Dear Fellow Parent:
My name is Andy Lockwood, I’m a college financial aid and admissions consultant. But this message – and site – is about you, not me. This site is for parents of college-bound teens, who are uptight, stressed and confused about the college planning process, especially:
- Paying for college and financial aid
- Qualifying for scholarships
- Finding a “good fit” college
- Getting into college
- Avoiding crushing student debt
- Choosing a major that will lead to a satisfying and lucrative career, instead of forcing your college grad into the basement in between shifts making half-caff soy macchiatos
But before you read any further:
WARNING! I’m dead 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 “financial guy.”
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!
Pearl (my “better half” and business partner) and I have worked with families with college-bound children for more than 15 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. We now have four kids and have sworn a blood oath that none of them will go through anything remotely like what I endured.
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 on this page.
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
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 right for everybody, particularly in those situations where I tell an entitled young lad (or lass) – and 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.
(Does this sound a little grouchy?
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 30 minute “College Strategy Session” with me, personally via phone (subject to availability)
- and a lot more.
Thanks for giving our information the old “college try!”
– Andy Lockwood
P.S. “The old college try.” Funny.