How To Choose A College List

I answer this question from "Gary" - recent webinar attendee

Thought this would be helpful – Gary asked me about the best way to create a college list for his daughter, Class of 2018, 97 average and wants to major in (a very popular major).

In this video, I describe the three “Gets”

For more info:

Brady, Belichick and college planning lessons

I had to do it…

Here are are the top seven lessons about college planning we can learn from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl win for the ages last night (Best game EVA!).  If you’re a non-sports fan, I apologize, but this piece is more about college planning than football.  Here are my lessons from last night:

1. Incredible challenges.  The Patriots season, and Superbowl game, was laden with all kinds of obstacles:  suspension of superstar quarterbackTom Brady, injuries to key players, a 25 point deficit last night, caused by a fumble, interception and a ridiculously fast and well-prepared Falcons defense.  Not to mention history: no quarterback or coach had ever won five Superbowls.

The college process is also full of obstacles:  rejections, deferrals, parent-child drama, peer-to-peer drama, less than stellar grades and standardized test scores, bad interviews, missed deadlines, poor guidance and so forth.  Junior year to first half of senior year is flat out the MOST challenging time in most middle class kids’ lives.

2.Detractors.  The Pats, Brady and Coach Belichick are hated by millions of fans. Pats supporters believe, with some justification, that the commissioner of the NFL also had some kind of weird vendetta against them.  Even some of Patriot Nation turned their backs when they learned of Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft’s friendships with President Trump!

College-bound teens  face detractors in the form of their fellow teens, and, yes, parents of other teens who root against them. Shocking, I know, but I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.  You may not like or believe this, but many parents and teens are ultra-competitive and a little sneaky or secretive about their tutors, college list and plans. And yes, there’s a lot trash talking, behind the back and, occasionally, in front of the faces (or smart phones) of fellow competitor-applicants.

3. Excuses.  The Pats had every reason in the world to have a mediocre season, let alone lose last night:  the aforementioned injuries, including the season-ender to the undefendable Rob Gronkowski, the four game suspension, which led to games featuring their 2nd string and 3rd string quarterbacks substituting for Brady.

Even if you hate the Pats, you have to admit that they never made excuses for not performing up to the standards they hoped to achieve.  They won three of their four Brady-less games and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in all sports, ever.

It’s too easy for kids and parents to make excuses in the college planning process:  ACT or SAT scores not as high as they should have been because the room was too hot or too cold. Or their tutor didn’t do a good job.  Or teachers giving bad grades because they “suck” or dislike the child for some reason.  Even when kids or parents miss deadlines to apply or file financial aid forms, because “No one told them.”  It may feel good, temporarily, to blame someone else for underperforming, but it’s not going to get you anywhere.

4. Game Plan.  The Pats had a plan for last night’s game. It didn’t look so great when they were down by 25.  But they believed in it, were flexible enough to made adjustments, and, most importantly, executed it, little by little, possession by possession.

Here’s a big issue in the college process: It is highly unusual for college-bound teens and their parents to have any semblance of a strategy, or plan. Instead, they focus on tactics, such as loading up on APs, taking the ACT 12 times, haphazardly coming up with a big project to fill up their activity sheet to “look good” on their college applications.  These types of tactics are arguably necessary, but lack an overarching, cohesive plan because they ignore fundamental questions such as “What is the goal beyond ‘Getting into a good school,” The definition of a “good school,” applying to a set of schools that compete with one another for the type of student your kid presents, “positioning” your child to enhance his/her candidacy, positioning yourself for the maximum amount of scholarships and financial aid, and more.  College-bound families would be smart to stop, take a breath, and do some serious THINKING about what they’re doing, and why.

5. Work ethic.  Sports writers have chronicled the insane work ethics of Brady and Belichick over the years. But my guess is that Belichick does not work harder than his peers, I’ve had three or four NFL coaches as clients over the years, and have always been struck by how much time they put in at the office.  I’m taking 14-18 hour days, six days a week for nine months.

But I marvel at Brady, whose motivation level is off the charts and unexplainable to a guy like me, considering how much he’s accomplished already and what he has going for him – the championships, the supermodel wife, more money than he can spend, the looks. If anyone should feel entitled to slack off a little, it’s Tommy. Yet he still, at age 39 (!), works as hard as any player in the NFL and has a mind blowing off-season routine of diet (green shakes, avocado ice cream) and exercise for hours per day.  Even if you can’t stand him, you have to respect his burning desire to be the best he can be.

Many kids have far more work to do than we parents did, growing up. But if you’re applying to a bunch of competitive colleges, your competition is working at least as hard as you. So if it means taking the AP class instead of honors, or doing one more practice ACT instead of messing around on Instagram or Snapchat, make that “sacrifice.”  (Incidentally, Brady was a terrific student at U Michigan, as was his Falcons counterpart Matt Ryan at Boston College.)

6. Faith.  Reportedly, there wasn’t any panic in the Patriots’ locker room at halftime, when they were down 18 and Atlanta’s defense appeared impregnable.  Disappointment, to be certain, but no yelling, crying or suicide attempts.  Instead, they had faith in themselves, which was the backbone of their resilience and victory.

Many kids today are not resilient. Frankly, a lot of us parents coddle them and try to shield them from adversity, to give them “the best.” It’s not just parents, at least directly, grade inflation in most high schools is rampant, for example.  Everyone has a 92 average an is in National Honor Society.

But this is counter-productive. Predictably, this leads to kids having a lack of confidence, and faith, in themselves, because they’ve never overcome any meaningful obstacles.  Even the slightest bit of negative feedback throws them for a loop.  My message to kids, and families, is that it’s ok to feel like sh*t if something doesn’t go your way, but trust yourself and keep working.  EVERYTHING will work out, so have faith.

7. Coaching. Yes, the Patriots work hard in practice, but I doubt that they work harder than most NFL teams.  To win, it’s about working hard AND smart – i.e. under the eyes of an experienced coach.

The most successful college applicants get coached through the process, too.  Lest you think this is a plug for me and our firm, it’s not.  Coaching can come in all sorts of sizes and shapes – guidance counselors (there are plenty of great ones), parents, even college consultants who are not named Andy and didn’t attend the same college as the greatest NFL coach of all time, “Bells,” as we referred to him back at Wesleyan.  Just kidding, he’s a wee bit older than I (but you just KNOW that someone must have called him that!).

The bigger point is that if you work hard, but dumb, you’ll fail.  Get help from someone with a track record of success that is qualified.

If you are interested in talking to us about our college coaching or other services, we are filling up with Class of 2018 families but still have availability.  You can book a free College Strategy Session here (regularly $249) because I’m all giddy about the Patriots and am in a celebratory mood.

Have a great day, God knows I am!

– Andy “Not Too Old To Be Immature About Sports” Lockwood

P.S.  The link for non-clients to book a chat is:

www.CollegeStrategySession.com

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):

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>REGISTER FOR UPCOMING WORKSHOP

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!

www.CollegeFinanceWorkshop.com

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!

>>>>>>>>>REGISTER FOR FREE COLLEGE PLANNING WORKSHOP

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

>>>>>>>>>REGISTER FOR FREE COLLEGE PLANNING WORKSHOP

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.

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.

www.CollegeTalkTuesday.live

ALSO…..

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.

www.CS4L.tv

Please pass this information along to other parents!

Andy “Just The Facts” Lockwood

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 🙂
    More!

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:

>>>>>>>>>>EVENT DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

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! 🙂

Will Hillary Pay Your Tuition?

Clinton's college reform proposal and you

Yesterday, the Clinton campaign released its latest college proposal re: college cost reform. I tried to email Hillary for comment, but [fill in your own joke here!].
 
The highlight was that an estimated 80% of middle class families would receive free tuition at state universities.
 
Will it happen?
 
Who knows. I’m skeptical that any congress would approve a bill like this, probably because they’d be stuck on one small issue:
 
Who the heck would PAY for this?
 
Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% in favor of massive reform, but I just can’t see how Hillary (Bernie Lite?) could pull this off, any more than I can picture a big wall protecting our borders.
 
I think student loans are a bigger problem – they are too easy to obtain, and actually end up driving college costs higher, instead of making them more accessible.
 
How? Colleges have no incentive to reign in their tuition and fees, since the government is paying the bill on behalf of students. Tuition and fees are up 1,100% in the last 25 years (cost of living has increased 300%, by way of comparison).
 
Then there’s the issue of the quality of education, i.e. what is the return the investment for plunking down all that money for tuition. I actually like the concept of some of College Scorecard, which grades colleges on student debt, rates of completion and other factors. But it’s imperfect, because it overlooks crucial considerations such as the effort made by students, which of course varies and seems impossible to account for.
 
My advice? Don’t wait for Hillary, Santa Claus or anyone else to save the day.
 
You need to take matters into your own hands. Get your head out of the sand, maybe it’s been there for 15, 16 years, but it’s time to realize that things will not just magically work themselves out.
 
Your best bet to win the high stakes game of college is to arm yourself with knowledge that PAYS…
 
…and then IMPLEMENT it, so you can rake in huge discounts, and avoid deadly mistakes that can sabotage your eligibility for grants and scholarships.
 
The average discount offered by colleges is 48.6% – which means that there is a TON of scholarship and grant money out there if you know where to look.
 
 
There one more day left to enroll in Instant College Funding for 50% off (coupon code ‘1776’).
 
This training covers all the ins and outs of the financial aid system, so that you can get every last cent of what you deserve and need to send your child to his top choice school.
 
It also includes a walk through of the two main financial aid forms, the FAFSA and CSS Profile, which highlights each and and every money saving “loophole” – and deadly, money-losing “landmines” to avoid like a sandwich from a gas station.
Plus, you get sample letters, checklists and other bonuses that could, quite accurately and literally, save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
 
I realize that sounds like Trumpian carnival barking puffery, but our clients’ results support every letter in this email.
 
ICF is guaranteed, too! All details are here:
 
 
Use the coupon code ‘1776’ (no quotes) at checkout to activate your discount.
Start your no-risk, trial membership today!
 
Your Friendly College Planning Guru,
 
– Andy Lockwood
 
P.S. Questions? Shoot us an email, I’ve been trying to keep up with my inbox since I got back from vacation!
andy@andylockwood.com
516 882 5464

Declare Your Independence From The Overpriced, Rip Off Colleges

Arm yourself with insider knowledge on how to multiply your eligibility for financial aid and scholarships

This is completely unusual for us  – you can get our Instant College Funding System for 50% off right now AND a big fat bonus:  a personal review/critique of your financial aid forms…

…so we can catch any glaring, money-losing errors BEFORE the financial aid office does!

The “sticker price” on this system is $497- so you’re getting everything at a tiny fraction of that price (a measly $248.50!).

Check out this page where I explain everything  – including our unconditional, no hassles satisfacton guarantee.  Enter the coupon code ‘1776’ (no quotes) for the discount.

Why are we doing this goofy “Independence Week” sale?

Two hundred-plus years ago the Founders rose up against unfair, oppressive tyranny revolving around taxation without representation. In other words, they were getting ripped off.

Today’s “Forgotten Middle Class” families are facing a new tyranny: overpriced, rip-off colleges charging us up the wazoo for an education, the value of which is highly questionable, to say the least.

  • Student debt passed the $1.4 Trillion mark

  • Defaults are at least 20%

  • Student debt is the prime reason cited by college grads why they’re not starting a business or buying a home

  • 50% of recent college grads don’t have a job that requires a college degree!

I could go on and on with this declaration, but you get the point.  The deck is stacked against you, so now we’re doing something about it like Paul Revere riding through Boston, shouting his famous warning, whatever he actually said!

The other reason is that feedback from our initial “beta” group of customers has been flat out amazing, so I wanted to give you the same opportunity!

So…I am going to bend over backwards to get the Instant College Funding System into your hands…to the tune of 50% off.

ICF includes an incredibly easy to use, fun to watch series of lessons, checklists and other materials  on how to quickly, easily and accurately file your financial aid forms so you don’t lose out on financial aid because of a dumb mistake.

Even seemingly harmless, little errors can result in the lost of thousands – even TENS of thousands – of dollars of financial aid you otherwise deserved.   (I’m talking about mistakes of commission AND mistakes of omission!)

More importantly, you’ll see exactly where the specific money-sucking “landmines” lurk that you’ll need to avoid if you want to get the most $$ you’re entitled to.

Plus it covers what to do if you got “hosed” by the financial aid office, ‘cause it ain’t over until it’s over!  I’ll train you how to negotiate with the financial aid office so you can squeeze a few extra bucks out of them after their “final” offer!

And there’s more – the ICF system includes grant and scholarship-enhancing sneaky (but legal!) strategies to MULTIPLY your eligibility

…whether you’re a “Last Minute Louie” with deadlines looming (I know it’s summer, but FAFSA comes out in less than four months!) , or 1-2 years away from filing (you have a Junior or Sophomore).

You’ll never get this info from your guidance counselor, accountant or any book.  No way.

You’ll never get this info for a price this low, either.

30 Day Guarantee

There’s no risk to you, in the least, because this product is covered by a 30 day, no questions asked, 100% satisfaction guarantee. You’ll see it on the description page.

But you must act now – I’m increasing the price back to $497 because feedback from past customers has made it crystal clear what incredible value we’re providing.

The HALF OFF sale ends midnight Saturday June 9th.

Go here to find out more.

*Enter the coupon code ‘1776’ (no quotes) for the discount.*

Plus, when you enroll in Instant College Funding System before midnight on Saturday, you get 3 additional bonuses worth $841:

— Bonus #1: We will personally review your FAFSA, CSS Profile and any other financial aid forms BEFORE you file, to give ‘em the once over and catch any glaring mistakes or identify any overlooked opportunities to save $$.  Value:  $495

Letters That Worked – letters of appeal/negotiation sent to financial aid offices to improve initial, stingy offers, editable in MS Word.  Each produced more than $16,000 in improved offers. (Each, not total!)  Value:  $97

**This can be pretty doggone valuable: last year, we helped one of our beta customers get an extra $16,200 from Harvard – their initial offer was a goose egg!** This year we used the same techniques to goose an initial offer from Muhlenberg by $10,075.  Two years ago, we improved an offer from Emory by $38,579.  (Each figure is for ONE year, fyi).

Note from the Legal Department (me): Obviously I cannot promise or imply that you’ll get similar results, but don’t you agree how this unconditionally guaranteed, trial offer is a no-brainer for any reasonable person?)

— Bonus #3 –

Fast Start Consultation – for the first 12 to enroll, complimentary phone consultation to ensure that you’re going down the right path with ICF and using it in the most time-efficient manner possible for your personal circumstances.  Value:  $249

Any of these bonuses could create a windfall for you that far exceeds the miniscule price you’d lay out to grab your membership today.  Think about it, any one little smidge of the advice contained in these 29-odd lessons could save you $2,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 – per YEAR – per kid!

All told, with your special discount, you’re saving 50% off the “sticker price” for the Instant College Funding System!

This is how you can make the smartest possible investment in your future…and your college-bound teens’ futures….for a teensy  fraction of the sticker price. 🙂

Which means that you could comfortably afford to send your deserving teen to her “dream” school, the one she worked so hard to get into!

My private consulting clients pay $2,500-8,500 for much of the advice contained in ICF.  Today, you can “steal” the same information for pennies on the dollar.

Here’s your link you need to get going with the Instant College Funding System, and in just seconds, you’ll be inside, learning all of our college cost-busting, secret  tools!

>>>>>>>>>INSTANT COLLEGE FUNDING SYSTEM SPECIAL

Enter the coupon code ‘1776’ (no quotes) for the discount.

Talk soon,

Andy Lockwood

PS – This BIG TIME sale ends at midnight on Saturday, July 9th!

To get your discount, just go here, don’t forget the code ‘1776’ to get 50% off.

P.P.S.  I know this sounds hypey, but the truth is self evident – whether you have a rising Senior, Junior or younger, the Instant College Funding System could change you and your child’s life.

New student loan rates announced

Rates for Direct subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS loans change each July (here are the new ones)

The new student loan rates are here! (Blech.)

Interest rates are one thing, fees and other terms are another.  I will be teaching a class on this stuff sometime before end of the summer.  Join our mailing list if you want this info:  CollegeSuccessBulletin.com

2016-2017 student loan rates