Ep. 17 How To Find the Right College

How To Rind The RIGHT COLLEGE eBook

In today’s episode, we welcome admissions expert Regina Paul.  She and Marie Segares host the podcast – NY COLLEGE CHAT.  She talks in depth about a special kind of high school program that she works at that combines high school curriculum with university level coursework.

They have taken their professional knowledge as educators, the information they have shared on their podcast, their experience working with families and created a book – HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT COLLEGE: A Workbook for Parents of High School Students.

Marie Segares and Regina Paul










Links in today’s episode:

The eBOOK: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT COLLEGE: A Workbook for Parents of High School Students

Contact Info:

NY College Chat Podcast

Policy Studies Inc.


Facebook: NY College Chat





Ep. 16 How to Start College Planning and the Black Kids College Project

VICTORYTamara Marie Jones is a tenacious parent who thought about college planning early and “treated it like a business”. Listen to this episode as she shares her story of getting both of her children into college, how she helped her son transfer to another college and gives tips for parents going through the journey of college planning.  She also shares her motivation for turning all of her experience into the Black Kids College Project.

Tamara’s tips:

  • Do not take a “hands-off model” approach to the college planning process. Too risky to leave it to chance. Risk is far too great to leave it to your child.
  • Start out by developing a strong action plan and make sure you and your child have a “shared vision” about their educational future.
  • Focus on the students’ uniqueness.
  • Consider schools out of your geographic region – small private colleges give large sums of grant/aid monies in their packages. Broaden your scope.
  • Start with your what your kid reads in middle school. Take a career inventory to find out what they are interested in.
  • Suggestion to apply to schools where your child is at the top of the test score & GPA range that the school accepts. This makes them more of a “coveted applicant”.
  • Start the college planning process by having a dialogue with college admissions counselors in the 11th grade (Parent & Child). Create touch points.
  • Find out about the “common data set” for the colleges of your choice. A PDF document that contains information about the college, college graduation rates and contains specifics of what admissions counselors care about. Keep track of this data for each school by using an excel spreadsheet. The parent would use the info to rank the school as a “reach, match or just right” for their child.

[spp-tweet tweet=”Demonstrated interest increases your childs’ chance of merit aid and admission”]

Links in this episode:


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Black Kids College Project

George C. Brooks Scholarship – (University of Missouri)

Raise Me Scholarships (as early as 9th grade!)

Sponsors for Educational Opportunities – SEO Career (Internship Portal)

College Confidential

Fast Web

How to contact Tamara:


Black Kids College Project FACEBOOK Page

Twitter – @blackkidscollegeproj



Ep. 13 Which Colleges Require You Take the 50-Minute SAT Essay?

50 minute SAT essay test

50 minute SAT essay test

In this episode, we discuss current events in the college admission industry. There were two articles of interest, the first one from a Washington, D.C. news site (examiner .com) that talked about which colleges would be requiring that students take the “optional” 50 minute SAT essay.   As if the testing changes were not confusing enough. Many schools have a “wait and see” attitude towards the new SAT, its’ sub-scores and how they will be interpreting that information. Other schools have made a definite policy decision whether or not they are requiring the optional writing section. The ACT and COLLEGE BOARD have charts on their websites with the colleges that have reported to them about this issue.

The other article from Forbes.com unveiled a little known fact that FAFSA and the ACT report to the individual colleges where they are “ranked” on your application or test. This information is critical to the schools who are always looking for an indication of how a student perceives them. Unknowingly to you, they may make critical decisions on your admission with this information. You may not have intended it the way it is being interpreted. The suggestion for a resolution is to list your schools on the FAFSA or the ACT in alphabetical order.

SCHOLARSHIP SPOTLIGHT: The CHOBANI Scholarship $5,000 awarded annually (non-renewable) given by New York Women in Communications, Inc.

Other Links discussed:

PSAT – National Merit Scholarships Qualifying Test

Scholly App (in ITunes)

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., National Education Foundation

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Foundation



Ep. 12 What College Bound Students & Parents Should REALLY Know About the Prevalence of Campus Sexual Assaults

Campus Sexual AssaultsThis episode is a interview with Ursula Johnson who is a licensed therapist and has been in the sexual violence prevention field for over 20 years.  Fortunately for her daughter, she knew the “right questions to ask” colleges about how prevalent campus sexual assaults are to ensure her child’s safety.

Campus sexual Assaults

What is Rape Culture?

She begins with sharing her college planning tips for parents:

  • Start looking early at schools, preferably in their sophomore year;
  • Make the High School Counselor work for you, its’ their job;
  • Have the “financial talk” with your child before they begin looking at specific schools
  • If they are considering a minor, will they be able to graduate “on-time”?

Ursula then cites some very sobering statistics about sexual assault such as “every two minutes a woman is raped”; “1 in 6 young men will be a victim of sexual assault”; and [spp-tweet tweet=””sexual violence is the #1 underreported crime”.  “]

She also highlights how some campuses goto great lengths to hid this information from the general public about campus sexual assaults which may tarnish their schools’ reputation and affect enrollment. One example is a story about the University of Notre Dame and their “history” of campus sexual assault cases that are not handled properly and the victim in this one instance was being harassed by friends of the accuser. As a result she committed suicide.  (The Huffington Post ran a story earlier this year about the movie “The Hunting Ground”. Read the story here.)

Another similar story happened at Amherst College and their “notorious policies” that benefit the alleged rapists as opposed to the victims of campus sexual assault. The victim himself felt “victimized” and committed suicide. (Read The Huffington Post story here.)

Ursula commented that (in the state of NJ), every county has a sexual violation prevention program/rape crisis center.  Go there (in the county of the schools your are considering) and ask them about the statistics on the college campuses in their area.

Here are Ursula’s top tips for college bound students:

  1. Don’t leave your drink unattended.
  2. Go out with Friends you trust.
  3. If your friend tell you something like this happened to them, BELIEVE THEM & Don’t Judge!
  4. Ask if the college has a Title IX Administrator
  5. Ask security during your next college visit what they would do if something happens.
  6. Parents should read the student handbook


Resources mentioned in this episode:

The President’s Task Force on Sexual Assault




USA Today Article

Dr. David Lisak Interview

Ursula’s contact info:

Twitter: @hearthetruth

Email (to talk with someone) – ucantellmeyourstory@gmail.com


Ep. 8 Have You Calculated ALL Your College Costs?

College Costs


This is the first of many conversations that we will have on the subject of college costs. We define common terms as well as give real-time examples from specific institutions about “hidden” college costs.

We also talk briefly about what you may bring with you as a first-year student and what expenses to watch out for. The sample schools that we discuss are:

Kean University Net Price Calculator

Penn State University

Rutgers University Office of Financial Aide

Seton Hall University

Other Links:

College Board’s Net Price Calculator

U.S. Department of Education Net Price Calculator Center

U.S. New & World Report Net Price Calculator

Federal Student Aid – U.S. Department of Education (Expected Family Contribution)




Ep. 7 College Visit: University of Delaware


University of Delaware with Charlie and our college tour guide, courtesy of a Soror from Chi Theta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

College Street Sign: Lovett Ave - University of Delaware

College Street Sign: Lovett Ave – University of Delaware

In this episode, we provide our review of the University of Delaware. This was our second college visit and we compare and contrast this institution with the previous one.  This was their Discovery Day and it was well attended. We went on a campus tour. Our lovely tourguide was a student who happen to be a Soror of mine from Chi Theta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

In the caption of the photo above with myself and Charlie, notice the street sign – Lovett Ave.  Hmmm………. that might be a good sign that this street has my families last name. COINCIDENCE???  Tell me your thoughts below, leave us a comment.

Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about this episode. Join our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY – The College Money Maze Community – to get first access to the scholarships and resources that are posted.



Ep. 6 Scholarship Success Story: Michael & Michele Christian

Scholarship Success: The Christian Family

Scholarship success: The Christian Family

One of the newest features at The College Money Maze Podcast is our Scholarship Success Stories. We will be profiling parents and students who have successfully navigated this college journey and were able to obtain a scholarship (or many) to fund their own or their child’s education. When Todd and I came up with the concept for the podcast, this topic was the main thing I wanted to do. I thought to myself, why not highlight successful people who have paved the way so others can benefit from their wisdom. There is no need in reinventing the wheel!

Our first set of parents is Michael and Michele Christian. In order to be totally transparent, Michele is a friend of ours from our home town in New Jersey. She is married to Michael and they have two children together, Brandon and Brianna. Michael has an older daughter, Alexis from a prior relationship. Brianna is their oldest daughter who graduated from high school this year and will be attending Rutgers University – New Brunswick Campus (GO SCARLET KNIGHTS!) in the fall. Michele graduated from Seton Hall University and Michael is from the west coast and is an alumna of California State Polytechnic University.

Their top tips for other Parents/Students:

  1. Start looking ASAP! ideally, as soon as they start high school
  2. Good idea to start studying for the PSAT/SAT as soon as possible, preferably in junior year.  Sometimes you get better scores when there is no pressure.
  3. Work hard on the college essay, it is very important.
  4. Listen to your child.  Don’t try to control them or the process.

Links mentioned in this episode:

George School

A Better Chance Program

Johns Hopkins University

Rutgers University, New Brunswick


Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about this episode. Join our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY – The College Money Maze Community – to get first access to the scholarships and resources that are posted.



Ep. 5 Our First College Visit: HBCU Cheyney University

The College Money Maze gang went to our first college visit, HBCU Cheyney University and we discuss our experiences from different perspectives: being a minority, having attended and graduated from a larger university and looking at the college student experience.

Our first college visit, HBCU Cheyney University

Our first college visit, HBCU Cheyney University

Cheyney is located in Cheyney, PA and situated in a rural setting. You could pass the entrance on this dirt road and never know it. The signage from the main road is not very large or apparent. Using your GPS might also get you lost.

The University has a lot to offer first year students. The tour guide walked us around the campus and showed us the residence halls, the computer lab, the student center, the arts center the place on campus where the Divine Nine (Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities) call their hangout.

The Keystone Honor Programs is a highlight of the school and if you are one of the recipients of the scholarships, you have perks that go along with it such as first choice of housing and free tuition.

Cheyney University is one of the more affordable schools in the region with Tuition for in-state students full time at about $5,000 per semester. Out-of-state students would pay on average $7,500 per semester. You should also plan for an additional $6,000 for room/board/meal plan. If you are interested in their financial aid application or general information, go to the website and contact the financial aid office.

Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about this episode. Join our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY – The College Money Maze Community – to get first access to the scholarships and resources that are posted.



Ep. 3 College Planning Pt. 1

college planning

college planning

On this episode of The College Money Maze Podcast, Todd and Ellen discuss college planning for 9th and 10th grade students and parents. Todd measures his families’ activities against this checklist and provides commentary on their strategy as it relates to Charlie and his skills. This checklist can be found on the College Board website. The checklist also includes a comprehensive section for juniors (11th grade students) and seniors (12th grade students) as well. You can access your copy of the checklist by clicking here.

Other items that are discussed are Todd’s story about his experience as a freshman at Rutgers University and their Army ROTC Program.   Ellen confesses that her original desire for a college choice was to attend Montclair State University, but we know how that turned out.

Did you change your mind about YOUR college selection? If so, tell us about it and what the factors were that you needed to consider. Leave us a comment here or on our join the College Money Maze Community on Facebook and share there.

Resource Links:

College Board

Big Future

Rutgers University

Montclair State University

Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think about this episode. Join our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY – The College Money Maze Community – to get first access to the scholarships and resources that are posted.

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