one of their proudest parenting moments occurs when their 17-year-old walks across the stage at high school graduation with two years of college already completed. An entire two-year AA college degree already sewn up—entirely at state expense. An amazing, stunning achievement! All while dodging the pitfalls of AP classes—and still enjoying a rich, full high school experience.

Parents who get to experience this proud moment get tingly with excitement thinking of their child confidently diving into third year college courses at age 18, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree at age 20, slashing college bills by half, and having extra years of life before age 22 to tour Europe, volunteer, or start piling up real world work experience that rockets their careers far ahead of their peers. (Making them stellar candidates for grad school or medical school, I might add—if that ever becomes a goal.)

Other parents aren’t so sure.

“Might graduating high school with an AA degree keep my child out of the Ivy League?”

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Elite Education Leads to a Happier Life. True or False? (AUDIO)

Is it really true that expensive, elite private education is so enriching that it automatically leads to a happier, more fulfilled life after college? What does the research say?debt-free college podcast

Join me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 2 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn 6 jaw-dropping, research-backed facts that just might make you think, “Wow—maybe the Ivy League isn’t such a great idea after all.”

You’ll also learn why “for profit” colleges should be avoided like the plague, and which great colleges are likely to be far better bargains than your local state university.

(9 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK, you can do that here!

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Do Families Need to Hire College Consultants? Really?

To see my article on What Nobody’s Saying About the College Admissions Scandal, click here.

The dad sitting by you in the soccer bleachers tells you that he’s not worried about his kids’ college planning—because he’s hired a $5,000 college consultant to engineer the whole thing for him. You wonder, “Is this what parents have to do nowadays? Hire college consultants that cost as much as used cars? If parents don’t hire college consultants, do they shortchange their kids?”

It’s not necessary to hire college consultants—but it can be helpful in some cases.

Here are 10 things parents need to know before they hire college consultants.

hire college consultants

1. College consultants vary wildly in quality.

Some are fantastic, and some are terrible. Many high buck college consultants you see on the internet are simply moms or dads who went through the college application process with their own kids last year, and now they see themselves as experts on college planning and financing.

2. Ask a ton of questions before you pay a dime.

Ask lots of exploratory questions about how long they’ve been in business, and how much of their service includes walking you through strategies that really work to get kids through college debt-free. Ask what career planning tools they use to make sure your kid ends up being employable after college.

3. Be sure to ask your prospective college consultant this critically important question.

Ask him or her to explain to you the two huge changes Barack Obama made to the US college financing system on September 13th, 2015—and how those changes will dramatically affect your kid when he or she is a sophomore in college. If your prospective college consultant can’t answer this question, run away and don’t look back.

4. Look for this very good sign.

If a college consultant hands you a copy of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward and says, “We’re going to be walking through the steps in this book together,” consider that a very good sign. It means you’ll have excellent one-on-one support for the journey, and you won’t miss a single debt-free college or career planning strategy along the way. (College consultants, financial planners, and wealth managers who do this can be found on the “Approved Consultants” tab on this website.)

5. Don’t hire college consultants who tell you this:

Don’t hire college consultants who say, “Oh, we don’t worry about career goal at this point. We’ll just get your son into a good college, and then he can take random college classes to see what he’s interested in. We’ll hope it’ll all come together into some kind of career five years from now.”

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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 (nowadays more properly called a “school 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 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 Key College Planning Strategy That Most Surprises Parents

Recently, a school district that’s bringing me in to speak interviewed me so that students and parents could get to know me better. This article includes the best portions of that interview.

To zoom straight to the key college planning strategy that most surprises parents, scroll to #4, 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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“Oh, No—We’re Late to College Planning!”

Whether your child is currently in middle school or in high school, you’ve probably had it happen to you: the sudden bolt of electric fear that you might be late to college planning.

Today, I’m going to rush in with the calvary and completely rescue you from that.

If you prefer to see me delivering this information on video, you can do that by viewing this help on my podcast episode 1, which is here.

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 which clever, creative, easy-to-use strategies you can use right now.

Today, I’m going to give you highly effective debt-free college planning help that will save you both time and money.

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

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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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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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