How To Make Your College Application Stand Out In A “Sea Of Sameness”

Ready for a small dose of harsh reality (how’s that for a loaded question)?

  • Fact: your kid’s grades and standardized test scores will be substantially IDENTICAL to  5,000 other competitor applicants.
  • Fact:  colleges don’t care about “well-rounded” you are, or how many cancer walks or honor societies (participation trophies) you list on your application.
  • Fact: colleges are businesses (you probably “get” this), but here’s something I bet you haven’t considered:
Your kid is in business for himself, whether or not he realizes it!
And whether or not you LIKE it, for that matter.

So what do you do to stand out?

How do you multiply your chances of getting into your “Dream College”? If you have a high school junior or sophomore, you need to hear this.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), we’re doing our final webinar of the year. It’s live and unscripted, anything can happen!
(We’re not set up for a replay, it’s a one-shot deal.)

Here’s what’s on the docket:

  • How to win merit scholarships if you cannot qualify for need-based aid

  • The problem with Naviance® and why it can mislead you into a false sense of security  – and, worse, “Admissions Armageddon”

  • Just how important are grades and scores?  This answer will shock or offend, depending on your personality and what meds you’re currently on

  • Three simple words that describe what admissions officers are looking for on the Common App – but don’t find 99% of the time

  • How to stand out – for the right reasons – among a “Sea Of Sameness” – thousands of kids who look identical on paper

  • Advice for Class of 2018, Class of 2019 and younger families re: how to create a body of work that will make admissions officers roll out the red carpet

  • How *This* system is “rigged” and what to do about it (if you’re unable to tweet daily insults to millions of followers)

  • How to choose a college that will actually help you get a job after college, and avoid coming home to the basement with your tail between your legs and buttcheek-deep in student loans

  • Your questions – we’ll be chatting live!  (Anything goes!)

(Live, Wednesday night, we are not setting up a replay. Details at that link.)

Information rarely – if ever – discussed in school, even behind closed doors.

Why is this information under lock and key so airtight that even the Russians couldn’t hack it?
The obvious reason is that most of it isn’t politically correct.
I won’t lie, Wednesday’s final webcast is bound to offend some parents.  But, I assure you, 100% of what you’ll hear is 110% true, even if it’s not particularly sugar-coated.
So please forward this email to everyone you could think of who has a Class of 2018 or 2019 kid  – and needs to hear the blunt truth about what it really takes to get into and pay discounted prices for the best colleges in the country!
See ya tomorrow night!
-Andy “‘Trafficker In Inconvenient College Truths” Lockwood
P.S.  Forgot to mention, we’re giving away an Amazon Echo, one of those cool thingies that you can yell stuff at (“Alexa, what’s the weather like?”  “Alexa, order me paper towels.”  “Alexa, force my kids to make their beds”) for one lucky attendee on Wednesday!  How much fun are we?????

Non-politically Correct Facts About Getting Into College (and what it takes)

Last night at the Smithtown Public Library I went off on a mini-rant about what it REALLY takes to get into top colleges.

Jaws dropped, women and children cowered, men brandished pitchforks.
I wish I had more time, because they closed up at [8:45].
Tonight is a different story, however.  We’re hosting an all-new webinar, How To Get Into Your “Dream College’” And Pay Wholesale Tuition.”  Leave your pitchforks in the shed.

Here’s what Pearl and I will cover:
  • How to win merit scholarships if you cannot qualify for need-based aid

  • The problem with Naviance® – and why it can mislead you into a false sense of security about your admissions chances

  • Just how important are grades and scores?  This answer will shock or offend, depending on your personality and what meds you’re on

  • Three simple words that describe what admissions officers are looking for on the Common App – but don’t find 99% of the time

  • How to stand out – for the right reasons – among a “Sea Of Sameness” (thousands of competitor-applicants who look identical on paper)

  • Advice for Class of 2018, Class of 2019 and younger families re: how to create a body of work that will make admissions officers roll out the Red Carpet

  • How the admission system is “rigged”…and what to do about it (if tweeting insulting comments to millions of followers isn’t an option)

  • How to choose a college that will actually HELP YOU GET A JOB after college, and avoid coming home to the basement with your tail between your legs and butt cheek-deep in student loans

  • Your questions – we’ll be chatting live!  (Anything goes!)

Here’s where to register. PLEASE NOTE:  we have NOT set up a replay so I humbly suggest that you DVR whatever program you were going to waste time on, and drop everything to join us!


Please pass this invite around like a communicable disease to any stressed out families with college-bound teens!  They’ll think you walk on water, which is nice!
See ya!
P.S.  Tonight is one-shot deal, there’s no replay on the books.  Register at

How To Pay For College If “She” Is Elected

Hi ho, fellow citizen!

I was just chatting with my friends Anderson Cooper (“Coop,” to his friends), Wolf Blitzer (“Blitz”) and Megyn Kelly (“K-Money”) about the upcoming election and they made an interesting point:

“Who cares?”

I mean, really, if you’re concerned with paying for college, or getting into college, it doesn’t really matter who the president is to you or 99% of the families I know.

Hillary won’t make college free for anyone, because Congress won’t allow it.

I have no idea The Donald’s thoughts on college are, if he even has them.

My point?  There is only one person who can affect how much you pay for college.

(No, it’s not me. Did you think I was going “there?”)

Here’s a hint:  it’s the guy/gal staring back at you when you brush your teeth in the morning.

Yes, Y-O-U!

Your best bet is to arm yourself with powerful insider strategies about the legal “loopholes” that, if taken advantage of, can help you qualify for more grants and scholarships than you thought possible.

You also need to stay away from deadly, eligibility-sabotaging “landmines” that can rob you of the financial aid you deserve – and need – to send your kids to their top choice colleges!

Don’t rely on empty campaign promises to take care of your college woes – take matters into your own hands!

Make it a point to come to one of our workshops this Wednesday or Thursday – assuming the world doesn’t end by then –  to learn how you can slash college costs, even if you think you make too much or cannot possibly qualify!

I’m conducting free workshops in Garden City Park on Wednesday, November 9th and Northport on Thursday, November 10th.  Here are all the registration details directly from me (not via WikiLeak, the Russians or an Anthony Weiner text):


If you have a Class of 2018 child, and are stressed out and uptight about how you’ll possibly afford the high cost of college, here is what you will discover:

  • How to legally hide your money from the financial aid office so that even James Comey won’t investigate you
  • The Art Of The College Deal – how to negotiate a ‘Yuge’ improvement over your initial, lousy financial aid award without resorting to name calling or groping the dean
  • How to shamelessly use a non-profit’s endowment, instead of your own money, to pay tuition
  • Why the suggestion your CPA gave you about where to save could go down in history as the worst bit of advice since “Don’t worry about it, just delete those emails – no-one will never know!”
  • Your questions! (Bring ‘em on!)

You can register here. Please bring a friend or two who is uptight and stressed about paying for college. As long as we have room, they’re welcome to come and they’ll love you forever for thinking of them!

See ya!

-Andy “The Unelectable” Lockwood

P.S.  So I wasn’t REALLY hangin’ with Coop, Blitz or K-Money.  But I’ve been seeing so much of them on TV in my family room lately sometimes it’s hard to remember that we’re not actually “friends.”

If you come to one our workshops this week, you’ll get so much valuable, free information about how to qualify for gi-normous college discounts that you’ll probably think of me as your new bestie!

(I’m available!)

5 Tips On How To Negotiate With A College

How to appeal a lousy financial aid offer after it's given

When I speak to parents about college planning “loopholes” and “landmines,” one of the most interesting topics (judging from the questions I get) is how to negotiate with colleges.

I’m speaking tonight in Dix Hills in detail about this, but I wanted to quickly share my 5 steps for successfully negotiating with a college:

  1. Understand that colleges are BUSINESSES (I know, they’re “nonprofit!”) and, as such, do not always give their highest and best offers because they want your money!
  2. The best way to stack the odds in your favor is to have offers from other, competitor colleges. This means that high school juniors should think about applying strategically – NOT only to colleges featured on rear windows of cars in your neighborhood, Saturday afternoons on ESPN or in March Madness (Prediction – Villanova will report receiving a record number of applications this year)
  3. Follow each college’s rules for appealing a financial aid offer – most have paperwork for you to complete (yay – more forms!) to request a re-evaluation of your award
  4. Have a legitimate reason to ask them to reassess your award – some colleges claim that they will not look at other offers, I’d send them anyway.  Other legit reasons are unanticipated loss of income and unexpected increase in expenses.  Not: We live in an expensive area of the country!  (They know that already, they consider that to be a choice you’ve made.)
  5. Be nice, grateful, courteous.  Not outraged, entitled or aggressive.  Obvious tip that should go without saying?  Um, yeah.  No comment.

If you want more of the “411” on negotiations/appealing and other college planning strategies, come on by tonight at the Half Hollow Hills Library!


Other topics to be covered:

  • How to “hide” your money from the financial aid formulas, the financial aid office and James Comey
  • Legal and ethical strategies to triple your eligibility for financial aid
  • The biggest college planning mistake 53% of parents make…and how to avoid it
  • The counter-intuitive, inconvenient truth behind published admissions statistics…and what you need to know – and do as early as 9th grade – to multiply your odds of getting in
  • The one question your Class of 2018 or younger kid must answer on a college application…but isn’t actually asked
  • More!

Sign up now, we still have 7 seats left as of this morning.  Bring a friend who could use this info, just forward this email


See ya!

-Andy “Art Of The Financial Aid Deal” Lockwood

P.S.  I know, I know, it’s not easy to pull yourself away from the latest Wikileak bombshell scheduled for release tonight.  But I recommend you come anyway. Chances are you’ll be able to catch up on the news after our workshop.

Your kid…blowing off the college applications, essays?

If you listen to other parents, most Class of 2017 kids have tied up their applications and essays into a tidy little
bow and gift wrapped them to their colleges by now.

Um, yeah…that’s not exactly true.

If your kid hasn’t applied to college yet, you may feel like you’re behind the Eight Ball, but you’ve got plenty of

If you’re sick and tired of bugging your son/daughter about getting their essays and applications done, we can make all
of your pain vanish, quick like a bunny!

Today we’re announcing the first annual “Incomparable Applicant Implementation Bootcamp,” Saturday, October 15th, [9:30]
am in our offices.


Your Kid:  OUR Problem, Now! 🙂
I’ll be candid – if you’re facing a November 1 or November 15th deadline, the clock is ticking.

Ditto if you’re not applying early, you have only another few weeks of breathing room.

Instead of adding more stress and high blood pressure to the mix, consider dumping your procrastinating kid on us!

Here’s what you’ll receive when you sign up for The Incomparable Applicant Implementation Bootcamp

Expert instruction on the college essays (advice from actual admissions officers from elite colleges, not a high school
English teacher or guidance counselor who does not understand that applying = marketing)

How to distinguish yourself from your 5,000 competitor-applicants who have the same grades and standardized test scores

A “time cop” to hold your kid accountable for finishing up applications and essays…so YOU don’t have to be the bad

Peace of mind that true experts are taking this immense burden off your plate!

Checklists and other tools to make sure you don’t blow an application, scholarship or financial aid deadline

How to create a balanced, strategic college list and avoid “Admissions Armageddon”

Insider advice on the make-or-break “Activities” section on the Common App

All of your questions answered about the pro’s and con’s about applying Early Decision (yes, there are potentially
significant negative consequences)

Instruction and support BEFORE and AFTER the event via private, client only workshops

Brainstorming, editing, proofreading of the Common Application essay before, during and after the event

Paint-by-numbers “blueprint” training on supplemental essays

Financial aid forms prep and scholarship bonuses, which could be worth the entire tuition for the Bootcamp!

>>>>>>>>>>>Incomparable Applicant Implementation Bootcamp

Is your current plan working (be honest!)?
Is your kid on top of everything? If yes, great.  Stop reading now and pat yourself on the back.

Or do you have a pit in your stomach because you know you’re headed for a drama-filled, stressful all-nighter – or
series of all nighters – immediately before application due dates…

…And, to add insult to injury, sending in sloppy applications that represent your child in the worst possible light?

Maybe you’ve known, deep down, that you were heading this way since the summer, when you first suggested that he start
the applications.

Perhaps you thought “OK, I’ll let him do it his way. He’s got plenty of time.”

That was then, this is now.  The game clock running out, now is the time to get serious!

The Catch

I’ll level with you.  We have never offered a bootcamp camp training before, this is an experiment of sorts. So we
decided to:

Limit the class to six (6) students only, to ensure that everyone gets the personalized instruction they need

Charge far less than our customary private consulting fees ($6,000-$9,000, typically)

Offer a payment plan

Offer a “no-brainer” bonus to make sure you see the value

But once these six slots go, it’s game over, you may not get another bite at the apple.


These spots are first-come, first-served.  But, to be 100% transparent, I do NOT want you drop everything and enroll


I have my own agenda – to achieve a 100% success rate with our students.

I want them to get into at least one of their top 3 choice colleges and get the applications and essays done and shipped
off in a way that helps them explain why THEY should be chosen.

But in order for me to do this, I need to stack the deck in my favor.

I can only help “coachable” kids, i.e guys/girls who are open to our advice and willing to IMPLEMENT it.

The Incomparable Applicant Implementation Bootcamp is not for entitled, slacker-types who are unwilling to take
responsibility for their actions.

Harsh?  I’m sure I turned off some of the folks reading this letter. But hey, what else is new?

I’d rather be clear about expectations, and candid about who will benefit, and who will not.

Ball’s in your court!

Speak soon,

-Andy “You’re Worthless And Weak, Drop And Give Me 50!” Lockwood

P.S.  I should have said this earlier, although it may seem indelicate:  this is a STUDENT bootcamp. Meaning parents are
not invited (there’s no room in our conference room anyway!).

Trust me, it’s better for all of us – your child, you and us – if get this done without parental “help.”

P.P.S.  I know that October 15th won’t be free for everyone.  If the date doesn’t work for you, there are two options.
1. watch it “live” (we’re streaming it to our private client Facebook page), 2. watch the recording.

You will still get the pre and post-event trainings via our private client-only website, as well as one-on-one essay and
application accountability support.  The live training is a bonus.

Fact Checking High School “College Night”

Have you been to your high school’s annual College Night meeting yet?

Pearl went last night pre-debate (and pre rant), and is going to report on her experience today on College Talk Tuesday, [12:00]-[12:30] ET.

Spoiler alert – she was not too surprised at what was said…

But she was shocked by what was NOT said!

She’ll share her thoughts today.


We are hosting our own Virtual College Night this Thursday on College Success For Less, live and barely scripted!  You’ll have the chance to ask us your questions about financial aid.

We’ll rerun the recording throughout the weekend too (sign up for both live and recorded.)

Note: This will be your last chance for a deep dive on the financial aid and college planning process before the FAFSA is released October 1st.

Please pass this information along to other parents!

Andy “Just The Facts” Lockwood

Financial aid, college admissions “Crunch Time!”

Last minute college planning, financial aid, scholarships tips for college-bound teens

Hi there

We’re headed into the home stretch for seniors, between struggling with college applications, essays, regular homework, teacher recommendations and those “Back To School” nights…

…Not to mention the official October 1 opening of Financial Aid Season, when the FAFSA and CSS Profile come out (less than two weeks!).

That’s why stress levels for Class of 2017 kids and parents these days are as high as Snoop Dogg!

(Note:  I thought about substituting “Gary Johnson” but went with Snoop Dogg instead.  Each made me giggle.)

Permit me to throw out three quickie, important tips:

  1. Trust your recommenders, guidance counselors to do their jobs – writing up your letters, sending your transcripts to EVERY college…but VERIFY.  A little paranoia goes a long way.

  2. Get a handle on your financial aid deadlines – they vary by school!  Look ‘em up on each college’s website.

  3. Also get a handle on WHICH FORMS each college requires, some want only the FAFSA, others want the CSS Profile also (NOT “in lieu of” the FAFSA, in addition to), still others have their own or additional forms

Failure to do any or all of the above could result in needlessly shooting yourself in the foot re: getting into your top choice colleges,  or getting the grants, scholarships and other financial aid you otherwise deserve!

Here’s a list of upcoming events that we’re holding to help you cope, whether you’re Class of 2017, 2018 or younger.

Please forward this notice around to any/all parents who could use it!!!

Speak soon,

-Andy “Crunch Time” Lockwood

The Strangest Financial Aid Secret

Free webinar discloses a treasure trove of tips to help you maximize your financial aid and scholarships award

Parents in the “Forgotten Middle Class” category, who think that financial aid isn’t for them, will be pretty, pretty surprised at what we’re going to discuss tonight, in our webinar (replay available to all registrants).

>>>>>>>>>7 Tuition Discounting Secrets

I’ll resist the teaser and “spoil” the ending, there is a TON of scholarships and other financial aid out there, specifically for six-figure earning families…

…who know where to look for them and have a strategy to find them!

If you’re scratching your head, wondering, “What in tarnation is this guy talking about?” (Hah, read your mind, right?), Pearl and I will explain the specific steps you must take to get hold of your share, promise.

Topics to be covered include:

  • 5 “land mines” in the financial aid process that can decimate any shot you have at meaningful financial aid – and how to avoid them

  • Four “loopholes”that can triple your eligibility for grants and scholarships that are hidden in plain sight

  • The inconvenient truth about scholarship websites and what to do about it

  • How to force a financial aid office to give you an extra $30,022 after their “final” award…even if you don’t possess compromising photos of your financial aid officer

  • The counterintuitive reason why a high “sticker price” college can cost LESS than a “cheaper” state university

  • The mysterious reason why colleges prefer to give their money to the upper middle class

  • More, including your questions (we’ve already gotten a bunch of questions and typically get a ton more in chat!)

Please pass this invite along to as many people you know who need this info!

Speak soon,

-Andy Lockwood

P.S.  Yes, there will be a replay, available to watch over the weekend.  Sign up tonight, we’ll send a link for the recording after we wrap up live.

Financial Aid & Scholarships Workshop Tomorrow in Huntington

Learn how to get "YUGE" discounts off the cost of college at this one-time only event....

My Fellow Humans –

We’re doing a free college planning workshop tomorrow, Saturday morning at the Long Island Achievement Center in Huntington.

As the presumptive nominee, I will be delivering a landmark speech* that will outline my platform, including:

  • How to negotiate a better deal with the college financial aid office after they’ve issued you their “final” award
  • How to WIN the college financial aid game even if you earn six figures and think “No way can we qualify”
  • How the financial aid system is RIGGED against Forgotten Middle Class families and what they can do about it
  • Five YUGE, costly mistakes on the financial aid forms to avoid, that could cost you thousands
  • Why the advice you’ve received from your establishment CPA or “Financial Guy” may have screwed your chances of getting a fair award…and what to do about it at the 11th hour
  • How the price for an expensive private college might end up lower than an alleged “cheaper” state university
  • Tricky, sneaky strategies for business owners that do not involve bankrupting your company or moving your biz offshore
  • Special considerations for divorced and separated parents whose names are not “Ivanka”
  • How to plaster your hairdo into place and make it camera-ready with proper hair product 🙂

This event is tomorrow morning, hope you can make it, details below.

It’s a smallish (non-YUGE) venue, 20 slots (featuring terrific folks of all sorts of backgrounds, orientations and ethnicities, thank you very much!) are already spoken for between our registration page and the LI Achievement Center’s:


God Bless!

– Andy “Not Invited To Cleveland Or Philly” Lockwood

P.S. I will not be working off a teleprompter, so no script – anything goes! Bring your questions!


*Or saying the same ol’ stuff I always say! 🙂