The College Money Guys January 2018

January 2018

Award The


Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home



We take New Year’s Eve slow at the Lloyd household. We rang in 2018 from home, enjoying the company of our college kids in their last days of holiday break. It was a nice chance to relax and reflect on the past year. I like taking a step back to look at the big picture, and January’s the perfect time to do it. I like to start the year at 20,000 feet. To do this, I reread two of my favorite books, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and Ayn Rand’s classic work “Atlas Shrugged.” Most of what I read are heady works on college finance. While I like staying abreast of the latest trends, it’s nice to get out of the weeds and reorient myself with my core values. Carnegie and Rand speak to my outlook on life, and though I’ve read their works a dozen times, I always find some new wisdom in them. The new year is a real time for renewal at the office. The seniors we work with have all submitted their financial aid documents and are waiting for their award letters. This lets us shift our attention to the juniors and sophomores who are just beginning the process of applying for college. The excitement of these students is contagious, and seeing the spark in their eyes helps remind me why I love what I do. Speaking of juniors, if there are any out their looking for a great New Year’s resolution, allow me to suggest starting a journal. While application essay season is still a way off, taking the time to develop your writing voice will only strengthen your submissions. Write about whatever you like, take notes, and play with ideas. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

he strokes her neck) that must have made a few deans of admission blush. The student even formatted the essay to resemble what could either be the curves of a guitar or the silhouette of a woman. Unusual? Yes. But also original, and most importantly, memorable. Don’t be afraid to write about whatever you connect with, whether it’s a service trip abroad or your favorite flavor of Starbucks coffee. We know these essays can be a challenge, which is why we are making more resources available to help. Starting this month, we’re integrating the “Prompt” essay review service into our student portal. This will give our young writers a chance to have their essays proofread by professionals and get valuable feedback. This will be the first of many exciting changes on the horizon for College Money Guys. 2017 was a fantastic year, and the future’s looking bright. Building on our success, we hope to grow our team and expand our capacity to serve you and your kids. This time of year always reminds me how important the work we do is. To all our parents, thank you for trusting us to help your children achieve a higher education. And to all our seniors awaiting award letters out there, we’ve got our fingers crossed for your success!

One boy I mentored wrote a very witty love letter to his guitar. I remember it was full of double entendres (like the way she frets when

“2017 was a fantastic year, and the future’s looking bright. Building on our success, we hope to grow our team and expand our capacity to serve you and your kids.”

Happy New Year!

–Bra nnon Lloyd

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3 WAYS When you go on a trip, whether it’s a quick jaunt to a neighboring town or a weeklong stay in an exotic locale, you interact with new people and cultures. It’s one thing to hear someone talk about the laid-back vibes of the West Coast, but you can’t really feel them for yourself until you’ve meandered through the redwoods or watched the sun set over Puget Sound. Now, imagine the positive effects this kind of cultural awakening could have on a young mind! While we tend to think about the worst- case scenarios and added stresses of traveling with kids, they stand to benefit as much, if not more, from travel as we do. You never know — your son or daughter may realize a passion for a subject that will one day become their career. As you’re plotting destinations for the new year, keep these life-changing possibilities in mind. 1. History will come to life. Yes, your kids will read about World War II in school and take state capital quizzes. But in the end, nothing compares to firsthand experiences of culturally significant locations. Imagine showing a child the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s famous theory of evolution was conceived, or having the chance to talk about the beginnings of the Revolutionary War while strolling through Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts. If you live in a state with a rich history, make it a point to visit one of the nearby museums. If you’re planning a vacation abroad, incorporate visits to historical sites. Take the opportunity to learn as a family!


2. They’ll pick up new skills. In addition to learning about history, your child may discover a new skill. They may learn a bit of conversational Spanish during a trip to Mexico or they might play soccer with a group of children and realize they have a knack for it. By fostering a sense of healthy curiosity about new places, you’ll help your child feel confident enough to branch out of their comfort zone and make new friends at home and on the road. 3. They’ll understand compassion. After a trip to Fiji, Lonely Planet Kids writer Patrick Kinsella found that, long after they returned, his eldest daughter continued to reflect on her experience. “It’s an eye- and mind-opening experience, especially for Ivy, who has never before considered that someone her age might not have a TV, let alone lack electricity,” Kinsella writes. “For many months afterward, Ivy talk[ed] about Po, imagining her Fijian friend’s life.” Because they’re so open-minded, kids are the perfect sponges for new experiences. At the very least, they’ll be less likely to take what they have for granted, and they might even develop an expansive and exploratory worldview.


“Honestly, we wouldn’t even be looking at private universities or getting large scholarship offers from private universities if not for Brannon and the College Money team. The admissions process is so crazy these days. I’m glad these guys are here to help, and they do help. They are very passionate about getting your kid into college without exhausting your retirement budget to do so.”

“After our initial meeting with Kurt, my son walked away with an enthusiasm for the college application process. His initial response when I asked how he felt the meeting went was, ‘Awesome! When can I see Kurt again?’”


–Beth H.

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It’s that time of year again: award letter season. At some point within the next month or two, your high school senior should receive mail from all the colleges that have accepted them. These letters will break down the financial aid awards your child will receive and give you the final cost of tuition. After the final award letter arrives, it’s time to make the difficult decisions. Now you know how much each institution will cost — at least in theory. The sad truth is that there’s currently no universal format for these award letters. This can make comparing awards from different schools difficult and misleading. This is especially true in the case of loans. Many institutions don’t provide a clear breakdown of how much of a final award is derived from loans vs. grants and scholarships. They do this by failing to provide details on interest rates and monthly payments within the letter itself. Some don’t even use the word “loan” at all. Watch out for this. Some award letters look very attractive when you simply look at the total dollar value, but this number may be inflated by costly loans that will plague you or your child well after graduation. Once you’ve taken loans into account, the other deceiving number you have to get past is the cost of attendance. The sticker prices of most colleges are pretty frightening these days. It’s easy to look at the total cost of an out-of-state, Ivy League school and shake one’s head, but this

shouldn’t be the number you dwell on. Instead, you have to calculate the net price. This is the cost of attendance minus the amount of aid your child will end up accepting. This is the actual monetary cost you’ll be paying semester to semester. Once your child has received their last award letter and you’ve pieced together how much you’ll actually be paying in tuition and loans, the hardest decision remains: Which of these colleges will your child call home?




1 leftover turkey carcass

4 eggs

6 scallions, divided

4 ounces bacon

8 slices ginger

4 portions fresh, not instant, ramen noodles

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

2 cups leftover turkey, shredded

16 cups water


1. Remove most of the meat from the turkey carcass, shred, and set aside. Put carcass in a large stockpot, along with 3 scallions, ginger, mushrooms, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. 2. Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove pot from heat and let sit for 4 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool. 3. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, chop, and set aside. Chop remaining scallions. 4. Once the broth is done simmering, prepare the fresh noodles according to package directions. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and cover with broth. Add shredded turkey, chopped scallions, chopped bacon, and an egg to each bowl. (Recipe inspired by

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What the New Year Means for Us A TripWill Change Your Child’s Life Our Clients Say It Best How to Compare Award Letters Do You Have a Growth Mindset?


Ever seen a gym in January? It’s a scene that more closely resembles a standing room-only concert hall, and it smells like one, too. If you return to that same gym in April, it’s a ghost town. The crowds and their resolutions came and went. But why? It’s not as if these resolutions were made in vain or that the people who made them are lazy. Instead, failed New Year’s resolutions are a result of an inability to create habitual behavior. If you’re looking for success in your new habits this year, the key is having the right mindset. HOW TO START A NEW HABIT REWIRING YOUR BRAIN FOR SUCCESS In Carol Dweck’s multiple books on mindset, she tackles a key overarching concept that permeates how we think about success, learning, and accomplishment. She states that we approach new habits with either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. In a fixed mindset, we are focused on our traits as they are. They are in a stationary state and unable to be changed or altered to achieve the desired effect. If you are incorporating a new habit into your daily life, having a fixed mindset limits the opportunity for that new habit to successfully take. In a growth mindset, however, your basic abilities can improve with work ethic, dedication, and resilience. Adopting a new habit is not limited to what you know, who you are, or your innate talent. Instead, the success of new habitual behavior is determined by the measure of your openness to change

the way you think about it. In order to start a new habit, you need to rewire how your brain works, and the only way to do that is to focus your mindset toward the new task. With your brain rewired to have a growth mindset, more behavior falls under what you can control, rather than what concerns you. As you start your 2018 and go into the new year, ask yourself how you are approaching your new behaviors. Are you using a growth mindset to rewire your brain, or are you limiting yourself with a fixed mindset?

Thank you for your referrals!

Oksana B. Travis S. Gangdhar and Shabnum H.

Matt D. John and Anne W.

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