One of the newest features at The College Money Maze Podcast is our Scholarship Success Stories. We will be profiling parents and students who have successfully navigated this college journey and were able to obtain a scholarship (or many) to fund their own or their child’s education. When Todd and I came up with the concept for the podcast, this topic was the main thing I wanted to do. I thought to myself, why not highlight successful people who have paved the way so others can benefit from their wisdom. There is no need in reinventing the wheel!
Our first set of parents is Michael and Michele Christian. In order to be totally transparent, Michele is a friend of ours from our home town in New Jersey. She is married to Michael and they have two children together, Brandon and Brianna. Michael has an older daughter, Alexis from a prior relationship. Brianna is their oldest daughter who graduated from high school this year and will be attending Rutgers University – New Brunswick Campus (GO SCARLET KNIGHTS!) in the fall. Michele graduated from Seton Hall University and Michael is from the west coast and is an alumna of California State Polytechnic University.
Their top tips for other Parents/Students:
Start looking ASAP! ideally, as soon as they start high school
Good idea to start studying for the PSAT/SAT as soon as possible, preferably in junior year. Sometimes you get better scores when there is no pressure.
Work hard on the college essay, it is very important.
Listen to your child. Don’t try to control them or the process.
The College Money Maze gang went to our first college visit, HBCU Cheyney University and we discuss our experiences from different perspectives: being a minority, having attended and graduated from a larger university and looking at the college student experience.
Our first college visit, HBCU Cheyney University
Cheyney is located in Cheyney, PA and situated in a rural setting. You could pass the entrance on this dirt road and never know it. The signage from the main road is not very large or apparent. Using your GPS might also get you lost.
The University has a lot to offer first year students. The tour guide walked us around the campus and showed us the residence halls, the computer lab, the student center, the arts center the place on campus where the Divine Nine (Black Greek Fraternities and Sororities) call their hangout.
The Keystone Honor Programs is a highlight of the school and if you are one of the recipients of the scholarships, you have perks that go along with it such as first choice of housing and free tuition.
Cheyney University is one of the more affordable schools in the region with Tuition for in-state students full time at about $5,000 per semester. Out-of-state students would pay on average $7,500 per semester. You should also plan for an additional $6,000 for room/board/meal plan. If you are interested in their financial aid application or general information, go to the website and contact the financial aid office.
In this episode of The College Money Maze Podcast, we have our first guest expert, Ashley Hill (author, blogger, speaker)from collegeprepready.com. She details her background and experience with researching and securing over $10k in scholarship/internships while attending Kent State University in Ohio and received her Master’s Degree from A.T. Still University.
Scholarship Strategist Ashley Hill
After college, she started her own business as a Scholarship Search Strategist and assists families who don’t qualify for financial aid and feel overwhelmed with paying for college. She is the author of the book – Celebrating the Journey: Rediscovering Me. Use our affiliate link for Amazon and pick it up HERE.Ashley hosts a weekly Twitter chat @9pm EST #collegechat
Ashley’s top tips for creating the best profile to win those scholarships in 2015 (other than merit based):
Include volunteer experience
Highlight your leadership skills
Diversify your activities
Chronicle your academic achievements
Ashley even talks about the scholarships for college students in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and graduate students.
Best resource that she suggests for searching for scholarships:
On this episode of the College Money Maze Podcast we introduce you to Charlie, Todd’s son (Ellen’s favorite nephew, shhhh! Don’t tell her other nephews). Charlie and his sister, Jordan is the main inspiration for us doing this podcast. This is a one-on-one interview between Ellen and Charlie. She gets him to talk briefly about his current interests in school and which courses he has chosen for his sophomore year in high school.
This is the first episode of The College Money Maze Podcast hosted by Ellen Reaves and Todd Lovett – a dynamic brother/sister duo. We intend to share “success stories” of parents and students, educate you about college prep resources, discuss college financial aid and announce scholarships you may qualify for.
The inspiration for starting this podcast came out of the “real-life” conversations we have all the time about our college experiences, commenting on other colleges and whose child was accepted where, often wondering how they accomplished it.
I think we are either fascinated or slightly obsessed with this topic, largely due to Todd and his wife Bridgette’s quest to find money for their children’s college education. We toyed around with the idea of talking with other parents who have been successful at this and wondering why does it seem that no one is really sharing that information.
I came up with the concept of the podcast as a way of talking with other parents to tell “their story”, highlight their journey and at the same time, chronicling Todd’s families’ quest to finding financial resources for college education.