Welcome to the College Prep Confidential Podcast
May 10, 2019

CPC Episode #1 - You Are The Prize

In this pilot episode for the College Prep Confidential podcast, we show college bound students and parents of college bound students how to take advantages and get more money. We'll cover: How enrollment shortfalls can be used to get you more...

In this pilot episode for the College Prep Confidential podcast, we show college bound students and parents of college bound students how to take advantages and get more money. We'll cover:

  • How enrollment shortfalls can be used to get you more financial aid
  • The one thing you need which forces colleges to compete over you by offering you more financial aid
  • Why getting your grades in the top 25% helps you get more financial aid
  • The power of Social Proof, and why colleges use this to determine your value
  • Show this piece of paper to a college to get additional financial aid considerations
  • How the "Curse of One" evaporates your financial aid options
  • Negotiation tactics to extract more financial aid into your pocket 



Welcome to the Pilot Episode of the College Prep Confidential podcast.

I’m Don Sevcik, your host. And the goal of this podcast is to help you get more money and better opportunities for college prep. Think of me as your teammate in your college prep journey. With that said, let’s get started with Episode 1, titled, “You Are The Prize”

You are the prize…

When you apply to colleges, adopt this mindset.  

One more time - you are the prize.

What do I mean by “You are the Prize?”

Let me explain...

You see, colleges stay in business from tuition. The tuition is paid by students.

  1. If you’re a student, then it’s students just like you.
  2. If you’re a parent, then it’s your child who’s the prize.

As I prepared for this podcast, I read a Forbes Article:

According to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), “no fewer than 288 colleges have so far reported that they “have space” for incoming freshman despite the fact that the “official” deadline for most schools has passed.” I laugh at the phrase “have space.”

In fact, the quiet little secret in college circles is a two letter word…”Enrollment shortfalls”

Now, colleges try to position their institution as the be all, end all of education and entry into the workforce. Butttttt, without tuition, colleges are no more than a gargantuan piece of property.

When a college prep student has an “I am the prize” mindset, the entire college prep game changes. Here’s an example of how it works...

Back in high school, I had a few college scouts come out to watch me play baseball. I eventually had 3 schools interested. The first offer I got to play baseball felt weak and rushed. During this time, the second school moved slowly. When I went back to the second college and told them I had an offer from a rival, they immediately changed. They made an offer later that day...50% higher than the first school.

This brings me to one of top rules of negotiation. If you learn nothing else from this episode, hear this. 

Always have options. 

In the job world, when you have other employers chasing you, the game changes. People call you back faster. You get better offers, like more money, more vacation, and more perks. And employers value your time more. You get people to come to you. This is the position you want to be in, the chased, not the chaser.

The same rules apply for college. The more options, the better.

Remember...the only thing worse than a college losing a student’s tuition...is losing it to the competition.

Why do jobs and colleges chase you harder when you have others chasing you?

Social Proof

Well, for one, human nature uses a little decision tool called social proof. You see, when people make a decision, often times, they look to what other people do. 

We want what others have. We put value on what other’s value. When a college sees other colleges, especially the competition chasing you, they stop and ask:

“This person has value. Other colleges want them. So do I.”

You’ve seen examples of social proof in real life. Bartenders seed their tip jars with money before the customers come in.

Think about going to a restaurant. You pull up to the parking lot, and you don’t see any cars. The value immediately drops. You’d probably drive away. Now compare that with a restaurant with a line of people through the door? The first thing that comes to mind is...what’s going on here tonight? It grabs your attention.

It reminds me of the old saying, “Dogs don’t chase parked cars.” This quote speaks to status. As you get more colleges interested, the process moves. And more will chase you and respond to you. This, my friends, is the power of social proof.

Besides social proof, competition provides one more benefit. People suffer losses more than they celebrate wins. By losing you to a competitor, the college loses face. Just like the job market, the competition for talent rages daily. Colleges hate losing talented students to their competition. 

Let’s talk about another powerful lesson of having options. Relaxation. When money is involved, people can smell desperation a mile away. When you have options, you have more confidence. You are poised, not rushed. College recruiters sense this. You immediately raise your value with options. With options, you have the ability to walk away from any deal which doesn’t suit you. 

Speaking of options, do you know other way to get colleges to fight over you...getting your grades in the top 25% of the student body. Colleges try to raise their rankings from U.S. News—by luring top achievers with cash. Translation, if you score in the top 25% of your student body, you transform yourself into a money magnet from colleges.

The Power of Leverage

U.S News and World Report had another eye-opening article. In it, Yale's director of student financial services said the following:

"seeing the copy of an award from another school often enables us to review the Yale 'needs analysis' and ask additional questions of the family to help us in reviewing our calculation of the parents' contribution."

I’m reminded of Archimedes, famous Greek Mathematician and philosopher quote:

“Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth”

You’re lever, as a college bound student, or a parent of a college student, is competition. Get multiple colleges interested, let them fight over you, and you benefit financially. Remember the theme of the episode? You. Are. The. Prize.

The Curse of One

In order to give full attention to your success at college prep, I must cover what not to do. The power of having options help you avoid limitation. You want multiple offers to avoid getting stuck in a corner. When you get stuck in a corner, you lose leverage. It reminds me of a phrase I heard before called, “The Curse of One”. If you have only one source of something, think about what happens if the source goes away? You make yourself and your life vulnerable.

Suppose you drank water from a well, and the well dried up? You’d die of thirst. Suppose you order food from one restaurant, and then it suddenly went out of business? You’d starve.

It’s one of the things parents mention all the time. How do I get the best deal for my kid for college? And it’s one of the first things we teach for our college prep planning package. The power of options. Always get multiple offers.

Multiple offers lead to more financial aid. And if you’re a parent, this means more money in your pocket. Money you can take to go on vacations, buy a new car or house, or use to work on the dream project you’ve been thinking about.

All of this made possible from the power of options. We even put it in a free training for parents. By the way, you can learn more about this at cpcshow.com. Once again, that’s cpcshow.com. The free blueprint shows you how to beat colleges at their own game, using strategies like the power of options through multiple offers.

Lesson One to Outsmart Colleges

So let’s close out today’s episode with an important tactic to negotiate with schools. Here’s lesson #1 in outsmarting colleges and getting the upper hand for college prep:

Apply to multiple colleges. I’d start with 5 at minimum.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get at least 3 offers. Then take those offers and play them off each other. Always negotiate from a position of strength.