...and stay clear of the deadly, lurking “landmines” that can SABOTAGE eligibility for scholarships and grants of hapless, unknowing families
Dear Fellow Parent:
It’s no secret, college costs have SKYROCKETED to insane levels over the past 30 years, and, if you’re realistic, there’s no relief in sight (sorry, Bernie and Elizabeth!).
Student loan levels have eclipsed 1.5 Trillion and counting, defaults are on the rise and 50% of college grads from two years ago STILL don’t have a job that requires a college degree!
Colleges act like they’re on your side, but don’t count on them for help. They are businesses, and want as much of your money as they can get their hands on, so they can build new dorms with flat panel TVs, lazy rivers and pay their presidents seven-figure salaries, among other “necessary” budget line items!
Likewise, don’t expect the government to step in on your behalf: student loan interest and fees totaled $66 Billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s more of a profit than most Fortune 100 companies make!
CPAs and accountants? Forget it. Also extremely UN-likely to assist you, they’re too busy trying to keep up with voluminous amounts of tax law changes to be able to devote any extra time to master the convoluted, non-common sense, punitive financial aid regulations.
I say “punitive” because the financial aid system PUNISHES responsible families who earn a living, pay their bills and live below their means, and don’t have a clue about how to level the playing field.
Last, and most disappointing, guidance counselors are woefully untrained in this area too, not to mention outnumbered (the average ratio of child to counselor is more than 400:1, nationally.
Pretty bleak, isn’t it? But hopeless?
Don’t throw in the towel just yet. Consider these little-known, surprising facts:
Let me put it to you like this: Paying for college is like taking a flight from New York to Los Angeles, packed with 300 passengers who EACH PAID A DIFFERENT FARE.
In other words, you’re all going to the SAME destination, but some passengers paid more than you (congrats!), while others paid LESS (grrrrrr!).
How does this happen?
It all boils down to one thing:
Unlocking the “Rules of the Game.”
Crack the code of The Rules and you will be ushered into the College Endowment Vault, by way of engineering a WINDFALL of fat, juicy scholarships and grants to pay for college.
Or, ignore The Rules at your own peril.
But before you bury your head in the sand, my advice is to picture how it would FEEL when you burst the bubble of your deserving child, who worked their tail off to somehow earn acceptance into their “Dream College”...
...but THEN, after the excitement fades, you’re forced to quietly confide...
“Sorry, I just can’t afford it.”
If your child does her part, how will you hold up your end of the bargain?
This begs the question....
How do YOU Crack the Code?
Here's two examples. (You might find these to be a little weird in a letter about financial aid but bear with me.)
Back when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were running for president, word got out that Romney paid an effective 14% tax rate, which was almost half of what Obama paid.
Yet, Romney out earned Obama by multiple millions of dollars! How did this happen?
Fast forward to Trump vs. Hillary. Same issue: Hillary accuses Trump of hiding his returns because he doesn’t want the world to know how little he paid in taxes.
“That makes me smart.”
Look, you can love or hate Trump, Hillary, Romney or Obama. But you should at least wonder how Romney and Trump managed to slash their tax bills, legally (let’s assume that for the sake of argument).
They relied on two little, powerful words:
I’m sure ol’ Mitt paid his legal and accounting advisors well into the six figures for their advice.
That sounds like a lot of dough…
...except when you realize that Mitt - a brilliant, wildly successful businessman, received a benefit of MILLIONS of dollars in reduced taxes. (I won’t speculate what went on inside Trump Tower until all indictments are in.)
Here’s my point: Romney didn’t look at his legal and accounting bills as EXPENSES, rather, they were INVESTMENTS that paid off in an amount GREATER than his initial outlay.
Romney and all successful businessmen and women understand the concept of Return on Investment when it comes to hiring experts to help them.
That, in a nutshell, is the bedrock of our firm, Lockwood College Prep; you give us X, we return you a MULTIPLE of X in terms of grants, scholarships and other financial aid.
Before I tell you about how we could potentially help you, I want to address one thing that you may be thinking:
Look, if you’re feeling sheepish or overwhelmed about needing money for college, not knowing where to start or whom to listen to, I’m here to tell you, parent-to-parent, that you shouldn’t.
Because the odds are stacked against you and millions of other families applying to college!
I already told you why colleges, the Department of Education, accountants and guidance counselors are useless in this area. If you doubt me, take a look at what the bureaucrats consider to be the “simplified view” of how financial aid works - hopefully you have a strong stomach:
Blech! And this mess is for the “easier” financial aid form, the FAFSA. The CSS Profile is twice as long, and 10 times as difficult as the FAFSA!
I don’t talk about this often, but in a weird way this crazy college advising career of mine FOUND ME, not the other way around.
Back in the 1980’s, I graduated from high school in the Boston suburbs and attended the fourth most expensive college in the country at the time (thank you very much), Wesleyan University in Connecticut, mostly because I liked the basketball coach who told me that I could be “one of his guys” if I applied there. (Yes. Great reason.)
My dad, a super-smart Yale and Columbia man and a do-it-yourselfer type, handled all the financial aid paperwork himself. Before I was born, he was a globetrotting photojournalist who achieved fame by covering and writing about Castro’s revolution in Cuba and the Vietnam War. After I came along, he developed a disability (diabetes) and was unable to earn steady income from that point forward.
I remember seeing all of the paperwork spread out in his basement office, knowing my tuition was past due, and asking whether I could help move things along.
His answer was always a little snippy and dismissive, “No. It’s complicated. Don’t worry, it will all work out.”
Well....it didn’t exactly “work out,” because between college and law school I racked up more than $100,000 of debt, which led to all kinds of credit issues, stress, and anxiety that I had no remedy for. It felt hopeless.
The irony was that, as a low-income, disabled artist my father could have qualified for SO MUCH more financial aid than we actually received, and I wouldn’t have had to bartend 7 days a week after I graduated college to put a dent into my loans.
But back then there weren’t any financial aid experts around. And I’m not sure that my stubborn, determined dad would have hired one anyway.
Fast forward to the present - my wife/business partner Pearl and I have four - NOT camera shy - kids of our own, and have sworn a blood oath that they will NEVER go through anything remotely like what I endured.
Which - not coincidentally - is also EXACTLY what I want for you and each of the thousands of families I talk to each year.
I’ve spent the better part of two decades researching and “expertising” myself on the financial aid and college admissions process. I’ve written books and appeared on local, national and international network television and other media because of this expertise. In our firm, Pearl and her team submit financial aid forms for hundreds of families each year.
We created the Instant College Funding System to teach families just like yours how to avoid mortgaging your home or retirement up to the eyeballs….
...and otherwise how NOT to get RIPPED OFF by the borderline criminal, predatory, overpriced colleges and high fee, high interest rate lenders!
ICF represents the codification of our 19+ years advising parents of college-bound teens, in one, comprehensive but easy-to-digest-course.
This new, updated system contains 23+ short, punchy videos to walk you through EVERYTHING you need to know in order to qualify for the maximum amount of grants, scholarships and other financial aid...
...So you can comfortably afford to send your child to his "Dream College," instead of tossing and turning at night over borrowing up to your eyeballs, robbing your retirement or being forced to eat mac 'n cheese every night!
Discover how to triple your eligibility for grants and scholarships. 23+ videos highlighting the ACTUAL places on the financial aid forms where money-losing, dangerous “landmines” lurk, and cost-cutting “loophole” opportunities present themselves
Comprehensive training on all possible arguments to make to the financial aid office after they "stiff" you, including case studies that you can model when you roll up your sleeves and attempt to pry some more dough from the cold, bony fingers of the stingy financial aid officer at your college! We’ve helped clients improve their “final” offers by $5,000, $23,000, $25,000, $35,000, even more than $50,000, so this is another example of one little feature of ICF that could pay off for you big-time, all by itself!
It’s super easy to miss deadlines, mix up what information belongs where, ignore follow-up requests from colleges or the Department of Education, and more. The problem is that any one of these harmless “admin” errors could, quite literally, cost you THOUSANDS. Even tens of thousands. We’ll show you how to bullet proof yourself from this form of self-sabotage.
I need to tell you about one more thing...
I left out the most important feature, one that’s impossible to put a price on:
You’ll finally sleep like a baby at night (remember what that feels like?), knowing that you’ve brought true experts into your corner, and that you won’t make any costly, self-sabotaging mistakes.
Can you imagine what that would feel like?
"One letter written by Andy got me an extra $20,000 from Providence College. Thanks, Andy!"
"From the moment I walked into your office, I felt as though a tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Thank you for all you have done for my precious girls."
"Andy is so disarming and nonchalant about his capabilities that one has to wonder if it's all a scam! My son is going to a top school (GW) on monies he received totally from Andrew's involvement. He looked me in the eye when I asked him what his success rate was and replied without hesitation, "I get my clients 5 times the amount of their investment with me. HE WASN'T KIDDING!!! Best money I ever spent."
"Andy Lockwood saved us a lot of money. We followed the advice from his book and both my sons got large scholarships and max FAFSA. Buy his book, hire him! He is an expert!"
"When my friends started telling me that they received nothing in financial assistance, I once again began to worry. But then our packages started coming from Ithaca, University of Albany, Syracuse and the best yet Boston University. My friend said "I can't understand how you received so much in assistance, while I got NOTHING, and I even had the FAFSA people fill out the forms. Is she crazy? Why would the people who are giving you the money want to help you fill out the forms? So all I can say is "Thank you Andy!" You made this whole process so easy, less stressful, and dare I say downright fun. Thank goodness you know all the loopholes. You are the best! Guess we'll be seeing each other for the next 4 years."
"Andy and Pearl helped me negotiate a ton of money (Editor’s note: $30,058 for one year - but why split hairs?) for my daughter at U.S.C."
"I know a lot of college planners who promise results but don't deliver. In your case, I got real results. Other parents thank me for recommending you."
Before you jump in on The Instant College Funding System, I want to tell you about some extra, extremely valuable - but time-sensitive - bonuses that I just know will absolutely delight you:
Available for a limited time, for action takers only - any one of these bonuses is worth the investment in The Instant College Funding System, many times over!
Let us eyeball your FAFSA and/or CSS Profile BEFORE you submit it, to catch any glaring errors that can rob you of financial aid, or point out any overlooked opportunities to get your mitts on more grants and scholarships! Value: $495
Sent to financial aid offices to improve initial, stingy offers, editable in MS Word. Each produced more than $16,000 in improved offers, one, more than $30,000...PER YEAR. Value: $97
For the first 12 to enroll, "fast forward" your results via a complimentary phone consultation to ensure that you're going down the right path with ICF and using it in the most time-efficient manner possible for your personal circumstances. MUST BE BOOKED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ENROLLMENT. Value: $499
Let’s talk turkey. My 1-on-1 private college advising clients regularly pay between $6,500 - $15,000, or more, for very much the same advice contained in The Instant College Funding System.
We’re able to command these fees because of the VALUE of our specialized knowledge, and the life-changing results our clients achieve from working with us.
Of course we’re NOT going to ask for anything close to that amount, because the whole point of why Pearl and I created this system was to make our college cost-cutting information and advice more accessible to those who can’t afford that level of investment.
Although, to be perfectly frank, we could justify a $5,000 price - because if you were to get just one teeny-tiny little tip from our training that results in a $5,000 annual scholarship, or $20,000 over four years, you would make a 400% Return on Investment.
Try finding that on Wall Street!
But we’re not asking for 5K, or even half of 5K, even though my personal accountant told me that I was crazy not to. Here’s the deal we’re offering today, despite his “price-shaming” of me:
You can “get in on” The Instant College Funding System for only 1497, or 8 budget-friendly monthly “equalizer” payments of 194.42!
Best of all, there is absolutely ZERO risk, and literally no reason not to get started today (see below):
The Instant College Funding System is completely and utterly guaranteed - because we get such amazing results for our clients, day in, day out that I’m more than willing to put my money where my mouth is - I just know that you’ll LOVE our flagship product and have no hesitation in issuing this bold guarantee!
By the way, this guarantee is another thing that my accountant told me I was nuts to do, because he felt that some people would buy, use the information and unfairly refund to “beat” us for the advice. I trust that you’re not like this, but I realize that some people aren’t decent or ethical. We’ve just decided to live with it instead of letting it bother us, that’s how important it is for us to help you.
Plain and simple, there are no fine print "weasel clauses" or other lawyerly verbiage in our guarantee. We're “walking the walk” because we know that you'll absolutely love and get tremendous value from The Instant College Funding System!
There IS one catch (were you waiting for one?) - we reserve the right to remove these bonuses - especially the Fast Start Strategy Session - at any time, depending on our workload.
Most of this letter has been focused on PAYING for college, which is critical. But, naturally you’d agree that it's equally important that your child has the best shot of GETTING IN where they want to go.
And there’s just one little problem most families discover too late: the MOST GENEROUS COLLEGES tend to be the HARDEST to get into!
That’s why I felt that I’d be remiss if I focused Instant College Funding ONLY on financial aid, because there’s more to the picture.
Where you get in directly affects how much you’ll pay. Financial aid and admissions are intertwined.
This course features several, unique and valuable “insider” lessons on what it REALLY takes to get into a top college.
You won’t get this advice from your guidance counselor, if she even knows your name (the average ratio of student to counselor is a gigantic 400:1), or your English teacher, who, to be blunt, has NO IDEA what goes on inside the Admissions Committee room when they read essays and applications.
The “Incomparable Applicant Master Class” includes a treasure trove of amazing lessons, many of which were derived from interviews with my business partners and contacts built up over 19+ years in college advising:
Extended interview with Don Betterton, former 30-year member of the Princeton University Admissions Committee, about how the recent college admissions scandal affects your child and advice on how to navigate today’s new, highly scrutinized college admissions landscape
Eliminate stress and confusion! Extended interview with an admissions officer at the University of Chicago, who evaluated 1,000 applications per year, each application containing four-to-six supplemental essays. You’ll discover EXACTLY what they hope you write about, and what they DON’T want to see. We went through each essay prompt - this is invaluable as you make your “Closing Argument” to your admissions offices about why they should pick YOU!
How to craft a perfect Activities section of the Common Application and stand out against a “sea of sameness” when 10,000, 20,000 even 50,000 or more of your competitors have the same GPAs and SAT/ACT scores
Can you imagine what it will look like when your child rips open that fat envelope or email from her Dream College, and hear her shriek with joy when she reads that she managed to get in?
You’ll ALL remember that forever. That’s why we’re including The Incomparable Applicant Master Class 100% free with my compliments and no obligation, if you enroll in the Instant College Funding System today.
To sum it all up:
Of course we can’t guarantee results, because there’s a ton of factors out of our control, such as your colleges’ budgets, where your child gets in, your child’s grades, SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities and more.
However, please remember that ANY ONE of Instant College Funding’s bonuses or features can, quite literally, produce a WINDFALL of scholarships or grants worth many times the investment we’re asking for on a trial, no-risk basis.
And finally, when you say “Yes” today, you’ll also get access to our “Incomparable Applicant Master Class”, valued at $297, to give your child a literal “Insider,” unfair advantage over his or her competitor-applicants.
I can’t make this deal, including the guarantee, any more of a no-brainer. So what are you waiting for?
If you like the way this sounds to you, don't miss out - start your test drive today for as little as $194.42!
Any parent who is stressed out about paying for college at the 11th hour and feels guilty that they’re not doing their part for their deserving children (don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for!)
Business owners who want to learn about the key, unique “loopholes” applicable only to them
Divorced or separated families who have questions about who should file, what to do if the ex-spouse won’t cooperate and more
High-income parents whose children are applying to colleges that require financial aid applications in order to be considered for MERIT aid (NYU, Fordham, UMASS are three that come to mind, but there is no list, and colleges change their policies frequently).
Anyone honest enough to admit they can’t answer the question, “What’s your plan to pay for college?”
High income families who want to show financial strength to give their kids an edge in admission to colleges that prefer affluent students (hint: that’s most colleges these days)
CPAs and other financial professionals who want a better understanding of the financial aid regulations so that they can serve their clients better
Guidance counselors who aren’t hung up about their egos and genuinely care about their students and their own personal and professional growth
High school administrators who realize that they’re unable to provide this type of quality advice in their district (contact us for group pricing/fundraising/donation program info)
And, finally, anyone with any of these questions:
If this feels like it makes sense to you, your next step is to grab this opportunity and move forward!
Do I make too much money to qualify? This may seem counter-intuitive, but there is no magic “ceiling” in the financial aid rules that prevents you from qualifying. That’s because 1., There are 77 or more factors considered in the financial aid formulas (which take up more than 1,100 pages of regulations) including income, which is certainly important. 2., financial aid officers have discretion to consider OTHER, MITIGATING factors beyond what goes on the forms, which is covered in the Appeals/Negotiation module of our course.
Is this course overly technical and hard to understand? No, mostly because I am not overly technical and am relatively understandable. I tried to make the content helpful and valuable, but also enjoyable and even occasionally entertaining, which is a tall order given how dry the subject matter is. This is not a boring textbook stuck online, promise!
Can i do the financial aid applications on my own, I heard they were straightforward. Actually, if you’re the do-it-yourself type (e.g. you file your own tax returns and do your own plumbing repairs), you certainly could. All I can tell you is that we have, any given year, a dozen or so active clients who are in the accounting and financial advising profession, who decided that it wasn’t worth the risk or their time to buckle down and attempt to master the 1,100 pages of nonsensical rules and regulations underpinning the financial aid forms.
Can you guarantee that I’ll receive a full ride? I cannot guarantee any specific result, mostly because it’s unethical and because there are numerous factors out of our control, such as where your child applies, his academic credentials, who else is applying to that school, and more.
HOWEVER, we offer a 90-day SATISFACTION guarantee, which is actually much better, because you don’t have to prove results (or lack thereof). You and you alone get to decide whether Instant College Funding delivered on its promise. It’s that open and broad because I know - from years of feedback from clients - that our methods and techniques produce RESULTS.
How long do I have access to the class? Lifetime (yours, not mine. ;) And, I update the course when needed, which seems to be annually, lately, with all the rules changes.
What if I decide I need more one-on-one help with applying for financial aid or the college applications? If we have capacity, we’ll be happy to chat and try to work something out. (I say “if we have capacity” because one of the driving forces that led me to create ICF was that I was hitting a wall re: capacity to take on clients.)
Okie dokie, that should do it! If you have any questions about the above or anything else, just shoot us an email - [email protected] and either I or someone on our team will personally get back to you!
Otherwise, I hope to see you inside Instant College Funding!