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


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Learn how to conduct data-driven college research at 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.

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About Debbie Schwartz

Debbie Schwarz is the founder of 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!

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

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