Do Families Need to Hire College Consultants? Really?

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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“Oh, No—We’re Late to College Planning!”

It happens to every parent—it’s not just you. The first day of school ritual goes like this: 1) Pack lunches. 2) Take smiling first-day photos at the front door. 3) Wave goodbye. 4) Panic that your child is suddenly another year older, and you feel like you’re late to college planning.

You are not alone. Almost every parent feels this way.

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 all the clever, creative strategies you can use right now.

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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Can Community College Lead to a Master’s Degree?

You’ve heard that your local community college can save you thousands on college bills due to lower tuition costs. But could community college hurt your kid’s future career prospects? What if your daughter wants to get a master’s degree some day? Or a Ph.D.? Will having community college on her transcript hurt her chances of being admitted to grad school? To medical school?

community college

Here’s your answer. Nearly 20% of those who earned master’s degrees in 2016-2017 started out in community college. Fully 21.5% of doctoral-research degree earners in health and clinical sciences started out in community colleges just like the one down the street from your house.

These full-color graphs created by the NSC Research Center tell the story.

In my own work with law, medical, business, and grad school applicants at GetIntoMedSchool.com, I’ve never once seen community college hurt a student’s chances of being admitted to even very highly competitive grad school programs. One top 20 med school told me, “Oh, we are fine with students taking first year Biology and Chemistry in community college. A lot of times, they actually learn more there.”

Read on to learn how your child can get through community college at the lowest possible cost.

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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.

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, click here.

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

I love what Andy Earle says about the debt-free college strategies I provide in LAUNCH.

After reading LAUNCH cover to cover, Andy says:

LAUNCH has become one of the most well-respected books on this subject (it’s the go-to reference book for financial planners and college consultants and coaches) because Jeannie isn’t just about doing college cheap, she’s about doing it debt-free and so effectively that it results in a great, satisfying career after college is over.”

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Should Teens Take College Classes in 11th Grade?

Is it a good idea for teens to take college classes in 11th grade?

Increasingly, school staff at both public and private high schools are saying yes, and are working to create new and better ways for students to do so — often at state expense, which can save parents thousands on eventual college costs.

Private education, especially, is benefitting.

Private high schools have the flexibility to create innovative in-school programs where students as young as 11th grade are able to take real college classes for real college credit during the school day, while still having the full, enriching high school experience.

Innovation like this works out well for parents, schools, and students. Parents find it easier to pay private school tuition when they know their future college costs are going to be lower, schools are able to brag that many of their students are graduating high school with as much as two years of college credit already completed, and students who are ready to achieve can dive into real college work as soon as soon as they’re ready for it, efficiently earning college credit and high school credit at the same time.

college classes in 11th grade

AP classes declining in popularity 

For years, high schools offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes in an effort to help high achieving students earn some college credit before age 18, but in recent years, concern about the AP program has caused its popularity to plummet. Fewer than 50% of students who take AP courses actually receive the promised college credit, and that makes AP the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school. (This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”)

Students who take real college courses in high school enjoy 7 significant advantages:

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One Call Can Increase Admissions Chances 40%

Weeks or months after your daughter has finished up all her college applications, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there anything else she can do to increase admissions chances — well after her applications have been submitted?”

Yes there is.

Research shows that one phone call can increase admissions chances 40% at many colleges.

increase admissions chances

How can a phone call increase admissions chances?

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