In College? Do This and Slash Your Student Loan Debt

If you’re currently in college—or if you’re a parent who’s taken out dreaded Parent PLUS loans—you’d love for a hero in a red cape to swoop down and tell you how to slash your student loan debt.

The hero is here.

slash your student loan debt

1. Slash your student loan debt by applying for scholarships while you’re in college.

Oh—you thought that students could only apply for scholarships during high school?

It’s not true. Sorry—you’ve been given bad information that could cost you and whomever you marry massive amounts of unnecessary debt. Bad information that could compound your parents’ grief if you die unexpectedly.

Here’s the truth. Students can apply for scholarships while they’re in college, and while they’re in grad school.

2. Apply for 10 scholarships every single year during college and grad school.

Knocking out 10 scholarship applications each year is actually easy.

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12 Ways to Get Grad School Paid For

So, your kid just got into graduate school or medical school. That’s great! Now you’re wondering, “What can students do to get their grad school paid for?” Here are the 12 ways to get grad school paid for that I give to my clients at GetIntoMedSchool.com.

Share this article with a student whose financial future you care about!

get your grad school paid for

1. Try to become an employee of the school you got into.

Call 10 different numbers at the school you got into, and try to become an employee of that institution. Keep trying. Maybe you become a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, or maybe you serve food, or maybe you work in the university’s daycare center, as my friend Susie did years ago at the University of Minnesota. One of your employee benefits may very likely be reduced tuition. Ask the school you got into if this is ever done. If you want to get your grad school paid for, this should be one of the first strategies you try.

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The Sweaty Truth About Sports Scholarships

Parents of athletes fork out thousands to cover sports expenses over the years. Many wonder, “Is all this time, effort, and money going to pay off big when this kid gets to college?” Here, the sweaty truth about sports scholarships.

truth about sports scholarships

1. The truth about sports scholarships: They can make it next to impossible to succeed academically. 

Student athletes are typically required to devote up to 40 hours per week to practices, travel, conditioning, and games. This article by NextStepU calls it “an unbelievable commitment in time and dedication…you may…be practicing at 6 a.m. or midnight or even twice a day.”

If your kid has an important test scheduled at the same time as travel back from a game, he’ll likely be told, “Too bad, you’re on a sports scholarship. Buck up and show that you’re all in on this sport.” Your daughter needs to study? She’ll likely hear, “Bring books and notes and study on the bus on the way.” Lack of quiet study space, pressure to repeatedly skip college classes, and sheer exhaustion from the schedule can wreak havoc with a student’s ability to focus on academics—the very reason he or she is at college in the first place.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy writes this, in Moneywatch:

Officially, D-I teams aren’t supposed to practice more than 20 hours a week though travel and other extra obligations aren’t included. In reality, the time restriction is often a joke. Conditioning or weight lifting, for instance, might be called voluntary, but the coach takes attendance and the kid who spends that time in the library could end up on the bench.

In the consulting work I do at GetIntoMedSchool.com, one of my clients explained his “B” in Organic Chemistry to me this way: “We flew home from a game, and I ran down the concourse and dove into the back of a taxi. I screamed at the driver to rush me to the building where my O Chem final was going on, but I was still 45 minutes late. The professor had no sympathy for my situation, and refused to give me any extra time. She said I should have made it a priority to be at the exam on time.”

2. The truth about sports scholarships: They’re not as lucrative as you think. 

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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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That Local State University May NOT Be Your Bargain Option

Many parents have only one strategy for lowering college costs. Send the kid to the local state university.

But is your local state university actually your bargain option — considering all the factors involved?

state university

The hidden costs of state university nobody talks about

At many state universities, it can take even the most diligent students six years to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Why? Because classes are full, so students struggle to get into the classes they need to graduate.

A state university education can be like buying a plane ticket, walking down to the gate, and then not being allowed to board — over and over and over again — because the plane is overbooked and every seat is taken.

Two extra years in state university can end up costing your kid a staggering amount.

Read the article I wrote here on how two extra years in college can end up costing students $300,000 in extra tuition, interest, lost full-time income, and stunted retirement savings. Plus, of course, a huge number of students get discouraged before the six years are up, and drop out — leaving college with a boatload of student loan debt and no college degree.

Yikes.

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Want More College Money? Avoid These Costly FAFSA Mistakes

Fill Out FAFSA as Early as Possible For Best Results

This article originally appeared on this blog on September 25th, 2017. It was updated and reposted here on August 30th, 2018.

If you’ll have one or more kids in college next fall—please plan to get your family first in line for financial aid money by filling out the FAFSA financial aid form as close to this coming October 1st as you possibly can. You read that right—11 months in advance. Are you tempted to skip filling out FAFSA because you assume you make too much to qualify for aid for college? Quick—right now—read my article 7 Reasons to Fill Out FAFSA Even If You’re Rich. Then use the instructions below to get every penny of the college money your kids have coming.

Tell everyone you know—avoid these common FAFSA mistakes.

Today I’m featuring a list of 30+ mistakes that parents make when filling out the FAFSA form. These mistakes cost U.S. families millions in lost college financial aid money each year.

To make sure your kids get every penny they have coming to them, download and print my list of common FAFSA mistakes here: 30+ Common FAFSA Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. (This link won’t open on some phones. If that happens to you, please open it on your desktop computer.)

Share this post with everyone you know who cares about kids who’ll be in college next year, and then have the printout handy on your desk when you’re filling out your own FAFSA form.

FAFSA mistakes

You’ll get instant answers to questions such as: 

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What If This 12-Year-Old Ventriloquist Had Never Practiced?

In 2017, 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer wowed the audience and the judges on America’s Got Talent. Before the 7-minute video was over I laughed, and I cried. Real tears. I am not kidding.

And then I thought…

What if Darci Lynne had never practiced ventriloquism on her own at home? What if she’d just waited until age 18, signed up for ventriloquism classes, and then expected those classes to give her everything she needed to perform like a superstar?

Would Darci Lynne have ever gotten anywhere?

ventriloquist

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7 Reasons Your MIDDLE SCHOOLER Needs A College Study Skills Class

And Where to Find One

To get straight to my study skills class information, scroll to the red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

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Which Colleges Are Still Taking Applications?

5 Cautions For You If Your Child is Headed to College in 1-3 Months

Ben and his parents sat up late at their dining room table, combing through all of Ben’s college financial aid numbers one more time. Ben’s dad ran his fingers nervously through his hair. The problem? It was already summer, and every college that had accepted Ben for the coming fall was requiring him to commit to loads of student loan debt in order to attend.

Colleges are still taking applications

“Is it too late to just try to go to a different college?” Ben asked. “I don’t know,” Ben’s dad said. “Are there any other colleges still taking applications?”

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Whoa! Slow Down on Applying for Scholarships!

I recently read an article by a well-meaning man pushing kids to apply for more college scholarships.

“Give up all your free time!” he said. “Come home every day and put in an hour or two applying for scholarships!”

This sounds good in theory, but in reality–no kid on earth is going to do that.

My advice to students is very different.

scholarships

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