How to Use Social Media Like a #KARDASHIAN to Get Into College

#kardashian and social media

#kardashian and social media branding

To be clear, the only Kardashian with a college degree is KOURTNEY #kourtneykardash. This blog post is not how to use social media to take a bunch of selfies and become rich and famous but rather a lesson in how to BRAND YOU, LIKE A BOSS!

Let’s just start off by saying what this blog is NOT suggesting. We are NOT suggesting that you spend all of your time on social media tweeting about what you had for lunch or even about the hair products you use. We ARE suggesting that you use social media to your advantage by crafting your own BRAND/storyline/image that reflects your values in a positive manner using the same tactics that all of the Kardashians use.

First, gather an amazing team of people around you that will promote all that you do. Most celebrities have publicists, managers and assistants that promote them to their loyal followers on social media. Your goal as a college-bound student is to have your TEAM promote all your activities, achievements and accomplishments on social media and share it with others. This does not stop at parents but should also include teachers, counselors, coaches and mentors. For example, create your own website to house all your videos such as WIX (especially if you are an artist and need to showcase your work). Another suggestion would be to take pictures and post them of your community service projects or if you are an athlete, that great score you made in the game (your highlights on YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM)

Second, align yourself with other cool brands and your “star power” instantly increases. All of the Kardashians (Kim, Klohe, Kourtney, Kylie & Kendal) (#kardashianpedia) get paid a lot of money to endorse other brands. Those brands instantly see an increase in their products’ popularity. One way to use this tactic is to get VERY VERY familiar with the college that you are interested in attending by researching all there is to know about the school. Make sure their mission aligns with your career goals. By attending their events (with your pics of their open house, sports games or other activities) it shows your commitment to their community, and they take notice of that.

And finally, contribute to the conversation. Many people want to know what the Kardashians have to say. A single tweet from them can be worth millions to a brand. What do you have to say? Engage in conversation with the college. They want to communicate with you over social media. Comment on their blog posts, retweet their information to your friends, give them your feedback on a relevant topic related to your intended major etc… These are all ways that you begin to express yourself. It is not about being right or wrong. It is all about them getting to know you more and more.


Ep. 79 Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free

College Debt Free

Jeannie Burlowski

I am quite sure most parents wish their child could get through college debt free. The challenge in today’s economy is how to pull it off successfully. Our guest on the podcast, author, speaker and academic strategist Jeannie Burlowski  tells us how to do it. She recently released her latest book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward which is available on AMAZON now.

Jeannie’s writing and speaking helps parents set their kids up  to graduate completely debt free and move directly into career they excel at and love. Her mission is to help students identify extraordinary goals and put together a road map to achieve those goals.

The goal of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward is to guide parents step-by-step, grade-by-grade and provide over 50 strategies that they can use to get through college debt free which means that’s hundreds of hours they won’t have to spend searching for ideas on the internet.

For example, a busy mother of a 10th grader will just fly to the chapter she needs right at that moment, note a few tasks that would be a good idea to do right then and not come back to the book for two months.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Article: “5 Reasons “T-Shaped” is Better  Than Well-Rounded”

“Do What You Are…” by Paul D. Tieger

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dual Enrollment Programs

Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey)

Follow her on Twitter – @JBurlowski

Follow her on FACEBOOK – @jeannieburlowski

Ep. 76 Lead the Way: How to Build Character & Get Into College (PLUS: Charlie’s Test Scores)

CharacterIn today’s episode, we talk in detail about how to build good character in a student throughout their high school years. Character is one of the four core principles of getting into college. The other three are communication skills, coursework and community.

Character is not something we are generally born with. It is molded and developed over a period of time and shaped based on environment and life experience. A student can build upon their character through participation in programs that give them an opportunity for leadership, community service and extra-curricular activities in school.

If your child participates in a club such as boy scouts, girl scouts, 4H club, any youth auxiliary of a church, sorority or fraternity (such as Kappa League or Zeta Archonettes #ZPHIB1920) provides them with an opportunity to hone their leadership skills though projects and working with other youth.

Every city or town has plenty of community service opportunities for our youth. They have to pick one that interests them. It also helps if parents model this behavior by participating themselves in either a nursing home, soup kitchen, canned food drives, recue animal shelter etc…

I talk about a friend of mine whose child is a graduating senior with very good grades but absolutely no  school or outside activities in the past four years. This sends the wrong message to colleges. They appreciate a well-rounded student that is able to manage their time between activities. It shows them you have mastered discipline, commitment, dedication, time management and character development. My friend even mentioned that they could have gotten more merit aid if her son had more to offer (in terms of his profile or resume). DON”T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE.

Foundations that give out scholarships look for the same stellar character as colleges do. It tells them that you have not just focused on grades (which are important) but can also represent their organization by how you show up in the world.


We also have a bonus appearance from Charles Lovett. He talks about his leadership skills, extra-curricula activities and volunteer service. He also talks about  his recent test scores from the ACT & SAT. We end our conversation talking about the importance of improving his grammar and writing skills as it relates to test taking. The best way to do this is through READING MORE BOOKS! (womp womp womp…)

Ep. 57 College Applications: Early Action, Early Decision or Regular Decision


College Applications

College Applications can be time consuming and very overwhelming, especially if you are just getting started. In this episode of the podcast we discuss some new terminology in college applications as it relates to admission: early decision, early action and regular decision.

Here is an infographic which explains what the different terms mean to you and the college or university.

Each one of these decisions can impact your college career. Choose wisely!

Links mentioned in this episode:

College Greenlight blog

Princeton Review (discount on test prep courses)
$100 Off Ultimate Courses & Private Tutoring


Ep. 55 Meet Justin: A Future Law School Student

JustinOn this episode, we have a conversation with Todd’s nephew (from his wife’s side of the family) Justin. He is a Senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (part of the CUNY system) in Brooklyn, NY. He has decided to double major in Anthropology and Pre-Law.

Our conversation revolves around the decision he has made about  being a potential law school student, scholarships, internships and career options.

What you will hear is how his thought process is shaped by his environment.  Meaning, he wants to go to school in NY, have an internship in NY but it sounds like he has limited his options. I encourage him to consider NJ which is a train ride across the Hudson.

I also try to have him not straddle the fence with the two majors and focus on one specifically. He indicates that he wants to go to law school, that is where is passion is.

We really encourage him to keep an open mind in terms of where he attends law school. Sometimes you have to go where the money is. Let’s listen in…

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Princeton Review

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Links mentioned in this episode:

White House Internship Program

CUNY (The City University of New York)

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

NJ Courts (internships)

Rutgers School of Law

Brooklyn Law School



Ep. 54 College Diversity & Fly-In Programs: Have You Considered Attending One?

DiversityOn this episode of The College Money Maze, we talk all about college diversity and fly-in programs.

The programs are often called various things at various colleges: (INSERT SCHOOL NAME) College Diversity Day, Leadership Weekend,  Future Achiever’s, Overnight Program, Multi-Cultural Weekend, Explore Weekend, Discovery Weekend etc…

The list of names goes on and on.

This concept of college diversity & fly-in programs was first introduced to us by a friend of the show – Ms. Tamara Jones (you can listen to her episode here).  She found out about them when researching different schools for her daughter. They took advantage of this opportunity to visit a school, stay for the weekend to get more of an up close and personal feel for the campus to see if it was a good fit. AND IT WAS!

The College Greenlight blog publishes a list of the programs each year.  I am sure it is not an all-inclusive list because new ones are always added.  Also in the comments section of that blogpost, several people mention additional schools.

The other interesting fact is that they will often reimburse you for visiting the school (especially if you are accepted as a student). All you have to do is ASK.

After reviewing the list of college diversity programs, something was glaringly obvious.  These schools are mainly PRIVATE ELITE/IVY COLLEGES.  That tells me that they have created these programs to deal with their “lack of diversity” on their campuses and attract high achieving multicultural students who may not have them on their radar.

If you think that your local state University would have this type of program – THINK AGAIN. Your state University probably does not have a diversity problem.  They probably attract a wide variety of students. You be the judge and let us know what you think.

Links mentioned in this episode:

(Related Episode) Ep. 16. How To Start Planning for College…

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Ep. 49 SAT Subject Tests, Are they Worth It?

This is a conversation about the SAT and why you should consider studying and taking the SAT Subject Tests. There is a link HERE to the dates (Oct. 1st, Nov 5th & Dec 3rd) for the upcoming subject tests (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, french, german, spanish, modern hebrew, italian, & chinese).

SAT Subject Tests...


You may be asking yourself, WHY SHOULD I TAKE THE SUBJECT TESTS? Is it worth it? These are valid questions especially since there are additional fees with the subjects tests that range from $46-$72 dollars.

Here are several reasons why you should consider taking the subjects tests:

  • Colleges may require these test scores for specific majors.  This will differentiate you from other applicants.
  • Shows that you have an accomplishment beyond the basic high school curriculum and can add this to your college admission profile.
  • Shows to colleges your interest and commitment to that college and major.
  • Can fulfill a requirement for extra college credit
  • For those students in which English is not their first language, it shows an additional strength on their part.
  • For international students as well, it shows that they are disciplined to do the extra studying in that subject


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Other links mentioned in this episode:
The SAT vs. The ACT


College Board

Summer Guide for Juniors

Summer Guide for Seniors

South Plainfield High School Class of 2016

Ep. 47 The Summer Guide for Juniors




How will your child and the other High School Juniors spend their summer? Will they be laying around playing video games? Will the juniors be working at a summer job at the beach? Will they be reading a book a week to or preparing for the SAT’s? Using the summer months wisely is the name of the game to improve your profile and be a more attractive applicant to colleges and scholarship committees next year.


Here is a suggested list of activities for Juniors that is discussed in this episode:

  1. Find a mentor/Internship/Conduct a Job Observation.
  2. Begin to assess your college priorities: small school vs. large school/ private vs. public/ instate vs. out-of-state etc…
  3. Conduct College visits for the summer, make a vacation out of it.
  4. Take this time to get some volunteering done and on that resume!
  5. READ! READ! READ! 30 minutes of reading will improve their writing/speaking skills
  6. Find a summer job and get that MONEY and EXPERIENCE you are looking for.
  7. Take a test-prep course or a practice SAT/ACT test during the summer.

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Ep. 44 10 College Expenses You Didn’t Expect


Ep. 42 How to “DO” College, Design Your Career with Internships & Dump the Debt

All about internships

All about internships

This episode is all about internships.  We talk with an expert – Sharise Kent.  She is the author of the book – The Internship Manual.

She talks extensively about her philosophy of how to “DO” college the correct way (i.e. get out in 4 years or less), use internships to design your career and dump the college debt.

Her journey includes having 6 internships as an undergrad student and 2 more as a graduate student.  All of the above at the same time that you continue your studies and have fun.



Sharise talks at length about students being very deliberate in their approach to college and knowing how to play the game.  For example, taking 15 credits instead of the standard 12 credits (as well as summer & winter sessions classes) will ensure that you graduate within 4 years but also saves you money.

When you first attend school, sometimes you have no idea what you want to study.  Take the time the first year to explore topics. Changing your major choice more than once can be very costly (approximately $43k each time).  The cost adds up in delayed graduation, additional tuition and lost employment.

There are a number of companies that have internships for freshman:



NBA Internships

Huff Post Article about Graduate School

Blog article: Tuition is Due and You Are Broke!

Shari’s Top 5 Resources for Internships:

  1. On Campus – Career Services Office
  2. Ask Around – Family, Friends, Parent connections
  3. Local small businesses and nonprofit organizations
  4. Online –,
  5. Organizations dedicated to youth development, mentorships (T. Howard Foundation)

Other Links:

The Internship Manual Book (Amazon)



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