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A Few Financial Aid & Essays Faux Pas

Free SAT or ACT Class Promo 

Good morning - two quickie announcements.

1. A Few Financial Aid and Essay Faux Pas - Live at 10 AM

Join me and Pearl for our weekly program, College Coffee Talk, live on our Facebook page.

Today's topic:  

A Few Financial Aid and Essay Faux Pas

2. FREE SAT or ACT Class Promo Expires Today

Announcing:  a free, no-obligation "test drive" of ANY of our upcoming SAT or ACT prep classes, either in-person or online.  Here's how it works:

1. Check out our schedule in July and August.

2. Pick the class you want to sample, for free.

3. After the class, our head tutor, Marissa will offer our absolute best deal we can give and still keep the lights on and landlord happy.  This is a one-time, "exploding" offer that expires 24 hours after class.

4. There is no obligation or pressure to buy anything, just the forthcoming incentive to enroll with us.

Enrollment expires at 5pm today.  I'm not sure we'll try this...

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More FAFSA Fails [LIVE]

Good morning!

We're hitting the airwaves this morning -- 10:00am EST --  for College Coffee Talk, our live show about college admissions and financial aid news that you can use!  

Pearl is away on special assignment, so I will do my best to pick up the slack. Today's show topics:

Oddball FAFSA fails and a new grounds for appealing your award. Plus, what's the deal with the parent "Brag Sheet?"

Tune In!


Grab a cup of joe and I'll see you at 10am EST (recorded if you can't make it)

- Andy Lockwood

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Deadly Dastardly College Prep Mistakes

I'm going negative with this email.  Apologies in advance.

I just tweaked my presentation for tonight's live, local (not live streamed) presentation I'm running at the Bryant Library in Roslyn NY.  Most of the material, as it turns out, is about mistakes.  Easily avoidable, self-sabotaging mistakes. 

Some mistakes are of the commission variety -- things you affirmatively do -- that hurt odds of college acceptance or merit scholarships. 

Some are mistakes of OMISSION, meaning things you do NOT do, but should.

If you're local to the Long Island area, and you want to avoid costly errors that can severely impact your/your children's chances of getting into competitive colleges... well as gaffes that could hurt or eliminate your ability to get merit aid or financial aid, then tonight is a terrific, unprecedented opportunity to learn up on all this stuff -- for free --- for reelz...

...that you definitely will NOT ever, never ever hear a...

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A Surprise 154K FAFSA Penalty

From the FAFSA Sh*t Storm Files:

Over coffee early this morning, Pearl told me a shocking story, one that we've experienced a few times already this year.  Let me pass it along to you as a cautionary tale:  it goes a little sumthin' like this:

Family files FAFSA.  Family hears back from college financial aid office. 

Message:  no soup for you.  Pay full price.

But here's the thing...

On a courtesy call with a financial aid office, the officer reveals that the FAFSA indicated that the family's income was more than $400,000.

But the family's actual income, filed with the IRS for 2022:  $250,000 and change!

Why the 150K+ artificial penalty?

Just another glitch!  Too bad, so sad.

Apparently 10% of all FAFSAs filed this year have inflated family's income, wiping out millions of potential eligibility.  

This glitch is, of course, part of the FAFSA "simplification," designed to streamline the process.  Nice job, guys.

The most...

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The 100K per year college?

12 College Application Tips Webinar 

Today I read how Vanderbilt University is apparently a few bucks shy of being the first college to cost $100,000 per year, all in (tuition, room and board, fees).  Officially.

Unofficially, this happened a few years ago, if you count unofficial expenses, such as Ubers, reasonable travel expenses, beer money, Door Dash etc. that kids spend Ma and Pa's money on (note to my three college kids:  there's nothing wrong with peanut butter sandwiches once in a while).

Like the college admissions process, there's no apparent rhyme or reason to a lot of this process.  Why should a non-Ivy college in Tennessee run you more out of pocket than an Ivy League school located in insanely high cost of living Manhattan?

I'm sure someone from Vanderbilt could explain that, but they'd be twisting themselves into knots to do so as far as I'm concerned.

Incidentally, it's not just Vandy that's pushing the 100K envelope:  it's virtually all...

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New: 12 College Application Tips

12 College Application Tips Webinar

We're scant days away from the "final" college acceptances, denials and waitlists for this year's crop of college applicants in The Most Confusing College Application Season ever.

Which means that I now have enough intel to share the following tips with Class of 2025 families, in a brand new webinar, Thursday night:

  • How to get into a decent college, today
  • How to construct a strategic and balanced college list
  • How to avoid "Admissions Armageddon"
  • How to answer one of the new supplemental essays about diversity even if you don't feel or look particularly diverse
  • How to earn a 30K per year merit scholarship even if you didn't cure a pandemic or single-handedly build a village in a third world country
  • Test-Optional:  To Opt or Not to Opt (yeah I know that one doesn't quite make sense but you know what I'm trying to say)
  • The New Digital SAT:  right for your kiddo?
  • Merit Scholarships:  how to get 'em without spending six months on stupid...
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Financial Aid "Secrets" Revealed

Tutoring | Webinar

Closely-Guarded "Secrets" Revealed - How any family...even six and seven-figure earners...can slash college costs by more than 56%

If you have a class of 2025 or younger child who is headed to college...

...and your stomach is in a knot and your hands clammier than on your first date, because you're just now realizing how freakin' much college will *actually cost* you...

....I've got GREAT NEWS!  Tonight, we're walking you through all the ins and outs of how financial aid and merit aid works, in a brand new, free webinar!    Yay.

On tonight's webinar, you will discover the (legal and ethical) ways to cut your college costs so that you can comfortably afford tuition without scrimping on your lifestyle, loading up your kid (or you) with high rate, high fee student debt or selling a vital organ on the dark web.  Bold promises, but we will deliver.

Topics on tap:

  • How six figure and seven-figure earning families can ...
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Your "Burning Questions" About the SAT and ACT

Top of the morning,

Quick reminder that we're doing a live, unscripted Q&A tonight on everything you need to know about the SAT and ACT, especially in the face of the confusion, half-truths and urban legends about the world of test-optional policies.

Wondering which test is best?  We'll help you figure that out tonight.

Wondering which test colleges prefer?  Ditto.

Other issues on tap include:

*Are high school teachers who moonlight as SAT or ACT tutors best suited to help you "crush" the test?

*Should you allow the College Board to send your SAT score to colleges, no charge?

*Do colleges see how many times your kiddo  took the SAT or ACT?

*Do colleges care how many times she took the SAT (or ACT)?

*How many times does he need to take the SAT or ACT?

Tonight, we will answer these and any of your "Burning Questions" about the SAT or ACT, when you join me and our head tutor, Marissa U, for our SAT and ACT Town Hall meeting.

You can pre-submit your...

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SAT and ACT "Town Hall"

The latest ACT scores have started coming out, and the Internet is abuzz with questions and comments like:

*Why was her score so low?  She's got a 94 average in school!

*Should we take the SAT instead?

*Which one do colleges want?

*Is there any point in taking the SAT or ACT?  Aren't colleges test optional these days?

*How many times does he need to take the SAT or ACT?

*Do colleges see how many times he took it (SAT or ACT)?

*Is it OK to sing a sad song with an upbeat tempo?

*Do colleges care how many times she took the SAT (or ACT)?

Just kidding about that second to last one, I wanted to check if you were reading all the way down there.

Tomorrow night, we will answer these and any of your "Burning Questions" about the SAT or ACT, or college admissions, scholarships, financial aid if you insist.  I'm hauling in our head tutor, Marissa U, for our first ever SAT and ACT Town Hall meeting.

You can pre-submit your questions ahead of time (as opposed to...

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FAFSA Problems, Boston College Negotiation, More!

Good morning!

We're hitting the airwaves this morning -- 10:00am EST --  for College Coffee Talk, our live show about college admissions and financial aid news that you can use!  

Here's what's on tap for today:

*A long list of FAFSA problems

*Boston College Negotiation Case Study

*Your questions!

Join us on our Facebook page,, or click this big blue button:



Grab a cup of joe and we'll see you at 10am EST (recorded if you can't make it).  This is a great opportunity for Q&A, live, free college coaching, anything goes!

- Andy "Java Jive" Lockwood

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