An open letter to parents confused by contradictory college admissions half-truths, urban legends and lies spread by other parents, guidance counselors and websites…
…and/or who earn a six-figure income (or more) and think, “Why bother, I won’t qualify for anything…and my kid didn’t post a 2400 SAT or cure cancer last summer!”
Dear Fellow Parent:
If you have a college-bound teen and you’re wondering how you’ll find the perfect college that will prepare him/her for a satisfying and lucrative career…
…or how on Earth you’ll possibly be able to afford college tuition, I urge you to stop screwing around on Facebook, quit texting for nine minutes (gasp!) and pay attention to this letter. Because what I have to say could save you literally thousands – even tens of thousands of dollars – and untold amounts of stress! But before you continue…
WARNING! I’m 99.9% sure that…
What I have to say is likely the complete opposite of the advice you’ve gotten from “experts” like guidance counselors, accountants and stockbrokers on commission.
Our approach is definitely NOT right for everyone. Here are a few examples, off the top of my head:
- You may have saved in the “wrong” places (as far as the financial aid formulas are concerned) even though your CPA or (commissioned) financial advisor told you where to stash your hard-earned cash
- If you’re a business owner, you may be unaware of often overlooked, unique, legal and ethical income tax and financial aid “loopholes” that could save you thousands per year
- You may think “People like us don’t qualify for anything” even though most aid goes to families earning six figure incomes (I know, it sounds strange, but you’ll “get” the common sense explanation immediately)
- There’s a strong likelihood that you are looking at the wrong colleges if you care about scholarships and grants
- Your kid may not doing the right things necessary to get into his dream college, especially when you consider that he is competing with 5,000-20,000 other applicants with virtually the same grades and standardized test scores
- You may be ignoring the sleeping elephant in the room: the “Next 40″ years of your child’s life. Sometimes the same old “Rear Window Sticker” colleges and popular majors turn out to be bad choices for kids who unthinkingly select them when you look at how well they prepare their graduates for life after college
- You are blissfully unaware of disturbing statistics facing today’s college graduates: 46% of grads are not employed in a field that requires a college degree…TWO YEARS after graduating…and only 39% of college students manage to graduate in four years!
Our mission is to solve these problems for select families. I’m Andy Lockwood, author How to Pay “Wholesale” for College, and The Incomparable Applicant (each a #1 Best Seller on Amazon), host of The College Success for Less Show and a “late-stage,” non-politically correct college admissions and financial aid consultant in Long Island, New York.
Pearl (my “better half” and business partner) have worked with families with college-bound children for more than 13 years to help them avoid the stress and emotional pain I went through when I racked up $100,000 plus in debt between college and law school. Pearl and I have four kids and have sworn a blood oath that none of them will go through anything remotely like what I endured.
I’m on a mission to help 1,000,000 families win the battle against overpriced, rip off colleges. That’s why Pearl and I founded our college consulting practice, and why I wrote the College Consumer Guide – a “mini manifesto ” to help “Forgotten Middle Class” beat colleges at their own game, which you can download for free.
Easily understood, “insider” admissions and financial aid tips and strategies
This report is a quick read, but full of important, easy-to-access, helpful information, including:
- Which savings accounts “count” against you more than others
- Which savings accounts are EXEMPT entirely?
- How to predict a financial aid award
- The deadliest mistakes people make in admissions, the college essay and financial aid, and how to avoid them
Is there a “catch?”
Nope – there’s no double secret scheme or plot. There are two main reasons I’m giving this information away:
- I want to help as many families as possible afford their top choice college…and avoid getting buried in student loans, which, I can assure you from personal experience, feels impossible to climb out from under
- I hope that you will be interested in more of our information – products and services – but only after you take a free, no-obligation “test drive.”
What is missing from the College Consumer Guide
You will not find any sales pitch or coercive, hard-core cajoling to hire us in the College Consumer Guide.
Why? I’ve learned the hard way that our approach is not a good fit for everybody, particularly in those situations where I tell an entitled young lad – and, sadly, his parents – that, given his B plus average, mediocre standardized test scores and noncompelling (should be a word) extra-curricular activities, he’s not getting into Princeton or Stanford and should look at a different tier of colleges.
Or that his college essay is not going to magically write itself…or be written by someone else (i.e., me)!
I could go on, but you get the point – I find a lot of today’s kids “uncoachable” and have no interest in spending time with them, pounding a square peg into a round hole.
(Sorry to sound cranky or all “Old School,” but I calls ’em like I sees ’em!)
But hey, as long as I’m on a roll…in my experience, any parent who doesn’t want his child to take responsibility during the college process is not going to get along too well with me either.
The other reason relates to capacity: I speak to a ton of parents and kids each month from all over the country and out of the country – but can take on only a select few, carefully chosen clients.
I’m not saying this to brag or sound pompous (who would care?), I’m just explaining that, because there’s a lot of “you” and one of “me,” I have no interest, time or need to chase anyone.
Bottom line: you can review our material without any fear of pressure…you’re under enough stress from the college process already!
Please feel free to noodle around the rest of this site, you’ll stumble across:
- free information on college admissions
- my books on college admissions “secrets” and financial aid strategies
- our podcast
- our FAFSA Warrior financial aid forms preparation service
- Training classes on how to prepare the financial aid forms and how to negotiate with a college
- our free newsletter, The College Success for Less Bulletin
- a way to set up a free 20 minute “Strategy Session” with me, personally via phone (subject to availability)
- and a lot more.
I hope you find this site helpful!
Thanks for giving our information the old “college try!”
– Andy Lockwood
P.S. “The old college try.” Get it? It’s a site about college planning…