WARNING: When I wrote a similar article like this a few years ago, I offended a lot of Central Massachusetts guidance counselors to the point that I was dis-invited by an area high school where I was scheduled to speak. When I asked the superintendent why - ready for this? - I was told that I didn't support public education. Go figure. That was ugly. _______ Going to a high school’s college night is a self-inflicted injury in a near pity-party atmosphere. Am I getting off to a bad start already?
It's downright abusive. To be fair, it’s not a waste of time because you’ll experience, up close and personal, the brutality of reality. Eager speakers will deliver an unforgiving tsunami of details on how expensive it is and then remind you of all the mind-numbing paperwork that's ahead of you.
This person just so happens to be - brace yourself - a college official. It’s the friendly fox lecturing the unsuspecting chickens. S/he’ll use the offensive 4-letter word - LOAN - like a blunt instrument, swinging it without mercy for two punishing hours. Your local high school neglected to warn you that this night marks the date of your first nervous breakdown.
Why would a college person even hint at a single legal way to get more money from their coffers that you find when you read my stuff? Would a banker give you his bank’s access code so you could easily rob it?
Part of the college’s game is to keep you uninformed and to get you to spend more of your money, not to give you theirs. And they love lecturing you on what loan-troths you can feed at in order to pay their overly inflated fees.
Never discussed at these high school aid nights are proven ways to pay a whole lot less for college, something you get when parents attend my workshops or view my videos.
Never mentioned are the advantages of community colleges. God forbid! That would be discussing the competition, and in fairness to the speaker, we shouldn’t expect a lecture on the competition.
Your local high school is a well-intentioned but unintended co-conspirator with the colleges in keeping parents ignorant of how to save money on skyrocketing college costs.
Because I make a profit, I don’t get invited to speak at high schools on the topic of financial aid. Besides, what high school official would invite me to speak to parents after reading this post? Yet the school will invite a college official to give a seminar on this subject, with a mouth fully engaged on how parents can get into more debt.
No one even realizes the college official represents a business entity that is price-gouging the very parents the well-meaning high school wants to help.
My strategy has proven to give the student a far greater advantage in the admissions office because colleges place a premium on who you are, which is not easily recognized on a list of extracurricular activities, test scores, or application essays.
The greatest life-lesson your child will learn from working with me: Who you are will always triumph over what you know. Even in the admissions office.