Ep. 35 Does Your College Major Matter?

Does Your College Major Matter?This episode is a discussion about whether or not if the school you select or your college major choice really matters when it comes to career opportunities. This topic comes from an a blog article on the website – CollegeFactual.com.  They explore the issue of supply and demand for a college major but we look at the issue from a broader perspective. Enjoy.

Scholarship Spotlight – The Google Anita Borg Scholarship.

Google’s commitment to encourage women to pursue careers in computing and technology has led them to establish the Google Anita Borg Scholarship. The intent is to encourage women to become role models and leaders in computing and technology.

Scholarships are awarded after a review of a candidate’s academic background and leadership. Award amounts vary from $1,000 to $10,000.

BONUS: Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Scholarship Spotlight: The Ken Reeves Memorial AccuWeather Undergraduate Scholarship in Meteorology. They offer one scholarship per year for $1000 for any undergraduate student sophomore – senior enrolled in a meteorology program. DEADLINE May 27, 2016

Bonus- Financial Aid Offers

It is probably time for you to compare your financial aid offers.  How do you know you are comparing apples to apples? What do you do when the school you REALLY want has not responded with an offer? Today’s episode is a review of a recent article in USA TODAY about sticker price shock and how to effectively compare financial aid offers.


Ep. 33 College Success and DEBT FREE!



The Scholarship System

This episode is with Jocelyn Paonita Pearson.  Her website is TheScholarshipSystem.com and she was able to graduate debt free by securing over $125K in scholarships for herself.

She talks about how it is really possible to find the scholarships you need and go through college without incurring debt. She then started her career in finance with her new corporate job but quickly realized that there were still alot of people struggling with understanding college finances.  She quit her corporate job and put her knowledge into a book – The Scholarship System (available on AMAZON).  This is a step-by-step blueprint that goes into all aspects of college funding.

The Book


If you prefer to take an online course and get the information about the scholarship system, you should enroll in her course – The Scholarship School.  Click on the graphic to find out more about the course which outlines her system to help you graduate debt free.  You can also view the webinar which gives you a sneak peak into the course.

Here are her tips:

  • Don’t quit! Keep applying for scholarships and treat it like a job with purpose and dedication.
  • Be aware of and stay away from the SCAMS (those sweepstakes that promise you $1000)
  • There is money out there for everyone


Links to contact Jocelyn:

Website – The Scholarship System

Webinar – Claim Your Spot at The Scholarship System’s Free Webinar Now!

Scholarship Spotlight: Jerry Fuchs “Making a Difference” Scholarship Program

This is sponsored by Minority Athletes Networking Etc., Inc. (@GeorgeMartinNYG on Twitter) This scholarship is open to student or athlete with a B or C grad point average, high SAT scores but low GPA, looking to go into technical/medical areas and have a single parent or at risk family.  Deadline is March 31, 2016.

Ep. 32 How to Deal with the High Cost of College

How to Deal with the High Cost of CollegeIn today’s episode, we interview Brad Baldridge, and talk about money strategies to deal with the high cost of college. Mr. Baldridge is a late-stage college planning specialist and podcast host (Taming the High Cost of College). He helps parents of high school students plan and pay for college using strategies such as merit aid, need based aid, tax planning, savings and investing for college, negotiating with colleges, scholarships and loans.

He works with many parents/families with high incomes that may not qualify for need based aid.  Here are some tips:

  1. Gift assets to your children to pay for college
  2. Utilize college savings plans for the tax benefits
  3. Shift more income into retirement plans for better tax planning

Mr. Baldridge talks about how to pay for the high cost of college utilizing tax scholarships.  That means paying for college tax efficiently.  For example, shift income to students if you own a business or rental property by hiring your student to do yard work or as a part-time employee.  This would create an expenses that is deductible on your taxes.  Another example would be to take advantage of the tax credit available to families with up to $2500 in education expenses per child.  Contact the IRS.gov website for information about tax credits for education expenses.

The last question I ask deals with the current political climate in which both of the Democratic candidates talk about their plan about dealing with the high cost of college:

Bernie Sanders’ Plan @BernieSanders

Hillary Clinton’s Plan @HillaryClinton

Links mentioned in this episode:

Website – Tamingthehighcostofcollege.com

Scholarship Guide for Busy Parents

Contact Brad

Ep. 30 Should You Consider Community College?

Scholarship Spotlight: The Generation Google Scholarship


Google Scholarship

For current university, community college students and high school seniors in the US or Canada for the 2016-2017 school year who are interested in pursuing computer science or computer engineering degree.  If you are a student from an underrepresented group in computer science (African American, Hispanic or American Indian. You will be required to attend Google Computer Science Summer Institute this summer 2016.  Deadline March 3, 2016.

This is our first video on the College Money Maze Podcast (As a brother/sister dynamic duo, do you think we look alike?).  We were experimenting with a new platform called ZOOM.  Great for meetings, trainings, presentations, interviews, etc…

Our topic today about community college was inspired by an article that I came across from The Washington Post “What’s wrong with going to a community college? How two-year colleges can be better than four-year universities.”

We even get into politics and reference President Obama’s plan #PresidentObamaFreeCommunityCollege for community college education and also what Democratic Candidate for President, Senator Bernie Sanders #BernieSandersFreeTuition talks about making college tuition free.

Let us know your thoughts by commenting on our discussion in the space below.

Ep. 29 Scholarship Success Story: Meet Briana!

Scholarship Success: How to stand outIn this episode, we present another parents/student scholarship success story. We want to introduce Brianna J., daughter of Aretha and Kevin.  She is currently a freshman at Hampton University in Virginia. She and her mother talk in depth about the college search process, extracurricular activities, applying for local scholarship, sports (volleyball), HBCU and her entire journey.

The colleges & links mentioned in this episode:

Rutgers University

Morgan State University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

University of Maryland

Loyola University

Kean University

Howard University

Spelman College

Temple University

Ramapo College


The Common Application

Jack and Jill of America, Inc.


[spp-tweet tweet=”Scholarship Tweet: Don’t leave money on the table!”]

Tips for parents & students:

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan – start as early as possible, for example account for expenses related to additional tutoring and what the financial impact for applying to many schools can be on your pocketbook.
  2. Be committed to the process. Use social media as a vehicle to find your scholarship.
  3. Find a way to handle stress in senior year with deadlines (exercise, go for a walk, etc…)
  4. Don’t procrastinate! Learn good time management techniques. Start college and scholarship essays as early as possible.



Bonus: Super Scholarship Secrets from The College Savvy Coach

The College Savvy Coach

The College Savvy Coach

We have a special guest for this BONUS episode – Sia Knight, The College Savvy Coach. She is a former teacher, counselor, administrator turned entrepreneur (founder of The College Savvy Coach) and educational consultant. She brings us some “pearls of wisdom” about scholarship and college admission in general. She has a FREE webinarSUPER SCHOLARSHIP WEBINAR on February 4th, 2016 8pm EST (check FACEBOOK page for additional dates).  You can register HERE for the webinar.

We are very fortunate to have her as a guest.  She gives us a sneak peak into the webinar and share some of those secrets with us such as how to maximize your HS counselor to your advantage, how to compose an application strategy for college and some of the biggest mistakes that lead to less money for college.

[spp-tweet tweet=”It’s not Who You Know, it’s really WHO KNOWS YOU!”]

Register for the webinar TODAY!.

Tips from The College Savvy Coach:

  1. Get to know your H.S. Counselor. When they need to recommend someone for a scholarship, let it be you.
  2. Teach your child to be their own best advocate.
  3. Start your child with an internship or leadership building activity in middle school or early high school.
  4. Teach your student to foster relationships early with other volunteer organizations if you are not that academic super star (to leverage later for scholarships). An example would be Boys & Girls clubs, Urban League or youth groups of fraternal organizations.
  5. How to be a GREAT student – Good isn’t good enough! Colleges are looking for GREAT students: Grades, References, Extracurricular, Avatar (online presence) & Test Score.
  6. Take courses in high school that are rigorous enough to let colleges know you can handle challenging courses.
  7. Get recommendations from school counselor and supplementary ones as needed.
  8. Don’t rush senior year and load up on extracurricular activities. Plan for that earlier in high school.
  9. Believe that college reps do look at your online (google, Facebook, instagram etc…) image!
  10. Be aware of the upcoming changes to the SAT and ACT.

How to contact Sia Knight:

website – Sia Knight, The College Savvy Coach

Twitter – @SiaKnight


Ep. 20 Road Trip: Philadelphia College Fair

This episode is a recap/debrief of our recent road trip to the College Fair in Philadelphia.  The college fair is sponsored by NACAC – National Association of College Admission Counselors. They have a complete listing of college fairs across the country for the fall and spring season every year.  This was my first experience and my brother’s second with his family. There were well over 800 colleges in attendance at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.College Fair

I try to describe it for you but you must attend one local to you atlas 2-3 times between sophomore and senior year of high school. The first time attending a college fair with a sophomore (or younger) is just to get them used to the concept.  The second time you attend with your child should be between 10th and 11th grade.  They most likely have more of a focus or an idea of what they want to major in. If they are interested in sports, they will be attracted to those schools and teams that they have heard and/or seen on TV.  By senior year, they will be laser focused when attending and only visit the top 5-10 schools of their choice and spending more quality time with the admissions person to show their genuine interest.

There is a lot of literature, brochures, cool stuff that they give away.  The schools that caught our interest were:

Rutgers (of course!)

Arcadia University

Virginia Tech

Rowan University

We also discuss the various workshops that we each attended.  There were representatives from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).  They answered questions about financial aid, FAFSA, scholarships etc…

Other financial aid resources:







Scholarship resources:





Ep. 19 Creating College Lists for the Home Schooled Student Athlete – DIY Style

Michelle-Kretzschmar-250Our guest on the podcast today is Michelle Kretzschmar, author and founder of DIYCollegeRankings.com.  Here website is a resource for parents interested in a streamlined approach to college recruiting for the student athlete as well as searchable college lists (in Excel) that contain demographics and ranking criteria.

This searchable spreadsheet is great for anyone that loves research, loves data and wants the information at your fingertips. This will save you time from going to each of the college websites and be able to compare your choices, side by side.  The existing search options are confusing and hard the data is hard to locate.

She is the author of Creating College Lists: Your Guide to Using College Website to Pay Less for a Better EducationShe writes in detail about how imperative it is to narrow down your search for college by analyzing the correct variables on each college’s website.  The benefit is that she has done it for you to save time and more important MONEY!  You can pick up her book (using our affiliate link, we will earn a commission and you help support the show) on our resource page HERE or get it on AMAZON HERE.

If you are child is interested in playing college baseball, soccer or softball you can find Michelle’s college lists and searchable spreadsheets for these specific sports on her website.  She charges a nominal fee for these spreadsheets but you SAVE time and money because she has done all of the research for you. You can access them by clicking on our affiliate links below:
GET The DIY College Spreadsheet!
Baseball Spreadsheet!
Soccer Spreadsheet!
Softball Spreadsheet!

DIY Link to Free Resources


Contacting Michelle:

Facebook Group






Ep. 18 The Common Application: What is it?

SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Doodle 4 Google contest for students/artists K-12.  One winner will receive $30,000 DEADLINE: December 7, 2015.

SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT: The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance will award $4000 to one student EACH SEMESTER whole life has been impacted by cancer. Apply now for the Spring 2016 Semester.
autumnbrewToday’s topic is The Common Application. The purpose of the common application is for students to fill out one application, pay one fee and apply to multiple colleges at the same time.

This idea will save the student, time, money and their website also allows you to store all of your information in one place. They tout it as a seamless way to manage the admission process.

There are currently over 600 colleges that are currently members of the organization that administers the common application and the website.

One of the resources on the website is a list of all of the member colleges, their deadlines, fees, requirements and the schools test policy.

In contrast to this, 80 public and private (upper level private and ivy league schools) in the U.S. have forged a coalition – The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success – to improve the college admission process.  Their goal is begin the “interactive process” with potential students earlier, as in 9th grade.  There was a press release on September 28, 2015 to announce the coalition, its’ goals and how they intend on creating additional tools, resources and also accept applications through their portal beginning summer of 2016.




The Common Application

The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success

The Common Black College Application

Scholarships Mentioned in this episode – Doodle 4 Google/ The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship

Book Recommendation:


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