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. 78 Track & Organize You Way Into College

OrganizeTodd and I have a great conversation with Jordan Schanda of SCHOLAR PREP, a college planning system to organize and document activities, achievements and courses. She starts off talking about her journey into college (University of Arkansas), how she was focused from the beginning and realized early on the benefit of organizing all of her information. When she graduated, she created a “binder” to help her younger brother whom she knew was not like her and needed a way to organize his information as an athlete wanting to go to college. The birth of the SCHOLAR PREP Organizer System.

This system now has an online companion course as well as a curriculum for schools and counselors to follow for students to get on the right track towards college.

If you are a counselor, we are aware of your limited time available to spend with each student.  This curriculum is the perfect compliment to your guidance or you can give this to the student for them to utilize with their parent as a supplement to the other college prep information that you share.

This system is designed to for the student/parent to be self sufficient in the college admission process. It guides you weekly an monthly in terms of what the student should be focusing on and not get overwhelmed. It has a timeline that you follow all four years of high school or pick it up anywhere in between.

Grab your copy of this college planning/tracking/organizing system or course. Click on the image to get your SCHOLAR Prep System.


Other Links mentioned in this episode:

Virginia Tech #HokieVisit

Kean University #KeanUniversity

University of New Haven #UNewHaven

Rowan University #RowanPROUD

10 Ways (that REALLY WORK) to find Scholarships for HS Seniors: The College Money Maze Guide

Find Scholarships There are many high school seniors across this country that are very excited around April and May when they make their final decision about what college they are going to in the fall. The weather is getting nicer, spring flowers are in bloom but parents are now secretly freaking out! Parents have just come to the realization that their child has NOT received enough money in Merit Aid, grants or even student loans to cover the cost of college. The EFC (expected family contribution) is an amount that will be a challenge for them to come up with. They need to find scholarships NOW!

The College Money Maze to the rescue.

Scholarships are the way to bridge the gap. Here are 10 ways to find scholarships that you can implement immediately.

  1. Talk with the High School Guidance Counselor. All seniors (even as early as junior year) should make an appoint and get to know their counselor. He or She is the keeper of the information about how to find scholarships from local organizations. They utilize that person as their point of contact and the person to recommend a particular student for the scholarship.
  2. Contact your individual place of worship (church, mosque, synagogue etc…). There may be opportunities within the larger denomination, diocese or regionally that provides scholarships or gifts to graduating seniors. JUST ASK.
  3. Contact neighboring high school counselors. If your student has a friend that attends another high school in the same town can put you in contact with them for information about scholarships that they may be aware of.
  4. Professional Associations. This may vary depending on your child’s intended college major. For example, the National Association of Civil Engineers may have a junior membership level that your child can be a part of. If so, they usually award scholarships to their members.
  5. National Health Organization. If you or your child is diagnosed with a chronic illness or disease, the national advocacy organization associated with that disease often provides scholarships for children of those diagnosed, those students that may be caregivers for their parents or the children themselves.
  6. Scholarship Search Databases. There are a number of websites that you can access and search their database to find scholarships. My top 3 recommendations are, Cappex and Unigo. They are the largest sites on the internet. All of them require you to register and create a profile the first time. It is a pain but very important to help filter through all of their lists. Don’t just limit yourself to one site. Contact at least two. You are able to see a summary or preview of each scholarship before you click on the link to apply.
  7. This is the world’s largest search engine so, OF COURSE, I would suggest this. You have to be strategic when you do a search for scholarships on google. For example, decide exactly what you are looking for (i.e. scholarships for high school seniors in Memphis, Tennessee) or (science scholarships for minority high school seniors). Be as descriptive as you can so that you don’t get ones that don’t apply to you.
  8. Social Media is YOUR FRIEND. Understanding how to utilize social media to your advantage is key. Other than NOT posting inappropriate comments or pictures, how else can you use social media to find scholarships? Glad you asked. The popular social media channels such as FACEBOOK, Twitter or Instagram can be used to communicate with the nonprofit foundations that give out scholarships. It gives them an opportunity to put your name (and possible a face) on their radar so when you apply to their scholarship, they can research back and realize you were the one that commented on their picture or video and liked their page. LinkedIn is more powerful because you can connect directly with influencers in their organizations, put your resume in their (virtual) hand and network with industry groups to find out more about scholarships.
  9. Contact Local and International Fraternal Organizations. I am speaking specifically about greek letter organizations (minority and non-minority). For example, if you were part of a sorority when you were in college but have not had any contact since then, reach out. They will likely be offering scholarships to youth in the communities they serve. Many of the fraternities and sorority have youth affiliate or youth groups that they mentor. Becoming a part of that gives you a first look into their organizations and advance knowledge of when they will be offering their annual scholarships.
  10. Contact current or former employers. If you are a student and work for companies like STARBUCKS, they offer scholarships for their employees. If your parent works for (or retired from) large global companies (AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft etc…) they will likely offer scholarships to the children of their employees or retirees. JUST ASK.

These are not difficult or absurd suggestive ways to find scholarships. Ultimately it takes time and commitment to the process.  The College Money Maze can do the leg work and shopping around for you. FIND OUT HOW! This is not a one and done. Keep looking. When you actually get into college, DON’T STOP LOOKING. Tap into some of these same resources as I mentioned. There is money for you too.


Lack of Community Service May Be Keeping Your Child From Getting Scholarships

community serviceWe can all agree that participating  in community service is a good thing, for everyone. Does your child understand how vital it is to getting scholaships? Most foundations or non-profit organizations that administer scholarships are looking for students who are service-minded, who care about others and put the time toward charitable causes.

The other benefits of community service are character building traits such as compassion, empathy and leadership. These traits help shape your child into a responsible, caring global citizen.

If you are the parent of a junior or senior you might be thinking that it is too late for them to make a difference. It is not too late to have them involved in community service. There are various ways to incorporate service into their busy schedules. They can become a member of an established club such as boy/girl scouts or something more simple such as participating in a neighborhood clean-up or community garden.  There are endless volunteer opportunities in most cities that can accommodate youth who want to serve. They can select one or two activities per month and have the organization keep track of their service hours and prepare a letter  to submit with their scholarship application.

Community service or volunteer experience is one of the most effective ways to differentiate your child from the other applicants. It helps them shine above the rest along with great test scores, challenging coursework and great communication skills.


WARNING! Can Senioritis Ruin Your Child’s Chance of Scholarships?



Yes. It. Can.





Senioritis is a colloquial term mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.

Senioritis is really an affliction that only (allegedly) affects students in their senior year. Many of you parents might see it creeping up sooner. The evidence might be disinterest in sports or extra curricula activities, apathy or even reckless behavior. They believe that since they know where they want to go (after high school), may have already earned a scholarship or financial aid that they don’t have to keep up their grades. THAT IS THE WRONG ATTITUDE.

Let me tell you why. THIS is the time of the year when most parents and students begin to realize that although they are excited about college, they really can’t pay for it. IF they can, they probably only have enough for the first year. This is where scholarships are vital to most students STAYING in college all four years.

The nonprofit organizations that govern and dispense scholarships look very closely at your child’s GPA and class rank from high school.  They want to see that the student has been disciplined about maintaining their grades throughout a stressful senior year. This is an indicator to them that he/she is ready to handle college level courses and they want to reward them for that.  If they see that the first 2.75 years of high school were great and then there is this steep decline, they will think something is physically wrong with your child or it shows a lack of focus all the way to the end. Senioritis can cause a dramatic downward turn in their grades and performance. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO THEM!

There are a lot of additional scholarships that are based solely on MERIT from the college and universities themselves. They have discretion whether or not to award MERIT aid to you.  Your child’s grades are not the only deciding factor but it is ranked high on the checklist.

Use the last semester in senior year and all summer long after graduation (we know there will be some parties along the way) to look and apply for as many scholarships as possible. If you as the parent make this a priority and condition to continue in college, your child will take it seriously.  Part of their apathy is that there may be a disconnect between them and being aware of what COLLEGE REALLY COSTS TO ATTEND and WHAT YOU AS THE PARENT CAN AFFORD.

Don’t let SENIORITIS ruin their opportunity to shine bright and qualify for scholarships. They can start to apply as early as junior year and continue all throughout the college years. We at The College Money Maze discuss and post scholarships regularly on our podcast as well as on our FACEBOOK GROUP. 

Need assistance finding scholarships? We have the experience finding scholarships for incoming freshman, current undergrads and graduate students. CONTACT US NOW!

5 Critical Things You and Your Child Need to Know About Applying for Scholarships

The idea of applying for scholarships can be overwhelming for students and parents alike. Many people have a range of misconceptions about how the scholarship process works, when to apply, where the money goes, and even if it will ever get easier. Luckily, there are answers to all of those concerns!

So, before you let the scholarship process turn into a giant black hole in your mind, our friends at The Scholarship System shared five things you and your child need to know.

  1. It Takes Work (but the Work Can Be Reduced)

We all know the adage, “If it was easy then everyone would do it.” Well, the truth is that the scholarship process isn’t always easy. In fact, it takes hard work and dedication. But this is a fact that actually works in your child’s favor.

By being willing to put in the time and the effort, your child is functionally in the minority. Many college students don’t try for many scholarships because of the work required, so they are facing less competition. And less competition means better odds of winning!

If you take the time to look for lesser known scholarships, you may find yourself with even more notable odds of winning if you are able to seize the opportunities.

The Scholarship System holds a free 45-minute online live training that shows you the exact steps your child needs to take to find hidden scholarships that have less competition and makes applying for scholarships less stressful. They’ve helped students secure over $624,000 in scholarships, which is kind of crazy. So we thought we’d share the training with you. Click here to see when their next one is being held!

As for how to reduce the work, keep reading!

  1. Your Child Can Apply for Scholarships Up to Their Senior Year (IN COLLEGE)

This point was no surprise to me but the founder of The Scholarship System, Jocelyn Paonita, said she kept applying long after high school.

She explained that another common point of confusion is based on the idea that scholarships are for incoming freshmen. And, while it is true that there are many opportunities for those looking to start their college adventure, it is also true that your child can apply to many scholarships up to their senior year IN COLLEGE (and beyond if they continue.)

Each scholarship is in control of the qualifications that determine a student’s eligibility, and many are available to undergraduates during any year of their education. So, even if your child doesn’t get selected for a scholarship as an incoming freshman, they certainly get another shot to apply during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. In fact, some are even available to graduate students, so they may be able to go on to that Masters or doctoral degree without having to pay the full cost out of pocket.

So, don’t stop looking just because the first round of deadlines passed, and don’t let your child give up if they don’t win the first time. Instead, have your child save those websites and schedule a calendar reminder to check back when it reopens next year. Then they won’t miss out on the opportunity to get more scholarship money the next time around.

  1. Winning Scholarships Gets Easier Once You and Your Child Know What to Do

Here’s another point where an old adage really says it best, “Practice makes perfect.” While the phrase is certainly cliché, it is incredibly relevant when it comes to applying for scholarships.

In the beginning, the scholarship process is unfamiliar, and even a bit scary. However, as more applications are completed, the easier it is to give the next one a try. And repeating the process this year also provides experience to build in next year, and the one after that, and so on.

So, don’t be afraid that the first ones aren’t perfect. It does get easier as your child moves forward.

  1. Some Scholarships Funds are Sent Directly to Your Child

Most students and parents assume scholarship awards are sent directly to the college or university that will be attended. While some scholarships do work that way (especially institutional scholarships), a significant portion actually sends the money directly to the student who won.

But, why would a scholarship choose to send the money to the student in the first place? Because it provides the winner some flexibility. And that flexibility applies directly to our next point.

  1. Scholarships Can Be Used for More than College Tuition

While most people associate scholarships with paying tuition, that isn’t necessarily the only thing for which the funds can be used. Sure, some scholarships are restricted to tuition only, but many can be used for other school-related expenses.

One of the most common secondary uses is other mandatory costs. Things like textbooks and required software can be incredibly expensive, but they are necessary to get through the classes. Scholarships that allow some spending flexibility are designed to make these costs more manageable as well. And, if your child ends up with enough in scholarship awards, they might be able to eliminate these costs entirely.

But that isn’t where it ends either! Costs associated with room and board can be covered with certain scholarship monies. That means no out of pocket expenses for dorm room, meal plan, or both. This means students can have their classes covered, books and software needs met, a roof over their head, and food on the table, all without spending a dime of your money.

That has to be the end, right? Actually, no, it doesn’t. Some scholarship money is paid directly to the student so they can use it in any way that supports their education. Need a bus pass to get around? Use scholarship money. Need to replace a subpar laptop? Use scholarship money. How about a haircut before they start their internship? Yep, scholarship money to the rescue.

And it’s this potential for flexibility that makes getting as much as they can in scholarship awards really worth the effort. So, what do you think? Still not worth the time and effort? Something tells me it is.

If you thought these tips were helpful, check out The Scholarship System’s free webinar for parents, “6 Steps to Quickly Secure Scholarships for College .” In her training, Jocelyn will talk about the process she used to secure over $126,000 in scholarships, graduate debt free, and now help thousands of families around the country secure money for college. Some of things she will talk about include:

  1. How your child can get paid to go to college, even if they aren’t Einstein, nor the next Tom Brady
  2. How millions of students miss out on thousands of dollars in funding every day without realizing it (and how to avoid that happening to your child.)
  3. How the click of a button could cost you over $27k extra for college
  4. The most powerful search trick that the founder of The Scholarship System used to bypass all the scams out there, saving hundreds of hours, and having a list of scholarships (they are actually eligible for) nearly handed to your student.

Click here to see when they are having their next free online training.

Ep. 59 Scholarship Success Story – Pam Andrews, The Scholarship Shark

Imagine having enough money in scholarships to cover your college and graduate school education, twice.  That is exactly what happened to Pam Andrews (The Scholarship Shark) and her oldest son.  With the tenacity, relentless pursuit and focus of a shark, keen

The Scholarship Shark

The Scholarship Shark

organizational skills and her son’s commitment to the process, they were able to secure over $700k in scholarships.  He is now attending his dream school in Florida, pursuing his animation/art college education.

This episode is an in depth conversation with Pam about their journey which started with the decision she and her husband made to homeschool all four of their children and encourage the benefits of education.

Pam talks about the challenges she faced all along the way and did not begin the scholarship process until her son’s senior year.  It was at that time that they teamed up and put together a plan to not only search for colleges, but pursue scholarships as a way to pay for them.

Her motto is: “Don’t just get in, get it financed!”

“Schools don’t want well-rounded kids, they want a diverse student body.  Be the best YOU!”

Here are her tips for parents of High School Juniors:

  1. 3-layer approach: Look for schools that offer Merit Aid/Merit Awards, then those that meet 100% of “UN-MET NEED” and then every eligible private scholarships.
  2. Get Organized! Go to local library and use the books there that list scholarships/reference
  3. Identify what your child wants to do (career exploration)
  4. Begin developing relationships with colleges that you want to or have visited
  5. Attend pre-college programs.  Great way to experience the campus and courses
  6. Start searching for scholarships NOW!
  7. Be intentional with your child’s last two years – find volunteer opportunities related to their career
  8. Watch those deadlines! Aim for two weeks before REAL deadline to get all of the info needed.

Links mentioned in this episode:

ACTION ITEM: TEXT  Money4College to#44222-

to get on her email list for the upcoming book & e-Course


Ep. 58 Didn’t Get Enough Financial Aid? Here Are Your Other Options + Delaware Goes To College

didnt-get-enough-financial-aidWe want everyone who resides in the State of Delaware to know that Gov. Jack Markell cares deeply about  students going to college offsetting the high cost of a the education.  The State Department of Higher Education has partnered with several local high schools to present workshops for parents and students:

  • FAFSA Submission Workshop for Seniors – Thursday Oct. 13th 5-7pm @ Indian River High School
  • College Scholarship Workshop & Fair – Wednesday Oct 26th 6-8pm @ Indian River High School

Visit their website HERE for other schools that have events planned.

Also note that several Community Colleges in the State of Delaware are waiving the cost of college applications from October 17th through November 18th for Delaware residents.  This is a great cost savings. Visit the website for more information:


This episode is about what you can do when your financial aid runs out.  I came across an article from USATODAY that gives some guidance on this issue. There are many parents and students that we have talked to since starting this business and podcast that are in this troubling position in which they did not get their financial aid package renewed or the amount they received did not cover anywhere near the cost of their college.  You might be wondering what can you do at that point?  Here are 3 suggestions of how to deal with the gap between what the school costs and what you can afford:

1.       FILL OUT THE FAFSA NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOUR FAMILY EARNS – the FAFSA creates doors of opportunity for you to qualify for need-based aid, work-study assignments and institutional scholarships

2.       SPEND TWO HOURS A WEEK (MINIMUM) APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS –  We advocate looking for scholarships consistently and with an intensity as if it were a part-time job.  Don’t waste your time on sweepstakes, scams or other contests.  Invest in a specific plan to outline your skills, objectives and match them with the offers available online.  Ask your parents if their employer offers scholarships, start locally with non-profits and foundations.

3.       BORROW STUDENT LOANS WISELY – It pains me to even write this – BUT, If you have to take out student loans, READ THE FINE PRINT! Understand what you are signing.  Federal loans should be your first option, those that are subsidized don’t accrue interest while you’re in school and have flexible payment options. Then there are private loans, unsubsidized federal student loans or PARENT PLUS loans which have high interest rates and additional fees.

Links mentioned in this episode:

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP – The College Money Maze Community

State of Delaware Scholarship website

Essay Edge – We are an Affiliate Partner with them.  They are the PREMIERE essay editing service with Harvard Trained editors!

Ep. 56 Colleges that Meet 100% Financial Need

Financial need picToday’s episode is a discussion about “financial need” and the colleges that meet that for you. This term means different things to different people.  To you, it may mean the total amount you will be responsible for in terms of college costs or expenses. To a college or university, financial need means the balance left after your EFC (expected family contribution) has been applied against the NET PRICE.

We call it – “THE GAP”.

Having a basic understanding of how colleges arrive at your need is critical.  Here are the formulas that are important to note:


NET PRICE – EFC (Expected Family Contribution)= FINANCIAL NEED

The blog – College Greenlight – has a list of the college that I mention in this episode that meet financial need.

Links mentioned in this episode:

College Greenlight @cggreenlight


Net Price Calculator

SAT Test Dates

ACT Test Dates

U.S. Dept. of Education College Affordability & Transparency Center

College Tennis Scholarship Stats

Related Episodes:

E. 52 The College Money Puzzle Part. 1: EFC & Net Price Calculator

Please Support Our Program Partners

(NOTE: these are affiliate links, we will earn a small commission and you get to support the podcast)

Princeton Review

                                    $100 Off Ultimate Courses & Private Tutoring

The Teacher Store

                                    Scholastic Teacher Store Summer Specials ends 8/31/16

Ink Cartridges

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…

Please visit our Program Partners (these are affiliate links, we earn a small commission and you support this show!)

Ink Cartridges

Princeton Review

                                       $100 Off Ultimate Courses & Private Tutoring


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



1 2 3 5