Ep. 40 Selecting the Right College: Using Data to Make Better Decisions

Selecting the right collegeThis episode is an interview with Bill Phelan, co-founder of College Factual to discuss how data can help a student make a better decision by selecting the right college. This site is a data driven website that allows you to discover your unique strengths, matches you with the best major and begins selecting the right college according to that information. They publish significant data on their site for athletes, first year students as well as work with the Veteran’s Administration to identify veteran friendly colleges (@studentvets).

“An adult can make a bad decision and file for bankruptcy. A student at age 18 that makes a bad decision can’t walk away from their debt, student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy court”.

The goal is to have the most updated information about the true cost of a college, determine the value of selecting that major and what are the best colleges for that major and the outcome of your earning potential. This is also a great resource for Asian students since they have an office in #Beijing for the Chinese parents and students.

Changing the course while in college can be costly. The latest statistics suggest that 76% of students change their major once and then 50% of those students change their major for the second time.  The COST of each change is about $45,000

Links mentioned in this episode:

The College Money Maze MASTERCLASS – May7, 2016 (for those in the NJ area)

College Factual

Contact them:  FACEBOOK, Twitter, LinkedIN

USA Today College Rankings @USATodayCollege


Scholarship SpotlightThe Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship (in honor of Beyonce’s new album – Lemonade)

They offer varies scholarships for students up to the age of 25.  You must be at least a high school senior, received a GED, undergraduate or graduate student, U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a 2.0 GPA to qualify. @beyonce @S_C_



Ep. 38 Admitted Student Day and Why You Should Attend

Yu have been accepted to college. Congratulations! Should you attend Admitted Student Day? ABSOLUTELY! This episode of the podcast talks about why you should attend the Accepted or ADMITTED STUDENT DAY at the college(s) that have sent your student acceptance letters.  Those of you (of a certain age, 50ish) may not be familiar with this term because it was not around in the 80’s or 90’s when you or I went to college.why you should attend admitted student dayThis is a day in which the college invites all the students they have accepted to come to the campus, spend the day, take a tour and take this opportunity to ask additional questions or rule out all other options.  This is before freshman orientation. The checklist and reasoning for attending was first seen on another website collegeparentcentral.com and we discuss it here.

If your student is thinking about blowing off Accepted or Admitted Student Day because he/she doesn’t know what it’s about, think again!  This is the perfect opportunity to give them a fresh look at the school without the pressure.


Are you a PARENT OF A INCOMING JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLER? Do you live in NJ? You should attend our MASTERCLASS. This is a class designed especially for parents of students that will be a junior in high school in September 2016.  This is an opportunity to get organized, get a game plan, get information about scholarships and colleges.  Join other parents, share resources, network and get scholarship strategies NOW!

Date: Saturday May 7, 2016 6pm FEE Required at event. RSVP 732-754-8635 ASAP!

Links mentioned:




Ep. 37 The 8 Life Skills All 18 Year Olds Should Have: A Checklist for Parents

If you believe that mastering several basic life skills is what has made you successful, you will love this episode. The podcast features Bridgette Lovett, wife of the our co-host Todd Lovett. We embark on a conversation about life skills that I came across from an article on the 8 Life Skills All 18 years old Should have•website Today.com: 8 Life Skills All 18 Year Old Should Have.  This was an opportunity to assess how their son Charlie “measures up” and scores on this checklist. You can view this checklist and see how your child’s life skills compares.

  1. An 18 year old must be able to talk to strangers
  2. An 18 year old must be able to find his way around a campus, the town in which her summer internship is located, or the city where he is working or studying abroad.
  3. An eighteen year old must be able to manage his assignments, workload and deadlines.
  4. An 18 year old must be able to contribute to the running of a household.
  5. An 18 year old must be able to handle interpersonal problems.
  6. An 18 year old must be able to cope with ups and downs of courses and workloads, college-level work, competition, tough teachers, bosses and others.
  7. An 18 year old must be able to earn and manage money.
  8. An 18 year old must be able to take risks.

Do you think there are “other life skills that should be added to this list” Leave us a comment below. #howtoraiseanadult


Ep. 36 Have You Considered An Online College Degree?

online College degree

Online College Degree

This episode is a deep dive  discussion about an online college degree and the value of this choice for your education. Our guest, Kimberly Wetter is the Marketing Director for SR Education Group and they publish the websites onlineu.org, guidetoonlineschool.com and grad reports.com.

We cover the whole gamut when talking about pursuing an online college degree, from financial aid, scholarships to lecture format to how they rate these colleges and universities.

We also discuss the differences between “for-profit” vs. “non-profit” colleges and the various types of accreditation. She provides some tips on how to distinguish which schools are a safe bet and which are “questionable”. Did you know that many well-known colleges have online degrees as well as brick & mortar buildings on campuses?

Here are a couple of universities that she mentions for you to consider – Western Governors University. Their concept revolves around the less time it takes you to complete your degree, the less money you have to spend.

Southern New Hampshire University has expanded their online presence and is rated very high by these websites.


Scholarship Spotlight – SR Education Group Scholarships – they offer two scholarships: $2500 for those attending community college (deadline July 16, 2016) & $5000 for teachers enrolled in a graduate program (deadline May 30, 2016)

Scholarship Spotlight – Babe Ruth League Scholarship – $1000 scholarship for high school seniors and current college students who have participated in a Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball League during the ages of 4-18.  Deadline July 31, 2016.

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.



Ep. 28 FAFSA Series Pt. 4: Your FAFSA Application #financialaid


FAFSA Application

FAFSA Series Pt. 4

Today’s episode is the final part of the series and looks closely at YOUR FAFSA Application.  We take a closer look into the FAFSA application, whom would fill out each section, what types of questions to expect in each section and how to avoid common mistakes.

If you have not listed to the other 3 episodes in this series, they are listed below for your reference.  We will continue in future episodes to talk about the FAFSA application and all of its’ complexity with additional guests and would love to hear YOUR FEEDBACK with completing this form online or by snail mail.

Ep. 25 FAFSA Series Pt. 1: Getting Organized

Ep. 26 FAFSA Series Pt. 2 EFC and CSS Profile

Ep. 27 FAFSA Series Pt. 3: Who Are Your Parents?

LINK TO AMAZON Books about the FAFSA and Financial Aid

Links mentioned in this episode:

FAFSA Application

(Download a PDF version HERE!)

EFC – expected family contribution


Good Neighbor Scholarship – (50) $2500 Need based awards.  See Scholarship America website.

National Merit Scholarships – $2500 awarded to finalists of National Merit

Scholarship Program.  See National Merit website.

State Farm Companies Foundation Scholarship – (100)$3000-$8000 awards up to four years to legal defendants of state farm agents, associates and retirees.

ICONJ (Islanders Cultural Organization of New Jersey) – Scholarships awarded to caribbean heritage youth with demonstrated need.



Ep. 24 Review of Scholarship Search Websites

Review of Top ScholarshipSearch Website

Today’s episode is a continuation of our series on scholarships.  We review several of the top scholarship search websites for you to save you time and aggravation. Your welcome.

We cover a total of six of the major scholarship search websites that are more well-known.  This is not an exhaustive list but a condensed list in which we talk honestly about how to navigate each site as well as the pros and cons.

What they mostly have in common is that you have to create a login/password, usually answer several questions to complete your profile and sort or filter your search.

NOTE: If you are interested in working with us one-on-one to help you (as the student) or your child, search for, complete and secure scholarship, contact us HERE.  We are offering our consulting services to ease your frustration, save you time and be the ones to follow-up with the student.  We are also developing workshops presentations.  If your group is interested in having us present scholarship information to them, contact us HERE.  We will be posting more about this not he website soon.

Our series on scholarships:

Ep. 22 Money for College

Ep. 23 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Program

Scholarship search websites mentioned in this episode:


  • review of college statistics
  • matches you to your ideal college
  • matches you to internships
  • has a section for textbooks for sale or rent


  • Book section to rent, buy or sell
  • Study section to ask questions of experts on any college topic
  • matches you with subject matter tutor
  • listing of internships
  • listing of pt/entry-level jobs for college students
  • streaming music section


  • lead app developer/creator was seen/funded on “SHARK TANK
  • downloadable app in ITunes
  • $2.99 fee for app and website access/membership
  • very large database of scholarships


  • receive email notifications when new scholarships are listed that fit your profile
  • very large database of scholarships including “generic” criteria


  • large database and listing of merit scholarships
  • great selection of categories to filter and refine your search


  • most well known site with largest database
  • comprehensive in scope of information
  • resources and tools for high school guidance counselor or youth counselor



Ep. 23 The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Programs for High Achieving, Low-Income Scholars

Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Program

Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Program

This episode introduces to many of you for the first time, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.  As my guest (no co-host today) is Larry Thi, Alumni (of the Cooke Scholars) & Outreach Associate for the foundation.  This title fits him perfectly because he is one of the Cooke Scholars.  He provides us with all of the details about the foundation, its’ mission and vision as well as the  many programs that the foundation sponsors.  More importantly, he talks about the scholarships that are available for incoming scholars, current college students and even 5th year students.

The programs of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation:12088281_900211743399087_3551134447181632277_n

  • Young Scholars Program – educational advising and financial support for students from 8th grade through high school. Apply Jan- April
  • College Scholarship Program – scholarship for high achieving high school seniors with financial need (up to $40k/year). Apply Sept – Nov
  • Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship – top national community college students looks to complete their bachelors’s at selective four-year colleges or universities. Apply Oct – Dec

Here are his best tips for scholars to maximize financial aid, scholarships and grants:

  1.  Initially your focus is on finding your fit and getting into college
  2. Figure out how to pay for it
  3. Creating a financial aid plan is critical.
  4. Don’t forget about a viable scholarship plan: know if the scholarship is a local, state or national scholarship award. A good rule of thumb is to apply for 3-5 local, 1-2 state and 1-2 national scholarships –
  5. Keep a chart/spreadsheet of all your essays that you use for college admission applications and recycle them for scholarships
  6. Be strategic about where you apply, focus on those colleges that will give you more institutional aid
  7. IVY League schools give out a lot of need-based aid, don’t avoid them because of the sticker price)

Schools mentioned in this episode:

Drexel University

Temple University

Lehigh University

Gettysburg College

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Motto: THINK BIG, WORK HARD AND ACHIEVE


Ep. 22 Need MORE Money for College? Find Your Scholarships Here

The episode of the College Money Maze Podcast is a chockful of nothing but scholarships.  If you need more money for college, this is the place to start. You may have received your acceptance letters, if so, CONGRATULATIONS!  Now is the time to figure ouCollege Moneyt can you afford to attend that school that accepted you.

Your acceptance letter included awards from the institution for either merit aid, internal scholarships, federal aid, state aid and an offer for student loans to make up the difference.  We are suggesting you start exploring additional scholarships NOW.

Here is a list to start with that you may qualify for.  A few tips and reminders:

  1. Keep track of deadlines
  2. Apply for as many as possible (at least 30)
  3. Know whether or not the scholarship automatically renews or if you have to reapply each year
  4. Recycle your essays
  5. Proof read your application and essays

Here are the scholarships and links mentioned in this episode:

Our Call to Action – JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP – The College Money Maze Community

Looking for a gift for a college student or yourself? Look at our recommended gift list and resource section.



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