Fact vs Fiction For College Applications & Financial Aid [webinar]

Hi, there are SOOOO many half-truths, urban legends and outright lies about the college process circulating among parents and kids.  I’ll give you a few of my faves so you can be on the lookout, esp. during junior year of high school, creshendoing in the summer and fall of senior year.

Some are perpetuated by uber-competitive parents, jockeying for position on behalf of their kids.  You know who I’m talking about, the ones who bump and elbow themselves to the head of the line during “College Night” at the local hotel or high school, or ask loud questions-that-aren’t-questions on college tours to 1. brag about their kids, 2. hear their own voices and 3. psych out other families.

But others are reinforced by unwitting guidance counselors and teachers, who you’d think would know better.  Here’s a short list:

  • We can’t possibly qualify for any financial aid because we make too much
  • My kid will never get a merit scholarship because she hasn’t cured a deadly disease yet
  • Colleges love kids to do a ton of extracurricular activities because it shows that they’re well-rounded and “looks good” for college
  • _________ college accepts 5 kids from our high school each year, max (so I’m not going to tell you where I’m applying because I don’t want you to also apply and “take my spot” from this quota)
  • We’re getting a lot of emails and phone calls from _________ college, they’re really interested in us!
  • Reading emails/social media posts/random thoughts from a heavy, Jewish college planner in Long Island who thinks he’s funny is a good use of your time

OK, so I hope you don’t think the last one is a lie, but, sadly, plenty of people do.  (Personally, I prefer to think of myself as “big-boned.”)

Tonight we’re running a live webinar to cut through the clutter in three gi-normous areas:

  • Getting into a top college
  • Getting grants and scholarships
  • Choosing a list of colleges that can actually help you succeed POST-college

Here’s where to get all the deets and sign up:

12 Summer To-Do’s For Class Of 2018 Families

We’re going live at 7pm, I will have a gift ready and waiting for those of you who show up on time!

Pearl will be running chat, so you can get all of your questions answered, time permitting.  Topics to be covered include:

  • How to navigate the financial aid process, including what to file and WHEN to file them
  • Common financial aid mistakes that will “rob” you of financial aid and scholarships you otherwise deserve
  • College essay  – what to write, what NOT to write, more
  • How to stand out in a “Sea Of Sameness” – The Activity Sheet and Resume
  • The inconvenient, politically-incorrect truth about what college admissions officers are really looking for in a candidate
  • More!

This class is absolutely free to attend, but we have not configured a replay.   Here’s where to sign up:


Please forward/share with everyone you think could use this info!

-Andy “No Filter” Lockwood

Summer College To-Do’s For Class Of 2018 Families

Can you guess the biggest problem that frustrates college applicants and their parents (esp. their “Primary Parents,” a/k/a “Mom”)?

It’s not financial aid and/or scholarships paperwork.

It’s not the essays.

It’s not even the general feeling of overwhelm, as in, “I don’t even know where to start or what questions to ask!”

These are daunting, fo’ sho’, but for my money, they’re not the Numero Uno biggie.  My pick:

Running out of time.

But don’t take my word for it, ask any parent who’s been through the college application process, my guess is that 95% of them wish they had gotten “serious” earlier.

If you have a high school junior (Class Of 2018), we’re doing a free webinar geared toward you – 12 Summer To-Do’s For Class Of 2018 Families

Here’s a sneak peak at three of them, which may or may not make the final cut for Thursday’s class:

  1. Get a handle on the college essays, meaning put the Common App essay to bed by the end of July (even though the Common App gets released August 1, we already know the essay prompts, or questions).
  2. Figure out whether you can possibly qualify for need-based aid by using a tool like the FAFSA Forecaster to calculate your Estimated Family Contribution. But do not stop there – determine whether you can improve your eligibility by “sheltering” (not “hiding” – that’s so sleazy! 🙂 your assets legally and ethically.
  3. Manage expectations.  Yes, it would be nice to brag about attending an Ivy League school, but if you’re an A minus kid with above average (but not record setting) ACT or SAT scores, you’d be smart to balance out your list.  Parents, have that awkward conversation about FINANCES now, as in, Look, I hope you get into your  “Dream College,” but we don’t know whether they’ll give us enough financial assistance to send you.  This process is not solely about you and your needs, we have your siblings/our retirement/fill in the blank to consider also. Trust me, enduring the unpleasantness of this chat now will be much better than medium term severe pain in six months or so, when college acceptances roll in.

There’s your snippet!  Lots more to come this Thursday night.  This class is absolutely free to attend but we have not figured out whether we’re going to do a replay or not.   All details are here:


Please forward/share with everyone you think could use this info!

Hope to see you on the interwebs Thursday night!

-Andy “Summer College Fun In The Sun” Lockwood

For Incomparable Applicant Organizer Members Only

Book a FREE College Strategy Session (regularly $249)

If you want help with:

  • Choosing a balanced list of colleges that will help your child succeed post-college
  • Getting into those colleges via our proprietary Incomparable Applicant system
  • College essays, applications
  • Financial aid and scholarships
  • Inspiring, motivating and coaching kids through choosing majors and careers
  • Removing the stress, frustration and panic that afflicts parents of college-bound teens!

You can book a complimentary College Strategy Session, here, because you own the Incomparable Applicant Organizer!

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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 www.CS4L.tv

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.

Permit me to wake the sleeping elephant in the room….

It’s incredibly easy to go to college and learn NOTHING that will help you get a job or be productive AFTER college.

You can waste four years  (hopefully, see below) majoring in Marine Biology, which hundreds of colleges offer, but Faith and Begorrah, when is the last time you met an actual marine biologist who was gainfully employed, and whose main job tasks were not “Feed Shamu, clean tank?”

In order to not overly stir the hornet’s nest, I will merely mention other non-productive, yet popular, majors and refrain from commentary.  You’ll have to insert your own snarky comments (see if you can beat “feed shamu, clean tank”):

Graphic Design, Art and Women’s Studies.

Each a hugely popular major. Each leads to, well…draw your own conclusions. I promised restraint!

Problem 2:  50% of kids who graduated in the last two years are UNDERemployed – working in jobs that don’t require a college degree.  In other words, they’re strapping on their green aprons, headsets and whipping up sugary coffee drinks that nobody can pronounce.

Nothing against coffee, I am a caffeine addict myself.  (Pearl and I started a support group.  We are currently the only members, we meet at 6am.  Over coffee.) But I am against working in in a coffee shop after mom and dad blew $250,000 on your pre-coffee shop education.

Problem 3:  80% of kids switch majors, mostly because they don’t have a clue about what they want to do with the rest of their lives.  That’s normal, but the implications are an extra one or two years in college at 50K a clip (less than 39% of kids graduate in four years)…

…PLUS the opportunity cost of not working in those “bonus” college years, perhaps at another $40K per year.

In the aggregate, this is easily a $100,000-$200,000 problem!

Compound this with student debt passing the $1.4 Trillion mark, defaults increasing each time they’re reported….

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Kids don’t have to go into college blind, without any semblance of a plan.

The main reason why teens have no clue about what they want to do is because they don’t know the right questions to ask.

Questions like:

  • How am I “wired?”

  • What do I need to be successful?

  • What situations should I steer clear of?

  • Which careers and majors match my wiring?

  • Which careers are projected to grow?

Pearl and I are running a free, online training session this Thursday night, on how to become an ‘Incomparable Applicant.”  It’s part of a summer promotion for a relaunch of a coaching program by the same name.

The premise is that you’re competing with thousands of other kids with the same grades and scores, how can you distinguish yourself – how do you answer the question, Why should we take YOU compared to these other 5,000 near-identical applicants?  But that’s not the most important issue, even though you’re probably focused on that.

Yes, college is important, it’s great, it’s formative, yadda yadda yadda.  But today, more than ever, it’s imperative that college LEAD to something.  That it provides a semblance of a return on investment.

ROI means two things:  1. you get “it” (an education) for the lowest price, and 2., you get something greater OUT of it compared to what you put in.

That’s why our webinar will cover not only how to get in, how to pick schools, how to write essays etc. etc. etc….

But we’ll also cover how to get money for college and how to choose a major that will telegraph to a potential employer “Hey, this kid’s got what we need!”

Somehow we’re going to squeeze it all into one hour! 🙂


If you can’t make it live but want to tune in, sign up anyway, because the replay will be available to all registrants through the weekend.

Please share this with other parents of college-bound teens who are stressed out, casting about, or otherwise need a clear path and an entertaining, charming, incredibly modest voice of sanity!

Lockwood out.

P.S.  Here’s the link to register.  Anyone signing up will be notified of the replay once it’s available.career counseling guru kajabi