Ep. 66 Out-of-State Colleges: Yea or Nay?

Out-of-state collegesThis episode is for you if any out-of-state colleges are at the top of your list. We discuss the pros and cons of why students migrate to schools in other states and why they might stay home.  There are advantages and disadvantages of both.

Let’s just assume you have at least 5 colleges on your list that you are looking at attending. We will assume that it includes at least one in-state public university for the lower cost factor, one flagship larger in-state private college and three out-of-state reasonable public universities. For the sake of this example, this would play out that the in-state public school would not offer you a lot of financial aid or scholarships because your average or even above scores are what they expect. You look more attractive to the out-of-state public university because of the diversity and the “allure” of being from somewhere else. These schools offer you MORE money to cross state lines and enroll with them.  The only thing to consider is your transportation expenses if it is not within driving distance for you to travel back and forth home.

This is not a hard and fast rule.  This is merely an observation. I suggest you prove me wrong and apply more than one in-state school and see what king of offer you get in terms of financial aid and scholarships (don’t look at the student loans).

Connect with us on our Facebook page and let us know how things turn out.

Colleges mentioned in this episode:

Arizona State University

Ohio State

Penn State

Rutgers University



University of Alabama

University of Pittsburgh

University of South Carolina


Ep. 65 Assess Your Kids Skills NOW for College & Career Options

career options

Career Options

Today’s episode is a discussion on how to get your child to figure out a college major and/or career path.  GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

Have you tried to get an answer to this question from a teenager: What do you want to study in college? All you get are blank stares and shrugged shoulders.  They don’t have a clue.

You don’t know how to guide them through the process.  Another question you would ask would be: What do you like to do? SAME ANSWER.

We have a different approach.

Try having them take a skills assessment test or exercise.  A great place to start is at BIG FUTURE, part of The College Board website.  They have a section on career planning that allows them to input some of their skills (using specific keywords) plus interests, and the website suggests a college major, helpful high school courses to take NOW as well as a list of related careers.  It is not overwhelming for them.  They can explore different areas, which opens their mind to the potential that is inside them.  Isn’t that what we are hoping for? That THEY are able to discover what they want to DO?

Using this as a planning tool for the rest of their high school course selection is a smart way to get ahead of others, keeps them focused on their goal and ultimately helps in the college selection process. Knowing what you want to major in will enable them to narrow down their choices to the best “fit” college that has the major/program that they want to participate in.

This does not have to be a forever choice. Just a starting point. Many people, such as myself, started college with one major, graduated with another major and have not had a job in that field since. It is not the end of the world. JUST THE BEGINNING OF THEIR FUTURE!

Ep. 64 Scholarships for Students With Disabilities

Scholarships for Students w/DisabilitiesFinancing a college education can be a daunting task. Now add the complexity of having students with a disability. We came across this topic from a friend who posted on Facebook that her child was going to community college and that the State Department of Developmental Disabilities was not very helpful in helping her find scholarships. This episode is our conversation about funding and discussion on resources for any student with a disability who is interested in pursuing a college education.

This is a topic not talked about much often. Click on the link which will take you directly to our source THINK COLLEGE! and Affordable Colleges Online.  They are probably the most comprehensive information we have found thus far.  If you come across anything else, please share in our FACEBOOK COMMUNITY which is where we post many other scholarships.

Information about FUNDING SOURCES (Medicaid, Vocational Agencies etc..)

Scholarships by Disability

Attention Deficit Disorder


General Disability

Hearing Impairment

Learning & Cognitive Disability

Physical Disabilities

Speech Disorder

Visual Disabilities

This is by no means an all inclusive list, just a start of the conversation. There are programs available that are financed by the federal or state government that can provide assistance.  It takes perseverance, patience and persistence to get it done. I am sure you know that by now if your child has any king of disability.

If you and your family have been dealing with this for the past 17+ years, you guys are probably the experts and need to tell us a thing or two of what to do and where to go for additional resources!

Ep. 63 Tips to Grow Your College Savings

college savingsWhat does your college savings look like? Have you been diligent with funding that 529plan? Probably not.  Chances are you are like most parents of teenagers who had great intention on funding that 529plan and saving money for college – but life got in the way.  Your college savings took a backseat to that vacation, or quite possible that medical bill or even that temporary job loss that derailed your plans.

Today, we talk with Horace Jennings, a financial coach who lays out a plan to help you get back on track:


Keep in mind, you have competing priorities: everyday expenses, vacations, retirements etc…  It is difficult to keep is all going at the same time.  Which one will you have to sacrifice?

The consequence of not saving enough is to resort to relying on student loans to pay for your child(ren) education. There are reports that as much as 66% of college students graduate with student loans, with the average debt up to $33,000 each. OUCH!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Horace Jennings website: shopfinancial411.com

Email: h2jennings@gmail.com

Debt Shredder

Ep. 62 Who Would Vote for College Affordability? The 2016 Presidential Election

Raise your hand if you would vote yes for college affordability in this electionCollege Affordability? I raised my hand, did you?  This episode is a summary (based on a couple of blog posts from www.savingforcollege.com) of the current proposals about education and college affordability from our Presidential Candidates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

If it were possible to set aside your current party affiliation or political views, what would your life be like if you did not have to pay back student loan debt? Or could you benefit from extra money that the college will award because they are passing on their tax breaks directly to students?  These are all options on the table right now.

Which will you choose? Leave us a comment on your position on the topic and how it affects you?

Donald Trump Vs. Hillary Clinton – An infographic by the team at Donald Trump Vs. Hillary Clinton


For more information on Hillary Clinton’s plan click here.

Trump’s student plan is here in a more detailed summary by Inside Higher Ed.

*************************************************************************Here are the links mentioned in this episode:


Ep. 30 Should You Consider Community College?

Ep. 36 Have You Considered an Online College Degree?

Ep. 61 Success Principles 4 Life: Michael Jones & The I CAN Foundation

The I CAN FoundationThe I CAN Foundation (and the success principles 4 life) is the second foundation that we spotlight here on The College Money Maze. We want our audience to get up close and personal with the organizations that award college scholarships and hear the story behind  the message.

Michael Jones is Founder and President of The I CAN Foundation as well as an entrepreneur.  He talks at length about his principles for success and what services the foundation provides for the youth of North Plainfield, NJ and the surrounding communities.

The I CAN Foundation empowers our youth and community with the “I Can” attitude by providing free services geared toward middle and high school students, completed by family-oriented programs for the community. TCIF’s services and programs include tutoring, mentoring, NJ PARCC & SAT Boot Camps, Hoops 4 a Cause event and an Annual Black History Extravaganza

The Foundation also awards a $2000 scholarship to a high school senior.  The qualifications are as follows:

  • Graduating New Jersey High School Senior (NJ Resident only)
  • Complete a 750 word essay
  • Two-Three letters of recommendation
  • 2.5 grade point
  • Extra Curricula Activities

Success Principles 4 Life: Spirituality, Family, Education & Recreation

Success tips for high school seniors:

  1. Choose a college wisely
  2. Practice positive study habits
  3. Get to know your professors to build a relationship

“Don’t study what you know – study what you don’t know!” – Michael Jones

Links mentioned in this episode:

The I CAN Foundation Scholarship

Mirror Image Barber Shop


Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

North Carolina A & T State University

Independent Beauty Supply


Ep. 60 Academics + Athletics = Admissions, A Scholarship Success Story in Athletic Recruiting

athletic recruiting

Athletic Recruiting Success Story

Scholarship success can be different for everyone, especially with athletic recruiting thrown in the mix.

YOUR path to finding money to pay for college can also involve full or partial athletic scholarships.

In today’s episode, we talk with Mr. Terrence Powell who tells the story of his journey with his son and the athletic recruiting process.  How you navigate college athletics along with also exploring merit scholarships is fascinating to listen to.  Make sure you listen all the way to the end.

“If you are not a top tier athlete, colleges are not looking for you.  Get on their radar!”

He gives his best tips looking back on his journey to help other parents:

  1. START EARLY (like when they are HS Freshman!)
  2. Consider additional personal training outside the high school environment.
  3. Have your child complete a Student Athlete Prospect Profile at each school they are interested in.
  4. Do your research on Merit Aid/Scholarships that each school offers. This will help if a particular coach does not want to give a full scholarship.  You can use this as leverage.
  5. Visit more schools ahead of time to see what type of environment appeals to your child.
  6. Explore other scholarships outside the school to fill the gap.

Links mentioned in this episode:

StoneHill College


(sample) Charles Lovett Profile on Hudl

Other related episodes for the student athlete:

Ep. 51 Top 5 tips for the Student Athlete

Ep. 34 Scholarships for First Generation Students & Athletes

Ep. 19 Creating College Lists for the Home-Schooled Student Athlete

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

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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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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. 43 Selecting A College Despite Your Food Allergy

Food Allergy

College and a Food Allergy

Do you have a food allergy? The prevalence of people with a food allergy is more than you think – to the tune of 15 million in the United States.

Today’s episode is with Dr. Monica Randall an expert who specializes in assisting students in getting into college, navigating the college admissions process particularly those with some type of allergy/sensitivity to certain foods.  She talks about 8  major foods that can cause allergy symptoms.

May is Food Allergy Action Month.  You can find more information about activities this month on the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) website.  The Empire State Building was lit in teal on May 8th in honor of Food Allergy Awareness.

Dr. Randall’s tips on how to find the “BEST FIT” college:

  • Academic fit
  • Socially fit
  • Financial fit
  • Health fit

If you are putting together your college list, where do you start? Dr. Randall suggests that you contact the school directly or look on their website:

  1. Contact the colleges’ Disability Services or Student Services department
  2. Find out what is the schools food allergy policy
  3. Get to know the dietician & visit the school

Links to contact Dr. Monica Randall:


Twitter – @bridge2colleges




Scholarship SpotlightSamsung American Legion Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by electronic company Samsung. High School Juniors are eligible who are participants of their American Legion Boys State or Auxiliary Girls State and must be a direct descendant of a wartime veteran who served on active duty during at least one of the periods of war (World War I,World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lebanon/Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf War as well as Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom & War on Terrorism).  Awards vary from $852-$20,000. For more information contact scholarships@legion.org. @samsungmobile

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