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Last update: 2015-06-09

The New PSAT: What the Class of 2017 Needs to Know (Episode 54) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-06-09 :: Lauren Gaggioli with Celest Horton
Length: 48s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Celest Horton of Debt Free Degree 101 and I discuss the changes coming to the PSAT in October 2015. Yes! Even though the new full-length SAT will not be released until March 2016, the PSAT for the Class of 2017 (this summer’s rising juniors) will be a reflection of […]

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College Search Tips for LD Students - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-06-01 :: Lauren Gaggioli with Judy Bass
Length: 38s

In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Judith Bass. Judy is the founder of Bass Educational Services and is an expert in providing college counseling for students with learning difficulties or learning disabilities (LD). Judy explains what constitutes LD and provides expert tips on how LD students and parents can […]

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What If College Isn't For You? An Overview of the Skilled Trades (Episode 52) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-05-15 :: Lauren Gaggioli featuring Rick Seigmund of Work Strong America
Length: 38s

There is a growing skills gap in America but – make no mistake – the skilled trades are in high demand. For those families looking for alternatives to college that still afford the opportunity for young men and women to find high paying jobs in an industry they are passionate about, the skilled trades might be the perfect […]

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The True Value of a College Education with Josh Elledge (Episode 51) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-05-07 :: Lauren
Length: 39s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, it was an honor to have my friend, savings expert Josh Elledge, on the show to explore the true value of a college education in today’s economy. We discuss some interesting facts about college recently shared in Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath, as well as some valuable savings […]

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The College Checklist Podcast Celebrates 50 Episodes - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-04-16 :: Lauren Gaggioli with Celest Horton, Bob Verbarg, Ethan Sawyer, Jeannie Borin, Suzanne Shaffer, Wendy David-Gaines, Rachelle Wolosoff, Todd Yuzuriha, and Shannon Brady
Length: 39s

Today, I am so excited and proud to bring you episode 50 of The College Checklist Podcast! This was a really fun one to record because it was a trip down memory lane. It features past guests who were once again so generous with their time and knowledge. It runs like a highlight reel of […]

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Getting Homeschooled Students Into College with Karen Childress (Episode 49) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-04-10 :: Lauren
Length: 28s

This episode of The College Checklist Podcast features Karen Childress, a homeschooling mother of 7. Her sixth homeschooled child is graduating from high school this year and headed to college like his siblings before him. Karen shares her tips on how to prepare homeschooled children for the college admission process. While Karen’s tips are great advice for the […]

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Colleges That Change Lives with Maria Furtado (Episode 48) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-03-31 :: Lauren
Length: 29s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of talking with Maria Furtado, the Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives – a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process. Maria enjoys helping students and families as they take on the college search process, and she believes […]

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Free Workshop Announced for Monday, March 30th - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-03-25 :: Lauren
Length: 3s

Higher Scores Test Prep’s CFO, Bob Verbarg, and I will be hosting a free, online workshop this coming Monday, March 30th at 5:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm ET. In this presentation, you’ll learn: How to leverage your SAT or ACT score to pay for college even at a “test-optional” school. How important a college […]

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All About Gap Years with Ethan Knight, Executive Director of the American Gap Association (Episode 47) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-03-16 :: Lauren
Length: 56s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ethan Knight, the Executive Director of the American Gap Association. Ethan has established an accreditation process by which Gap Year Programs are becoming more regulated, ensuring students participate in programs that are both educational and safe. Ethan shares with us his own […]

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The Senior Year College Checklist with Ian Fisher (Episode 46) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-02-24 :: Lauren
Length: 1s

Senior year. Many students imagine it’s an entire year dedicated enjoying notable lasts – last football game, last school play, last team dinner, last dance – and to saying farewell to dear friends. Not many students envision all of the work that goes into the year that has a lazy syndrome named after it – Senioritis! In […]

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A Warning for the Class of 2017 (Special Edition) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-02-17
Length: 29s

I’m so saddened by some of the tactics that are being taken by many publishers and test prep companies. Equally bad are the volumes of misinformation about the new exams that are floating around out there. I have seen and heard from many of you listeners about companies capitalizing on the frenzy that the changes […]

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Learn from Our College Search Mistakes with Bob Verbarg (Episode 45) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-01-29
Length: 32s

This is a very exciting episode for me because I had my father and CFO Bob Verbarg on to talk about what we’ve both learned about the college admissions process from producing The College Checklist together. In addition to taking care of the finances for Higher Scores Test Prep, Pops also helps me edit the […]

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Test Optional Colleges: What Are You Risking By Opting Out with Paul Hemphill (Episode 44) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-01-22
Length: 40s

You may have heard a lot about test optional colleges and, at first glance, applying to test optional schools may seem to be a good deal for parents and students alike. One less (big) box to check off your college checklist, one less worry, one less fee – sounds great, right? Not so fast! In […]

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A Parent’s Role in College Prep with Suzanne Shaffer (Episode 43) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2015-01-13
Length: 39s

This week on The College Checklist Podcast, Suzanne Shaffer joins us to discuss the parent’s role in college prep. Suzanne provides her insight as to how much parental involvement in the college selection and admission process is ideal. With great candor, she shares stories from her own experience helping her daughter with the college admissions process. […]

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Happy Holidays + Upcoming Dates & Deadlines - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-12-22
Length: 2s

Happy Holidays from Higher Scores Test Prep! While you’re enjoying the break, don’t forget that there are some deadlines looming in the not-so-distant future! Monday, December 29th is the last day to register for the January SAT. Thursday, January 8th is the last day to sign up for our SAT prep course for the March […]

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6 Steps to Create the Perfect SAT & ACT Testing Timeline (Episode 42) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-12-20
Length: 56s

As you may know, I am passionate about test prep. Sick as that sounds, it’s quite true. I don’t know why I’m wired this way, but c’est la vie! I might as well embrace it, right? Well, in the past 7 years as I’ve worked to crack the SAT and ACT codes, I’ve also acquired […]

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Saving for College Without Sacrificing Your Retirement with Roger Whitney (Episode 41) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-12-08
Length: 47s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I talk to my good friend Roger Whitney about his thoughts on saving for college. Roger is the Retirement Answer Man and the host of the Plan Well, Invest Wisely podcast. Not only is Roger a retirement savings expert, he’s a father of two who just sent […]

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Ways to Pay for College with Jay Benanav (Episode 40) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-11-25
Length: 53s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jay Benanav. Jay is an independent college counselor who believes in a holistic approach to choosing a college. Jay recommends considering 3 key factors as you whittle down your college choices: academic fit, social fit, and cost. First, Jay shares an overview […]

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Health Tips for College Bound Students with Steve de la Torre (Episode 39) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-11-21
Length: 42s

For this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, fitness expert Steve de la Torre. Steve’s been a personal trainer in Orange County for years, but – due to a change in routine – he recently started working out in the mornings. When he told me the effect that […]

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College Prep: Get Started Early for Success with Less Stress with Mindy Popp (Episode 38) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-11-13
Length: 33s

Today’s episode of The College Checklist features Mindy Popp, the managing director and principal consultant of Popp & Associates. In this episode, Mindy shares her college prep tips for freshmen and sophomores in high school. She explains how these students and their families can reduce some of the stress of college admissions by using their early years […]

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3 Things I Learned When I Bombed the ACT (Episode 37) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-11-04
Length: 34s

As a test prep pro, I take both the SAT and ACT periodically not only to check in on the tests to make sure they aren’t shifting in tone or content but also to stay connected to my students. The college admissions exams are stressful and a real test day takes everything up a notch. […]

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Time Management Tips for Students with Denise Levine (Episode 36) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-10-29
Length: 45s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Denise Levine share some amazing, actionable time management strategies with us. While these are geared specifically towards our students, they can be really helpful for we adults too! I know I learned a lot about how I can manage my time much better from this interview. I hope […]

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How to Improve Your SAT Scores with Debbie Stier (Episode 35) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-10-21
Length: 43s

In this episode of the College Checklist Podcast, I interview Debbie Stier, author of the Perfect Score Project. Debbie shares insights from her journey as she tackled the SAT the year before her son Ethan did in order to figure out the best methods of preparation for the test. Debbie even went so far as […]

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Tips for Great College Visits with Jessica Velasco (Episode 34) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-10-14
Length: 40s

In this episode of the College Checklist Podcast, I interview Jessica Velasco, an independent college counselor who also has experience as a college admissions officer.  Jessica’s experience on both sides of the college admissions process gives us unique insight into what colleges are really looking for from their applicants. Today we take a dive into […]

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How to Memorize SAT Vocabulary Words with Master of Memory Timothy Moser (Episode 33) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-10-06
Length: 41s

With the PSAT and SAT right around the corner, now is the perfect time to talk about the dreaded SAT vocabulary words. And who could be better to help us learn new strategies for remembering vocabulary than the Master of Memory himself, Timothy Moser. In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Timothy and I start […]

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The Birkman Method for Students with Arlene Kaplan (Episode 32) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-09-24
Length: 34s

Today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast delves into the value of knowing one’s self well. Though not a traditional part of the college admissions process, I believe that the more time students invest in getting to know themselves before heading off to college, the better invested their time will be in their collegiate studies. Arlene Kaplan […]

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Scholarship 411 with Sam and Max from Scholarship Superhero (Episode 31) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-09-16
Length: 31s

Are you looking for the latest scholarship 411? In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I chat with Sam and Max from ScholarshipSuperhero.com. Sam and Max provide tips on how to find (and win) scholarship dollars.  In today’s day and age of expensive “sticker prices” for college tuition, private scholarships are an excellent way […]

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What Is A Gap Year with Sandy Furth (Episode 30) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-09-10
Length: 28s

If you’ve every found yourself at a dinner party with other college-bound families and heard the term Gap Year, it may have left you scratching your head. I know in high school I was confused wondering, what is a gap year? I mean, what is it exactly. Is it a year off or is there […]

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A Walk with the College Essay Guy, Ethan Sawyer (Episode 29) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-09-01
Length: 50s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I chat with the College Essay Guy, Ethan Sawyer. Ethan shares his passion for preparing students to write their essays.  This episode focuses mainly on the Why Us essay, which is required by many colleges, but delves into tips and strategies that could work for almost any college essay. Ethan provides […]

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Find the College Major That is Right for You with Kat Clowes (Episode 28) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-08-20
Length: 38s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I chat with Kat Clowes of March Consulting and The College March Podcast. Kat describes her journey to becoming an educational consultant. She also talks about her passion for helping students find out what they want to do and how to achieve it by picking the right college major […]

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Personal Branding and the College Admissions Process with Arfan Qureshi (Episode 27) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-08-11
Length: 35s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I talk with Arfan Qureshi about personal branding and its role in the college admissions process. We discuss why branding is important, especially for college-bound high school students. Arfan places a heavy emphasis on the importance of networking in the branding and college admissions process. He also explains how students can develop […]

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Comparing the Cost of College with Jimmy Becker (Episode 26) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-08-04
Length: 25s

In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I interview Jimmy Becker. Jimmy is the co-founder and CEO of CostofLearning.com, a free site that helps families determine the net cost of college. Lauren and Jimmy discuss the many complexities of determining the true cost of college, as well as needs-based financial aid and the importance of endowment […]

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The New SAT – Who It Affects and What to Expect (Episode 25) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-07-28
Length: 39s

The time has come to talk about the new SAT, or – as College Board is calling it – the redesigned SAT. While I discussed this new exam briefly in episode 1 of the podcast, today I have more in-depth news to share with you about the new SAT questions. FYI: The new SAT will take the place of […]

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Get Into the Best Art Schools with Yvette Sobky Shaffer (Episode 24) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-07-21
Length: 43s

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Yvette Sobky Shaffer – Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Otis College of Art and Design. We discussed application process for art schools. This episode will give future art students guidance regarding how to get into (and pay for) the best art schools, including what is expected in a student’s portfolio and how to apply […]

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A Parent’s Guide to Preparing for College with Wendy David-Gaines (Episode 23) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-07-17
Length: 46s

I loved recording this episode of The College Checklist Podcast because it went in a completely different direction than I expected. Wendy David-Gaines (aka POCSMom) has an amazingly grounded and bright outlook on preparing for college from the perspective of a mother who has been there and done that. She takes the perceived daunting drudgery of […]

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How to Write a High School Resume for College Admissions with Kathy Rose (Episode 22) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-07-09
Length: 38s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I discuss the how high school students should write their resumes for college admissions with Kathy Rose, Principle of College Catalyst. The resume is relatively new as a requirement. One of the great advantages to it, though, is that it is something families can begin compiling it no matter […]

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College Application Essay Help with Brandee Ambrosia (Episode 21) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-06-25
Length: 55s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Brandee Ambrosia and I discuss the importance of the college application essay.  Brandee provides insight on the value of the college application essay and some tips on how to approach it. She discusses the different types of essays required by different colleges and stresses the importance of having a […]

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All About Financial Aid with Jodi Okun (Episode 20) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-06-19
Length: 34s

Ever wondered – what is financial aid? The problem with that simple question is that the answer is actually pretty convoluted. In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Jodi Okun and I discuss financial aid for college. Jodi has a passion for helping families obtain financial aid in a “non-fire alarm” way. She starts with […]

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Passion and the College Admissions Process with Dr. Dale Callahan (Episode 19) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-06-10
Length: 55s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I have the pleasure of chatting with Dale Callahan. Dale and I discuss a wide range of topics, including the college admissions process, life in the corporate world, entrepreneurship, and academia.  Dale provides helpful advice on how to help your student find experts in a field they […]

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How to Succeed in College with College Success Coach Ashley Hill (Episode 18) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-30
Length: 37s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I interview college success coach Ashley Hill about the importance of having a college success plan. Ashley stresses that this plan should reach beyond simply getting into college. It should help set our students up for success in college. Ashley describes the importance of having a college success team and how students need […]

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It’s Kind of Fun to Do the Impossible with Lou Mongello of WDW Radio (Episode 17) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-22
Length: 31s

Today’s episode of College Checklist Podcast takes a slightly different tack as I interview Lou Mongello of WDW Radio. Lou is a testament to my favorite Walt Disney quote – “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” He has made a career out of his passion for all things Disney, but he didn’t start out there. In […]

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Creative Ways to Pay for College with Celest Horton (Episode 16) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-15
Length: 28s

Some families focus so much energy on getting into college that paying for it can take a backseat to the application process – a “we’ll deal with it when we get there” mentality. Or, in other instances, it directs a family as to which schools the student should apply to, not taking into account the fact […]

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Self-Discovery and the College Admissions Process with Shannon Brady (Episode 15) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-09
Length: 33s

Today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast features Shannon Brady of Brady College Counseling. In this episode, Shannon and I discuss how she helps students find their passion, and how students can use that knowledge in the college admissions process and the selection of a major. Self-discovery is an important step in crafting a happy, successful life. […]

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Productivity Hacks for Students with Erik Fisher (Episode 14) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-06
Length: 48s

This episode is part 2 in a 2 part series. In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Lauren interviews Erik Fisher from the Beyond The To Do List. Erik is a productivity expert and has worked in a digital marketing and communications role at Indiana Wesleyan University. Erik is also the author of Ready, Aim, Fire: A […]

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Social Media and College Admissions with Erik Fisher (Episode 13) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-05-02
Length: 57s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Lauren interviews Erik Fisher from the Beyond The To Do List podcast. Erik is a productivity expert and has worked in a digital marketing and communications role at Indiana Wesleyan University. Erik is also the author of Ready, Aim, Fire: A Practical Guide to Setting and Achieving […]

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How to Afford College by Planning Ahead with Dave Coen (Episode 12) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-04-24
Length: 26s

Today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast features Dave Coen from College Planning America.  Dave and I discuss how to afford college by planning ahead with a certified college financial planner. Dave emphasizes the need to start early and to partner with a college planning specialist that is also a licensed financial planner.  He says that […]

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5 Tips for Higher ACT Scores (Episode 11) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-04-20
Length: 31s

Looking for tips to help you get a higher ACT score? In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Higher Scores Test Prep’s Lauren Gaggioli gives her top 5 ACT tips and tricks to help students achieve higher test scores. She also explains how you can become a part of Higher Scores Test Prep’s beta testing for the new […]

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5 Tips for Higher SAT Scores (Episode 10) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-04-17
Length: 34s

In this episode of The College Checklist Podcast, I share my top 5 SAT tips to help students get a higher score on the exam. After teaching the SAT for over 7 years, I know a thing or two about what students need to really take their SAT scores to the next level. While SAT tips and tricks are […]

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How to Get a Scholarship with JR Vazquez (Episode 9) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-04-13
Length: 54s

Today’s podcast features JR Vazquez of the College Money Man website and College Money Man podcast.  Lauren and JR discuss how to get a scholarship – from searching for the right scholarship, dissecting the scholarship application process, to making sure you keep all of your scholarship award money beyond freshman year.  JR describes the three types of financial […]

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Networking and the College Admissions Process with Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff (Episode 8) - The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

2014-04-11
Length: 43s

Today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast features an interview with Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff. In this interview, Lauren and Rachelle discuss the importance of networking for students as a part of the college admissions process. Through networking, students can more readily identify schools that will be a good fit for them. Rachelle places an emphasis not only […]

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The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…

Confused about the road to college? Don’t know where to begin your college search? The College Checklist podcast is your source for great information on the college admissions journey. Hosted by SAT & ACT expert and entrepreneur Lauren Gaggioli, the College Checklist features interviews from college counselors, admission officers and other professionals who can help you get into college, pay for school with scholarships, and succeed once you’re there. This podcast also features test prep tips and tricks and alerts for dates and deadlines for upcoming ACT & SAT test dates. The College Checklist podcast is your source for all things college admissions. The College Checklist podcast is brought to you as a free service of Higher Scores Test Prep, an online test prep company that helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT.

The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more…


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