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



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