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Rank #44 in Education for Kids category

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The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more...

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #44 in Education for Kids category

Education
Kids & Family
Education for Kids
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Confused about the road to college? Don’t know where to begin your college search? The College Checklist podcast is your source for great information on the college admissions journey. Hosted by SAT & ACT expert and entrepreneur Lauren Gaggioli, the College Checklist features interviews from college counselors, admission officers and other professionals who can help you get into college, pay for school with scholarships, and succeed once you’re there. This podcast also features test prep tips and tricks and alerts for dates and deadlines for upcoming ACT & SAT test dates. The College Checklist podcast is your source for all things college admissions. The College Checklist podcast is brought to you as a free service of Higher Scores Test Prep, an online test prep company that helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT.

Read more

Confused about the road to college? Don’t know where to begin your college search? The College Checklist podcast is your source for great information on the college admissions journey. Hosted by SAT & ACT expert and entrepreneur Lauren Gaggioli, the College Checklist features interviews from college counselors, admission officers and other professionals who can help you get into college, pay for school with scholarships, and succeed once you’re there. This podcast also features test prep tips and tricks and alerts for dates and deadlines for upcoming ACT & SAT test dates. The College Checklist podcast is your source for all things college admissions. The College Checklist podcast is brought to you as a free service of Higher Scores Test Prep, an online test prep company that helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT.

iTunes Ratings

78 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
5
3
0
0

Very helpful but...

By Jolynne Smyth - Jun 17 2019
Read more
Would be more helpful jump right to the point(s) of the episode.

So helpful!

By Donereviewing - Mar 05 2019
Read more
We’re not at a point where we need all of the episodes, but great for what we do!

iTunes Ratings

78 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
5
3
0
0

Very helpful but...

By Jolynne Smyth - Jun 17 2019
Read more
Would be more helpful jump right to the point(s) of the episode.

So helpful!

By Donereviewing - Mar 05 2019
Read more
We’re not at a point where we need all of the episodes, but great for what we do!

Listen to:

Cover image of The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more...

The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more...

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

Confused about the road to college? Don’t know where to begin your college search? The College Checklist podcast is your source for great information on the college admissions journey. Hosted by SAT & ACT expert and entrepreneur Lauren Gaggioli, the College Checklist features interviews from college counselors, admission officers and other professionals who can help you get into college, pay for school with scholarships, and succeed once you’re there. This podcast also features test prep tips and tricks and alerts for dates and deadlines for upcoming ACT & SAT test dates. The College Checklist podcast is your source for all things college admissions. The College Checklist podcast is brought to you as a free service of Higher Scores Test Prep, an online test prep company that helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT.

5 Tips for Higher ACT Scores (Episode 11)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I share 5 of my favorite free ACT prep tips to help students achieve higher test scores. As you either know or can probably guess, I am a fan of thorough ACT prep; however, sometimes you end up with less time than you’d hope for to prepare for […]

The post 5 Tips for Higher ACT Scores (Episode 11) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Apr 20 2014

31mins

Play

What College Admissions Officers Really Want (Episode 87)

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If you’ve ever wondered what makes a great college application or what college admissions officers want to see from applicants, this episode of The College Checklist Podcast is for you! In this show, I’m joined by my friend Luke Lawson who’s served as an undergraduate admissions officer and in many other posts in higher education for the past 4 years.

Luke candidly shares what he wanted to see from applicants when he was a college admissions officer and helps us understand the differences between admissions in large and small institutions.

I hope this episode will help dispel some of the many myths that surround college admissions and help you understand how you can best forge connections with your college admissions officers on your path to college.

Listen Now: What College Admissions Officers Really Want

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1:

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2:

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3:

Q4: What is your all-time favorite books?
A4:

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you like this episode? Remember to share it with your friends!

The post What College Admissions Officers Really Want (Episode 87) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Oct 24 2016

36mins

Play

The New PSAT: What the Class of 2017 Needs to Know (Episode 54)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Celest Horton of Debt Free Degree 101 and I discuss the new PSAT that’s slated to debut in October 2015. Yes! Even though the new full-length SAT will not be released until March 2016, the PSAT for the Class of 2017 (this summer’s rising juniors) will be a reflection […]

The post The New PSAT: What the Class of 2017 Needs to Know (Episode 54) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jun 09 2015

48mins

Play

Scholarship Tips from a Debt-Free Grad (Episode 79)

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Looking for great scholarship tips from someone who’s used free money to fund her college education? You’re in the right place! Fellow podcaster Kristy Sturgill joins us on The College Checklist podcast to share how she graduated debt free from college by obtaining scholarships both before she set off to college and throughout her 4 years […]

The post Scholarship Tips from a Debt-Free Grad (Episode 79) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jun 27 2016

46mins

Play

How to Prepare to Win College Scholarships with Monica Matthews (Episode 69)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, scholarship expert and author Monica Matthews joins us to share 12 tips that families with students of all ages can employ to prepare to win college scholarships. These tips are practical ideas that families can do together that can ultimately help them become more competitive when financial aid and private […]

The post How to Prepare to Win College Scholarships with Monica Matthews (Episode 69) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Feb 21 2016

36mins

Play

Find the College Major That is Right for You with Kat Clowes (Episode 28)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I chat with Kat Clowes of March Consulting about the best way to choose your college major. Kat describes her journey to becoming an educational consultant and shares great tips to help students avoid a too circuitous route to their final destination. She also shares her passion for […]

The post Find the College Major That is Right for You with Kat Clowes (Episode 28) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Aug 20 2014

38mins

Play

College Recruiting for High School Athletes (Episode 59)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Cailean Bailey of the ESM Group joins me to talk about college recruiting for students who are looking to play sports in college. Cailean is an independent counselor who specializes in the NCAA student-athlete recruitment process. He has extensive experience as a student-athlete and as a recruiting […]

The post College Recruiting for High School Athletes (Episode 59) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Sep 23 2015

55mins

Play

Overview Of The Changes To The 2016 FAFSA

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2016 is a year of change in the college admissions world. The new SAT has debuted and the FAFSA is changing in the fall! If you’re unfamiliar with the FAFSA, it is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – a very important part of the financial aid process for all students. In this episode of The College Checklist […]

The post Overview Of The Changes To The 2016 FAFSA (Episode 71) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Mar 23 2016

23mins

Play

Create the Perfect, Low Stress Testing Timeline (Episode 42)

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As you may know, I am passionate about test prep. Strange as that sounds, it’s quite true. I don’t know why I’m wired this way, but c’est la vie. I may as well embrace it, right? In the past 7 years as I’ve worked to crack the SAT and ACT codes, I’ve also acquired a lot of […]

The post Create the Perfect, Low Stress Testing Timeline (Episode 42) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 20 2014

56mins

Play

Encore Episode – Tips for a Great College Visit with Jessica Velasco

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It’s time for another encore episode of The College Checklist Podcast. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are starting off the New Year strong! I am looking forward to a great 2016 with you. Today, we’re bringing you back to Episode 34 where Jessica Velasco discusses how to have a great college […]

The post Encore Episode – Tips for a Great College Visit with Jessica Velasco appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jan 05 2016

39mins

Play

Senior Year Checklist for College Admissions (Episode 46)

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Senior year. Many students imagine it’s an entire year dedicated enjoying notable lasts – last football game, last school play, last team dinner, last dance – and to saying farewell to dear friends. Not many students envision all of the work that goes into the year that has a lazy syndrome named after it – Senioritis! In […]

The post Senior Year Checklist for College Admissions (Episode 46) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Feb 24 2015

1hr 8mins

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College Application Essay Help (Episode 21)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Brandee Ambrosia and I discuss the college essay and the importance of getting college application essay help to make sure your application stands out. Brandee provides insight on the value of the college admissions essay and some tips on how to approach it. She discusses the different types […]

The post College Application Essay Help (Episode 21) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jun 25 2014

55mins

Play

How to Get Into Medical School with Dr. Ryan Gray

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Dr. Ryan Gray joins me to discuss what undergraduate students who think they would like to pursue medicine should consider at every step of their educational journey. We cover everything from which undergraduate degree students should pursue to the ins and outs of the complex application process for medical school. […]

The post How To Get Into Medical School (Episode 61) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Oct 16 2015

42mins

Play

How I Got Into Columbia University (Episode 80)

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If you’ve ever wondered how students get admitted to top schools like Columbia, you’re in for a special treat! My former test prep student and Columbia University Class of 2020 admittee Tevis joins me on today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast to share his college admissions story. Here’s the thing: getting into an Ivy League college is […]

The post How I Got Into Columbia University (Episode 80) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jul 15 2016

50mins

Play

Great Money Tips for College-Bound Teens (Episode 75)

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We are very lucky to have Ramsey Personality Rachel Cruze on the show today to share tips on how we can raise kids that are financially prepared to tackle college without going into debt. Rachel is Dave Ramsey’s daughter and, growing up a Ramsey, there were lots of money lessons that she learned along the way. […]

The post Great Money Tips for College-Bound Teens (Episode 75) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Apr 22 2016

37mins

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Saving for College with 529 Plans with Kathryn Flynn (Episode 66)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Kathryn Flynn, Content Director at SavingForCollege.com explains how 529 plans work and many of the advantages of using this method for families saving for college. Listen Now: Saving for College with 529 Plans Subscribe to the College Checklist Podcast About Kathryn Flynn Kathryn Flynn is a Financial […]

The post Saving for College with 529 Plans with Kathryn Flynn (Episode 66) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 03 2015

32mins

Play

3 Things I Learned When I Bombed the ACT (Episode 37)

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As a test prep pro, I take both the SAT and ACT periodically not only to check in on the tests to make sure they aren’t shifting in tone or content but also to stay connected to my students. The college admissions exams are stressful and a real test day takes everything up a notch. […]

The post 3 Things I Learned When I Bombed the ACT (Episode 37) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Nov 04 2014

34mins

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How I Earned $160,000 In Scholarships At My Dream School (Episode 85)

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Getting into college is hard. Winning college scholarships is even harder. I am so proud to have my student Darius and his mother Shawnae on to talk about their family’s college admissions journey that included a strategic approach to financial aid.

Their family’s open, honest conversation about the cost of college gave Darius the full view of what it was going to take to get into and pay for his education. That translated into motivation and allowed Darius to achieve tremendous success on his path to college.

It’s one thing for our expert guests to share how to win scholarships for college. It’s another thing to hear from a family who has actually done it.

I’m so honored that Darius and Shawnae came on to share their journey to admissions and scholarship success at Darius’s dream school, Wake Forest.

I hope their story inspires you to work hard and reap the rewards too!

Listen Now: How I Earned $160,000 In College Scholarships At My Dream School

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

RECOMMENDED Resources

Quotable quotes

“I started thinking about what Darius would need to do to get in to the college of his dreams when he was in middle school.”

“In 10th grade you need to be sure you are taking the right courses.”

“There is a lot of scholarship money out there if you do the research and do the work.”

“I wanted a smaller school so I could interact more with my teachers.  When I walked on campus for a tour I knew it would be a good fit for me.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
Darius: De-stress. Take some time for yourself.
Shawnae: Stay organized and know the timeline for specific colleges.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
Darius: Create a good relationship with your guidance counselor.
Shawnae: The College Checklist Podcast

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
Darius: Make sure you have a plan.
Shawnae: Make sure the colleges you are looking at are a good fit.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
Darius: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi*
Shawnae: As a child, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas*. Recently, Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly* and Game Plan by Heilemann and Halperin*.

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Want to boost your ACT scores and earn scholarship dollars too?

The ACT prep course Darius took costs less than $500 and helped him earn over $160,000 in scholarships.

That’s a return on investment (ROI) of nearly 32,000%.

Click here to learn more about my ACT Complete Package prep course.

Did you like this episode? Remember to share it with your friends!

The post How I Earned $160,000 In Scholarships At My Dream School (Episode 85) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Sep 26 2016

41mins

Play

The Importance of Parenting with Intention with Gail Vawter (Episode 67)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I interview Gail Vawter, the mother of Michael Vawter, the inventor we met in Episode 65. Being the Mother of students who participate in high level science competitions gives Gail an interesting perspective.  We discuss how she encouraged and supported them through their success.  In fact, both […]

The post The Importance of Parenting with Intention with Gail Vawter (Episode 67) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 09 2015

41mins

Play

A Practical Guide to College Admissions (Episode 88)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Brenden, a former ACT prep student of mine, and his mom, Jeanne share their best tips as practical a guide to college admissions.

The hallmark off their experience was staring early and doing plenty of research and planning. Brenden also explains how he balanced work, outside activities, and school.

This journey had a very happy destination as Brenden was accepted to his first choice college: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Listen Now: A Practical Guide to College Admissions

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

Quotable Quotes

Brenden: “I took as many honors classes as I could.  School always came first.”

Brenden: “We started planning the admissions process in my freshman year.”

Jeanne: “Starting when he was a freshman we always visited college campuses near places we traveled to.  I wanted Brenden to see what was out there.”

Brenden: “A huge factor for me was how soon I could get a job out of college.  Also, the price of the school was a factor.”

Jeanne: “Cal Poly is a tough school to get in to so I researched what test scores and GPA is needed to get in.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
Brenden: Take the ACT early.
Jeanne: Dream big.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
Brenden: ACT Prep with Higher Scores Test Prep
Jeanne: collegeapps.about.com

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
Brenden: Choose schools that fit you best and start planning early.
Jeanne: Focus on a few schools and do your best.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
Brenden: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Jeanne: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post A Practical Guide to College Admissions (Episode 88) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 04 2016

38mins

Play

Getting the Most Out of College Campus Visits (Episode 93)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Kelly Queijo, founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting, provides excellent advice on how to plan campus visits, how to save money on your college visits,  and how to get the most benefit from the experience.

Remember: campus visits are a fact-finding mission about your home for the next 4 years. It’s also a great way to demonstrate your genuine interest in your favorite colleges.

Take Kelly’s campus visit tips to heart to have the most successful experience possible!

Listen Now: Getting the Most Out of College Campus Visits

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

About Z. Kelly Queijo

Z. Kelly Queijo is the president and founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting. She is a Virginia Tech alum who got started in college admissions after working at her alma mater as an undergraduate admissions marketing and PR coordinator.

Kelly hosts #CampusChat on Twitter to help parents and students learn more about the college admissions process and higher ed in general.

Show Notes

REsources Mentioned

Quotable Quotes

“The most important thing is to really maximize your time by getting all your questions answered.”

“Getting that experience first-hand is something all colleges agree is important.”

“Try to get a sense of what life at a school will really be like.  Try to picture yourself at that school.”

“Junior year is when visits are an absolute must.  From spring of the junior year to fall of the senior year is the most intensive time for college visits.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1: Be open minded and take time to breathe.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2: Smart College Consulting.  We publish information on everything about the college admissions process.

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3: Remember there are lots of ways to make a college degree possible.  There are always ways around obstacles.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
A4: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Get In Touch With Kelly

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post Getting the Most Out of College Campus Visits (Episode 93) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jan 23 2017

29mins

Play

All About Student Loans (Episode 92)

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We are in for a special treat on this episode of The College Checklist Podcast with our first three-peat guest, Jodi Okun! Jodi has a wealth of knowledge on all things paying for college – including student loans.

In the past, Jodi has helped us understand the bird’s eye view of the financial aid process, the changes that came to the FAFSA in 2016, and now she’s back to help us understand how families can wisely leverage student loans to help pay for college.

For some families, taking out student loans for college is not an option; for others, loans can be a viable way to bridge the gap between the free cash for college that you’ve earned and the remaining balance of your tuition.

I encourage all families to start by exploring the free money options out there – merit aid and grants and private scholarships – first. Then, once you’ve accrued as much free money for college as possible, consider student loans.

Jodi is a great guide as we learn about this sometimes necessary part of the paying for college puzzle. In this episode, Jodi gives us an overview of the many ways to pay for college with particular emphasis on the different types of student loans, including information on loans for graduate school.

Listen Now: All About Student Loans

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

About Jodi Okun

Jodi Okun is the founder of College Financial Aid Advisors. Jodi has a passion for helping families open up educational opportunities for their children. She has helped thousands of families navigate the financial aid process. Jodi’s background includes over ten years in the financial aid industry.

Jodi is a former Sr. Asst. Director of Financial Aid at Occidental College and previously worked at Pitzer. She is the host of #CollegeCash: a Twitter chat devoted to connecting college-bound families with higher education professionals. Jodi also writes for the Huffington Post and is the brand ambassador for Discover Student Loans. 

Show Notes

Read Jodi’s book for a deeper dive on all things financial aid!

Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro by Jodi Okun*

Quotable Quotes

“You don’t have to pay for college just one way.”

“It is not one scholarship for $60,000, it is 60 scholarships for $1,000.”

“The first loan to look for is the federal student loan package.”

Get In Touch with Jodi

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post All About Student Loans (Episode 92) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jan 16 2017

24mins

Play

Honoring Your Passions: One Student’s Authentic Journey to College (Episode 91)

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In my final feature of a Higher Scores Test Prep student from the high school class of 2016, I am thrilled to include one of my very first online students, Madeleine. At the time of recording, Madeleine had just graduated from high school and was planning to attend Mt. Holyoke College.

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Madeleine takes us through the plan she developed and the steps she took to get in to the college of her dreams. I was struck by Madeleine’s poise and commitment to honoring her true self as a part of this journey to college. She lead with her strengths and, by being so honest and transparent, was able to find a incredible college admissions success as schools that were the perfect fit for her.

This episode is loaded with tips that will be useful to any student or family getting ready to begin the college search process or who are already on the journey to college.

Listen Now – Honoring Your Passions: One Student’s Authentic Journey to College

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

Quotable quotes

“You don’t have to take all AP classes to find a fulfilling academic experience and growth.”

“College has always been on my horizon.  I started actively searching in my sophomore year. It is never to early to start looking but you don’t want to have the college application process be a weight that looms over your head.”

On what helped her decide which college to attend: “Sitting in on classes was the most helpful for me.  I highly recommend it.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1: Keep in mind t hat it’s never a bad idea to ask questions.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2: Best 381 College by Princeton Review* and 100 Successful College Application Essays by The Harvard Independent*

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3: Have a plan. Map out a calendar.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
A4: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you like this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post Honoring Your Passions: One Student’s Authentic Journey to College (Episode 91) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jan 09 2017

37mins

Play

Going Off-Trail on Purpose (Episode 90)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I interview Off-Trail On Purpose founder Leslie Frey about the benefits of defying the status quo in college admissions and why taking the long view of what you want from life can help you find the perfect-fit college.

Leslie’s background as a teacher and Outward Bound leader gives her a unique perspective on the college admissions process. She provides insights as to why finding a career choice before a college choice is so important. She also explains the financial benefits of knowing what you want to do when you enter college and graduate in 4 years.

Listen Now: Going Off-Trail On Purpose

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

About Leslie Frey

Leslie Frey is the founder of Off-Trail on Purpose – a program designed to show families a better way to prepare for, apply to, and navigate college. Her work in the college admissions space is informed by her own journey after graduation and influenced by her experiences as a teacher and an Outward Bound leader.

Leslie takes a very unique view of the college admissions process by helping students identify their direction in life before focusing on the college search. She works with students to help them find their true north and helps them discover their unique path to success.

Show Notes

Resources Mentioned

Quotable Quotes

“Many students approach college choice in wanting to go to the best college. That doesn’t always work out.”

“Many people choose a college or major without a clear idea of what they really want to do after graduation.  We try to build a life skill on how to actually engage in your own life.”

“It is not just knowing what you want to be, it is learning how to create relationships with others that can help you move in that direction.  Beginning to think about this in high school is what really sets you apart.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1: Define specifically what success means to the student and the family.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2: Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni*

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3: Parents should find other people to help their kids.  Function like a general contractor.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
A4: The Chosen by Chaim Potek*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Get In Touch with Leslie

Head to OffTrailOnPurpose.com to connect with Leslie.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post Going Off-Trail on Purpose (Episode 90) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jan 02 2017

54mins

Play

How to Conduct Data-Driven College Research (Episode 89)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I interview Road 2 College founder Debbie Schwartz about the best ways to leverage some of the wonderful, free college research tools available these days.

When her own child was getting ready to plan for college, Debbie came to realize how little college financial planning assistance there was for families.  Debbie is dedicated to helping families understand the complexities of college financial planning by starting at the source of many issues: conducting a strong college search to begin with.

With so many college research tools at our disposal, it’s sometimes hard to tell where to begin and what the most relevant college data is to consider before adding it to your college list. In this episode, Debbie provides tips and several excellent resources parents can access to aid them in planning.

Listen Now: How to Conduct Data-Driven College Research

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

About Debbie Schwartz

Debbie Schwarz is the founder of Road2College.com. She has a background as a marketing executive in financial services and has spent many years educating consumers and, after working with a national bank to help market student loans, she realized how overwhelming the process of paying for college really is.

Debbie now works to find parents before they realize they need her help in order to make the college admissions and paying for college process as pain free as possible.

Show Notes

Resources Mentioned

Quotable Quotes

“Start the research when your child is in 9th grade so you can learn all the terminology and have time to learn how to get aid and how to pay for college.”

“A good rule of thumb is you don’t want to have student loans greater than the expected first year earnings after college graduation.”

“Your child should apply to colleges where their test scores are in the top 25% of students accepted to that college.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1: Make sure your student gets test prep help for the ACT or SAT.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2: Grown and Flown by Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington*

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3: Learn early in the process what your EFC (expected family contribution) is.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
A4: Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post How to Conduct Data-Driven College Research (Episode 89) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 26 2016

48mins

Play

A Practical Guide to College Admissions (Episode 88)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Brenden, a former ACT prep student of mine, and his mom, Jeanne share their best tips as practical a guide to college admissions.

The hallmark off their experience was staring early and doing plenty of research and planning. Brenden also explains how he balanced work, outside activities, and school.

This journey had a very happy destination as Brenden was accepted to his first choice college: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Listen Now: A Practical Guide to College Admissions

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

Quotable Quotes

Brenden: “I took as many honors classes as I could.  School always came first.”

Brenden: “We started planning the admissions process in my freshman year.”

Jeanne: “Starting when he was a freshman we always visited college campuses near places we traveled to.  I wanted Brenden to see what was out there.”

Brenden: “A huge factor for me was how soon I could get a job out of college.  Also, the price of the school was a factor.”

Jeanne: “Cal Poly is a tough school to get in to so I researched what test scores and GPA is needed to get in.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
Brenden: Take the ACT early.
Jeanne: Dream big.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
Brenden: ACT Prep with Higher Scores Test Prep
Jeanne: collegeapps.about.com

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
Brenden: Choose schools that fit you best and start planning early.
Jeanne: Focus on a few schools and do your best.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
Brenden: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Jeanne: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell*

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you enjoy this episode? Please share it with your friends!

The post A Practical Guide to College Admissions (Episode 88) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Dec 04 2016

38mins

Play

What College Admissions Officers Really Want (Episode 87)

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If you’ve ever wondered what makes a great college application or what college admissions officers want to see from applicants, this episode of The College Checklist Podcast is for you! In this show, I’m joined by my friend Luke Lawson who’s served as an undergraduate admissions officer and in many other posts in higher education for the past 4 years.

Luke candidly shares what he wanted to see from applicants when he was a college admissions officer and helps us understand the differences between admissions in large and small institutions.

I hope this episode will help dispel some of the many myths that surround college admissions and help you understand how you can best forge connections with your college admissions officers on your path to college.

Listen Now: What College Admissions Officers Really Want

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1:

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
A2:

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3:

Q4: What is your all-time favorite books?
A4:

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Did you like this episode? Remember to share it with your friends!

The post What College Admissions Officers Really Want (Episode 87) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Oct 24 2016

36mins

Play

How To Become A Global Superstar (Episode 86)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ben Green, author of The Global Superstar. Ben provides valuable insights on what high school and college students can think about and do to prepare for a career in a field they are passionate about.

This episode is important because it reminds us of the “why” beyond getting into college. Being competitive in the global economy doesn’t happen by accident. While there are many to-do’s on the road to college admissions, we must look beyond getting in and be strategic regarding our careers.

Ben Green helps us do just that with some simple steps we can begin taking today and a few things to think about as we move beyond the high school halls.

Listen Now: How To Become A Global Superstar

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

About Ben Green

Ben Green the CEO of DPP IT and author of The Global Superstar*. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Morehouse College, a certificate in Brazilian culture from the University of Sao Paulo,  an economic development certificate from the University of North Carolina, and an MBA in international business from the University of South Carolina. He speaks Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Southern.

Show Notes

RECOMMENDED Resources

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Quotable quotes

“Global trade is up 60% in the last 10 to 20 years. The global superstar is someone who realizes that we are really interconnected in the world.”

“Students need a good foundation in written and spoken English, and they need to be good at math.”

“What I’d like to see students do, beginning high school, is to determine what they are really passionate about.”

“The next 30 to 40 years will be the most competitive job market ever.”

Want help on the road to college?

Getting into college is harder than ever, but students who are prepared have the advantage!

Consider enrolling in the online coaching program that I’ve crafted with my partner, Dr. Shirag Shemmassian, so you can stay on top of everything you need to do to be competitive for admissions to the right-fit college program and be successful in your career beyond graduation.

Click here to learn more about my new course, Timelines for College Admissions Success.

Did you like this episode? Remember to share it with your friends!

The post How To Become A Global Superstar (Episode 86) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Oct 10 2016

34mins

Play

How I Earned $160,000 In Scholarships At My Dream School (Episode 85)

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Getting into college is hard. Winning college scholarships is even harder. I am so proud to have my student Darius and his mother Shawnae on to talk about their family’s college admissions journey that included a strategic approach to financial aid.

Their family’s open, honest conversation about the cost of college gave Darius the full view of what it was going to take to get into and pay for his education. That translated into motivation and allowed Darius to achieve tremendous success on his path to college.

It’s one thing for our expert guests to share how to win scholarships for college. It’s another thing to hear from a family who has actually done it.

I’m so honored that Darius and Shawnae came on to share their journey to admissions and scholarship success at Darius’s dream school, Wake Forest.

I hope their story inspires you to work hard and reap the rewards too!

Listen Now: How I Earned $160,000 In College Scholarships At My Dream School

Never Miss An Episode

Subscribing to the show is the easiest way to ensure that you won’t miss any of the great information our guests share! Subscribing is easy!

Click either of the buttons below to subscribe to The College Checklist Podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Or type “The College Checklist” directly into whichever app you use to listen to podcasts and hit the subscribe button!

Love the show? Please take a moment to leave The College Checklist a rating and review in iTunes!

Show Notes

RECOMMENDED Resources

Quotable quotes

“I started thinking about what Darius would need to do to get in to the college of his dreams when he was in middle school.”

“In 10th grade you need to be sure you are taking the right courses.”

“There is a lot of scholarship money out there if you do the research and do the work.”

“I wanted a smaller school so I could interact more with my teachers.  When I walked on campus for a tour I knew it would be a good fit for me.”

Lightning Round Q&A

Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
Darius: De-stress. Take some time for yourself.
Shawnae: Stay organized and know the timeline for specific colleges.

Q2: What is your favorite college admissions book, blog, or tool that no family should be without?
Darius: Create a good relationship with your guidance counselor.
Shawnae: The College Checklist Podcast

Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
Darius: Make sure you have a plan.
Shawnae: Make sure the colleges you are looking at are a good fit.

Q4: What are your all-time favorite books?
Darius: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi*
Shawnae: As a child, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas*. Recently, Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly* and Game Plan by Heilemann and Halperin*.

*These are affiliate links. It will not cost you more to use them; however, I will receive a small reimbursement for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Want to boost your ACT scores and earn scholarship dollars too?

The ACT prep course Darius took costs less than $500 and helped him earn over $160,000 in scholarships.

That’s a return on investment (ROI) of nearly 32,000%.

Click here to learn more about my ACT Complete Package prep course.

Did you like this episode? Remember to share it with your friends!

The post How I Earned $160,000 In Scholarships At My Dream School (Episode 85) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Sep 26 2016

41mins

Play

All About The Common App (Episode 84)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, we’re going to talk about the Common Application (aka Common App) with Dr. Shirag Shemmassian.

Shirag will help us wrap our minds around what’s expected of us on the Common App and help us with some tips about best practices for filling it out as well.  We’ll cover essay differences, submission deadlines, early decision vs early action, and pointers on how to best be organized.

We also make a big announcement about our brand new course that we’re producing together: Timelines for College Admissions Success. To learn more about the innovative way we’re leveraging just-in-time learning to help you have a more fruitful and stress-free college admissions experience, visit higherscorestestprep.com/timelines.

Listen Now: All About The Common App

Subscribe to the College Checklist Podcast

About Shirag Shemmassian

Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is the founder of Shemmassian Academic Consulting, through which he helps students get into their top-choice colleges. Shirag received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from UCLA’s top-ranked clinical psychology program. Moreover, he graduated from both schools debt-free.

Show Notes

Resources Mentioned

*This is an affiliate link. If you use it, you will not pay more; however, I will receive a small payment for referring you. Thank you for your support of The College Checklist Podcast!

Quotable Quotes

“With the common application, students can go to one site and use a single application to apply to any one of 674 different colleges. But different schools want different sources of information so it is not a single application but a core application.”

“There a five essay options with the common application and students can choose the one they want to write. When you submit to a college you may get additional prompts as some schools require 2 or 3 supplemental essays.”

“Students can indicate who they want letters of recommendation from, and the teachers or counselors will get an email instructing them on how to upload the letter.”

“Schools don’t all have the same Common Application deadlines.  Before you start filling out applications, write down the deadline for each school you plan to apply to.  To avoid technical issues, don’t want to wait until the last minute to apply.  Apply 2 or 3 days before the school’s deadline. ”

Get In Touch with Shirag

Sharing is caring! If you like this episode, please share with your friends!

The post All About The Common App (Episode 84) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Sep 12 2016

49mins

Play

Are You Meant To Be An Entrepreneur? (Episode 83)

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In Episode 82 of The College Checklist Podcast, I interviewed Kelly Peeler of NextGenVest and something she said got me thinking about alternatives to college.  While she was very clear that the data from the last 20 years shows that college graduates make more over their lifetime than their uneducated peers, she also implied that the payoff […]

The post Are You Meant To Be An Entrepreneur? (Episode 83) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Aug 30 2016

35mins

Play

Getting Financially Organized for College Admissions (Episode 82)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Kelly Peeler of NextGenVest shares a lot of information about the ever-shifting landscape of college financial aid. Be sure to take advantage of NextGenVest’s free texting service that can help you have your financial aid and scholarship questions answered. NextGenVest can even help you appeal your financial aid […]

The post Getting Financially Organized for College Admissions (Episode 82) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Aug 15 2016

37mins

Play

The Power of College Internships (Episode 81)

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In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Sharise Kent joins us to share her expertise on college internships. Sharise is an expert on how students can find internships and determine their career objectives while they are still in school. Sharise provides many practical tips on how to prepare for college and how to find internships […]

The post The Power of College Internships (Episode 81) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Aug 01 2016

35mins

Play

How I Got Into Columbia University (Episode 80)

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If you’ve ever wondered how students get admitted to top schools like Columbia, you’re in for a special treat! My former test prep student and Columbia University Class of 2020 admittee Tevis joins me on today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast to share his college admissions story. Here’s the thing: getting into an Ivy League college is […]

The post How I Got Into Columbia University (Episode 80) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jul 15 2016

50mins

Play

Scholarship Tips from a Debt-Free Grad (Episode 79)

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Looking for great scholarship tips from someone who’s used free money to fund her college education? You’re in the right place! Fellow podcaster Kristy Sturgill joins us on The College Checklist podcast to share how she graduated debt free from college by obtaining scholarships both before she set off to college and throughout her 4 years […]

The post Scholarship Tips from a Debt-Free Grad (Episode 79) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jun 27 2016

46mins

Play

Getting To Know Your In-School Counselor (Episode 78)

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Today, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kelly Johnson. Kelly is an in-school counselor and also serves as Communications Chairman of the Indiana School Counselors Association. In this episode, Kelly helps us understand the changing role of the in-school counselor. She also gives parents and students alike insight on how to best leverage the […]

The post Getting To Know Your In-School Counselor (Episode 78) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Jun 13 2016

47mins

Play

How To Land Your Dream Job with the College Info Geek Thomas Frank (Episode 77)

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Today, I’m pleased to welcome Thomas Frank as a guest on The College Checklist Podcast. Thomas is the geek behind the popular blog, podcast, and YouTube channel College Info Geek. He provides advice for college students on how to study, how to get the jobs they want, and how to build a solid financial base. […]

The post How To Land Your Dream Job with the College Info Geek Thomas Frank (Episode 77) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

May 25 2016

41mins

Play

Community Service and the College Admissions Process (Episode 76)

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Today we have a very special guest! My mom, Francine Verbarg, makes her College Checklist Podcast debut! Our family has always been very focused on community service and Mom is the reason for that. She’s volunteered for various organizations from a very young age and shares her tips for getting involved in charity work. In this episode, […]

The post Community Service and the College Admissions Process (Episode 76) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Apr 29 2016

35mins

Play

Great Money Tips for College-Bound Teens (Episode 75)

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We are very lucky to have Ramsey Personality Rachel Cruze on the show today to share tips on how we can raise kids that are financially prepared to tackle college without going into debt. Rachel is Dave Ramsey’s daughter and, growing up a Ramsey, there were lots of money lessons that she learned along the way. […]

The post Great Money Tips for College-Bound Teens (Episode 75) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Apr 22 2016

37mins

Play

How To Appeal Financial Aid Awards (Episode 74)

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In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of welcoming Jay Benanav back on the show. This time we discuss the financial aid appeal process. Appealing financial aid something that not many families know they can do. However, it can be as simple as writing a financial aid appeal letter and […]

The post How To Appeal Financial Aid Awards (Episode 74) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

Apr 14 2016

45mins

Play