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Get Real and Pay for College: This Week on College Admissions Real Talk

May 18, 2021 | podcast

With National College Decision Day in the rearview mirror, your thoughts may be starting to shift to other things. You may be planning how you’d like to decorate your dorm room, thinking about meal plans, or hitting “add to cart” on a hoodie with your new college’s logo, but one question still may be looming: “how the heck am I going to pay for this?!”

That’s why I’ve devoted four episodes to my interview with Sam Mikhail. Sam is the CEO of Smart Track College Funding, which helps families pay for college efficiently, making sure that paying for college does not negatively impact retirement for families. Sam has helped thousands of families build smart, flexible financial plans to fund college, retirement, and lifetime dreams. No one is more qualified than Sam to help you wade through the mountain of financial aid information, and I’m so thrilled to have him join me on the podcast. 

In part one, Sam tells us how to save for college the right way, meaning that whatever happens (for instance, a global pandemic), you’re not inadvertently disqualifying yourself from some much-needed financial aid. Sam expands on that in part two of this series, sharing some of the common ways families disqualify themselves from financial aid, and how they can remedy that before filling out a FAFSA. 

Part three focuses on why saving isn’t the only thing you should be starting early (hint: chasing those As needs to start sooner than your junior year), plus Sam shares more about how Smart Track can help middle class families. In part four, we go deeper into why middle and upper middle class families fall through the tracks, and the strategies Smart Track recommends to help these families choose the right school, understand their options, and  maximize their financial aid. You won’t want to miss a minute of this important series! 

On Friday’s episode, I get real with you, sharing what I learned on my admissions journey. I went into higher education because I have been where you are now. I had big goals, a dream school, and absolutely no idea how to achieve those things. I did eventually achieve my dream of going to NYU, but the stress of the experience stuck with me. Reflecting on the experience, I learned that the applications process is not designed to create a perfect outcome. The process is designed to help you grow, reflect, and figure out who you are and what you want so that when you get to college you’re able to build your own version of success. I hope this episode helps you feel heard, understood, and ready to blossom.

I speak more about my experience in my upcoming book, Get Real and Get In, which offers insight and information about how to access your most important admissions asset: your authentic self. Pre-order your copy today! 

And in case you missed some of recent episodes, you can catch up here