What You Need To Know Now About Paying Less For College TODAY at 12p!

Last chance to register for today’s live free college funding webinar recommended for parents of 8th-11th graders. Even if you can’t make the live, all registrants will have access to the 7-day replay. Learn how to approach paying for college tuition and applying for financial aid in a savvy way, and that starts with learning the landscape and planning early. Led by Cyndi Menegaz of SMARTTRACK College Funding. Join us.

What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 12p

Register: https://bit.ly/3vktGxY

The Latest

Hope you’re all doing well. Just thought I’d post a couple of updates here.

Late Apps [for LAUSD Choices categories] are in full swing right now if you missed the on-time November deadline, or want to add additional selections to your spread. Each selection will be submitted individually, time-stamped, and added to the end of the on-time waitlist. You will not receive any waitlist points on a Late App Magnet, however you just might win a seat.

Many Independent Charters have deadlines coming up right around this time. Each are submitted individually at each school’s website. If you miss the deadline, you can ask to submit a late app and be added to the end of the on-time waitlist.

Permitting – both within (intra) and leaving the district (inter) – are ongoing right now.

Upcoming Dates of Note:
Mon, March 14, 2022 – initial results of the LAUSD Choices lotteries are posted

Fri, April 8, 2022 – LAUSD Choices Accept/Decline Deadline

Mon, April 11 – Fri, April 15, 2022 – LAUSD Spring Break; schools and offices closed

Mon, April 18, 2022 – Waitlists start to move! (This is just the beginning of a very long process)

Weds, April 27, 2022 – Open Enrollment opens – always a few gems on that list

…AND we still don’t have a START DATE for LAUSD’s 2022-2023 school year. The Board of Ed may vote on this in March, but no official word just yet.


Webinars – The Basics
For those of you who are just getting started, are fairly overwhelmed with how things work around here (who isn’t), want to learn all about “those points!,” or need to get some good foundational learning done before we work on your personalized admissions strategy, I have made my most popular webinars available to you as replays. Introducing The GoMamaGuide Basics Webinar Series – grab a ticket and learn on your own timeline. Get the lay-of-the-land before we meet.

Just Announced
And for those of you with kids in High School, don’t miss this upcoming live FREE webinar, What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College
with Cyndi Menegaz of SMARTTRACK® College Funding
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 12p
*Highly Recommended for parents of 8th-11th graders. Read the scoop HERE.
Register HERE.

Need HELP?
I have been quietly working away in my cubicle helping as many families as I can with their public school queries during these trying times. I know it’s difficult with no on-site tours, and no fresh school data, still. If you need assistance, reach out to schedule a Zoom or Phone or Relocation Consultation with me, and let’s talk school.

Ok folks, hang in there!

What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College Tues Mar 8, 2022

Hello Friends,
I know some of you are just getting situated in your elementary schools, yet a large number of GoMamaGuide families are inching their way closer to high school, then college. You know I’ve been there, excited for my daughter, but dreading facing that college tuition bill, wondering how we’ll ever swing it.

For my parents of 8th through 11th graders, just in time for tax season, GoMamaGuide presents the return of Cyndi Menegaz, National Program Director at SMARTTRACK® College Funding, with her brilliant talk. Join us for:

What You Need to Know NOW about Paying Less for College
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 12p
FREE


You may be surprised to learn that with a little planning, you can significantly lower out-of-pocket costs, maximize grants and scholarships, reduce debt, and learn to cover tuition in a more tax-advantaged, cost-efficient way. Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for Financial Aid, preparing for how best to pay for college can make a tremendous difference and it starts earlier* than you might think.

*Recommended for parents of 8-11th graders. Parents of 9th and 10th graders – the financial decisions you make now will impact how much you pay later. 11th grade families don’t have a minute to lose!

Folks, I’ve personally taken this seminar twice while my daughter was just starting high school, and found it extremely helpful as I prepared financially for my daughter’s college tuition bill. Luckily our high school was on it and brought Cyndi in to assist parents with this info, but the truth is, most high schools are ill-equipped to advise parents beyond completing the basic financial aid forms. The reality is that families must begin organizing their finances a couple of years in advance in order to get all the financial aid they may be eligible for. 

I learned so much about the process, and it helped me plan my finances early on so we didn’t have to limit her college options, or pay retail tuition prices. I am convinced that SMARTTRACK saved me a huge percentage of tuition by looking over my assets, and suggesting adjustments I could make while my daughter was still a sophomore in high school. I also learned which types of schools were going to be more generous than others, and that surprised me. If you are savvy about planning ahead, and I hope you are, please jump on this opportunity to learn more. Like everything else, the earlier you start planning, the better off you’ll be. And as public school families, we need all the options we can get.

As a special bonus, GoMamaGuide is partnering with SMARTTRACK where you’ll have an opportunity to schedule a free call with them, just like I did, to review your financial picture and see if there are any strategic things you can do well before filling out those financial aid forms senior year. (The dreaded FAFSA and CSS. Yay, more acronyms to learn!) If you do decide to work with them, you’ll get the GoMamaGuide discount.

More about Cyndi Menegaz, National Program Director 
SMARTTRACK® College Funding is a national leader in helping families better pay for college. Cyndi is a popular speaker and conducts workshops across the country, educating and empowering parents and professional colleagues on the critically important financial piece of college planning. Prior to joining SMARTTRACK®, she had a successful career in the video business and received a degree in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. Cyndi is also the proud mom of twins who recently graduated from college debt free!

Fall Webinar Series Replays Now Available!

8 days until the November 12 LAUSD Choices DEADLINE!

For those of you missed my live webinar series last month, but still want to jump on some quick learning before the Choices deadline, now’s your chance. The replays are available now through Nov 12. Grab a TICKET and watch the playback at your own convenience.

Mastering Magnets (Those Points!)
Kindergarten 101
Understanding Gifted Options
Middle School Madness

View the whole series/get tickets HERE.

I have been helping as many people as possible with their public school strategies ahead of this big deadline and have a limited number of Phone and Zoom Consultations available between now and Nov 12. Once I fill those appointments, my calendar will be closed and will reopen on Nov 17. Email me if you need further assistance. Best of luck in the lotteries folks!

New Fall Webinar Lineup! Launching This Friday OCT 15!

Just in time for the Fall LAUSD public school Choices or “Universal Enrollment” lotteries, I’m rolling out a series of webinars breaking down exactly what you need to know in order to successfully navigate the complex menu of public school options here in Los Angeles. These are live, interactive webinars with Q&A. If you can’t make the live, or want to review the material again, each ticket comes with a 7-day replay, so you can watch it when it’s convenient for you.

Click on the webinar picture you want to purchase. After checkout you will be taken to Zoom to complete your registration. Don’t skip that step or you will miss out. To view the whole GoMamaGuide webinar series in more detail, visit: https://gomamaguide.com/store/webinars

Mastering Magnets: Everything You Need to Know (Those Points!)
Friday, October 15, 2021
12p
$35

TICKETS


Kindergarten 101:
Know Your Public Options
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
12p
$35

TICKETS

Understanding Gifted Options
SAS, GHA, HG, HGA, IHP…
Thursday, October 21, 2021
12p
$35

TICKETS

Middle School Madness
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
12p
$35

TICKETS

All webinar tickets come with a 7-day replay.
View the whole GoMamaGuide webinar series

SmartTrack College Funding Webinar This Sat Sept 18 

What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College

(You NEED This Info Folks!)

with Cyndi Menegaz, National Program Director at SMARTTRACK® College Funding

September 18, 2021
9a
FREE
*Recommended for parents of 8-12th graders.

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I’ve personally taken this seminar twice, and found it extremely helpful as I prepared financially for my daughter’s dreaded college tuition bill. I learned so much about the process, and it helped me plan way in advance so we didn’t have to limit her college options, or pay retail tuition prices. I am convinced that SMARTTRACK saved me a huge percentage of tuition by looking over my assets, and suggesting adjustments I could make while my daughter was a sophomore in high school. If you are savvy about planning ahead, and I hope you are, please jump on this opportunity to learn more. Like everything else, the earlier you start planning, the better off you’ll be. And as public school families, we need all the options we can get.

As a special bonus, GoMamaGuide is partnering with SMARTTRACK where you’ll have an opportunity to schedule a free call with them just like I did to review your financial picture and see if there are any strategic things you can do well before filling out those financial aid forms senior year. (The dreaded FAFSA and CSS. Yay, more acronyms to learn!) If you do decide to work with them, you’ll get the GoMamaGuide discount.

At a minimum, do take advantage of your free call.

Choices Accept/Decline Deadline Extended One Week; Waitlisted Webinar Weds April 7

Heads up! LAUSD has extended the Choices Accept/Decline Deadline by one week to Friday, April 16th. That means that those lucky winners have more time to mull over their offers, head over to their dashboard, and make their decisions. It also means that you waitlisted folks will be hanging on a week longer, because those lists won’t start to move now until AFTER April 16th. Waitlists will continue to move through the spring, summer, and up through the 4th week of school.

(LAUSD “Fall” start date still tbd…Aug 3, Aug 10, Aug 17??? Stay tuned. Or read THIS.)

In the interim, I have rescheduled my WAITLISTED? Now What! webinar for Wednesday, April 7th at 12p. In this 60 minute webinar, I’ll walk you through how to navigate multiple offers in multiple categories, how certain offers impact other offers, what happens when you’re waitlisted everywhere, late offers, creating a back-up plan, and basically how to mentally prep for and survive LA’s public school Lotterypalooza. This is a live event and I will be taking your questions. *Recommended for all lottery-playing parents.

Waitlisted! Now What?
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12p

$35

Grab your seat HERE.

Quick Video About Lottery Results

Hi folks,

Today is the day the initial LAUSD Choices lottery results come out. I just made a quick vid about it below. So if you haven’t already, check your dashboard by logging into either:

echoices.lausd.net

apply.lausd.net

Log in by hitting the apply button upper right, then once logged in hit the bell icon upper right to view your results, the “notification letter.”

Also, if you’re on Clubhouse, join MotherbirdLA‘s Mia and I tomorrow, Tuesday, March 16 at 8p for a “Wine and Whine” about lottery results. We’ll be live and talking to you about public schools, lotteries, waitlists and whatever else we want to whine about. Join us.

https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/mWVXJnwL

March Update: Hello my friends!

Hello my friends,

Long time no connect, right? 

I’ve been thinking about how to re-enter the digital domain after such a spell away in one of the weirdest years to date. No, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here, quietly working away assisting many fine young families with their school admissions in an equally weird and disrupted school landscape. It’s been the craziest fall admissions season I have ever seen, and even though it’s nearly spring it’s still crazy out there. Schools may be closed, start dates may be pending, but God Bless them, school admissions keep marching onward despite the blackout of tangible info, most importantly, will schools ever re-open, and what will they look like when they do? 

For months I had been imagining how I might announce some upcoming milestones…my daughter’s senior year accomplishments, her graduation, leaving for college, becoming an empty-nester… I started GoMamaGuide while she was still in preschool after all. Wow, feeling OLD much? Yet even those big moments as they approached us and as we navigated them, were some combination of disrupted, postponed, or thrown into a last-minute tailspin. I was hardly about to make beaming announcements when so much of our world was hinging on survival mode.

That being said, in hindsight can I just say I am mesmerized by my daughter’s resilience, her tenacity, and academic accomplishments, and am extremely pleased to announce that having traveled a combination of an LAUSD neighborhood school, Magnet, SAS, and small independent Charter school all tuition-free, (playing those lotteries as I teach you all to do), my daughter is now attending an IVY on the East Coast. 

I can hardly believe it.

She is a Poli-Sci major at UPenn, living in Philly, studying Constitutional Law in the very spot where our founders congregated to define our country’s unalienable rights some 245 years ago, a significant echo certainly not lost on me, and due to her incomparable high school training in Speech & Debate and Mock Trial, she has made the A team (Varsity level) Mock Trial team at Penn as a freshman, heading into AMTA’s ORCS as a Closing Attorney, which is virtually unheard of. I promise, you don’t want to get into an argument with that one! 

Despite all the year’s challenges, and there have been many, she has hit her stride and is thriving, paving her way forward, which is all one can ask for, as a parent. So, on a big level, my work here is done, nurturing her development so she can fly.

As I scan the horizon with so much unsettled and unclear with regards to public education in general, and Los Angeles schools in particular, I can honestly say, I have never seen anything like what is going on out there now. But I’m here to share knowledge and support you through this journey, whatever it becomes, and as such, I will continue to offer a combination of Zoom and Phone and Relocation Consultations to you, guiding you forward with your public school questions and decisions. 

I have laid out a number of events in the comings days that I invite you to participate in, including a fresh new webinar lineup, which many have been asking for. These are all live events but can be watched from the comfort of your own homes with a glass of something festive in your comfy clothes. I won’t judge. But do join us:

Weds, Mar 10 at 7p – SmartTrack College Funding is holding a free webinar
What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College 
*Recommended for parents of 8-12th graders.
You NEED this info folks. I’ve taken this seminar twice and it is SO informative. Just like Magnet points, you want to learn this info early. Ideally before 10th grade in order to maximize your financial positioning and pay less for college.

Thurs, Mar 11 at 12p – Kindergarten 101: Know Your Public Options webinar
*Recommended for parents of 2-5 year olds.
This is the talk I’ve been giving to stressed-out parents all over Los Angeles for over a decade, updated with the most current school info.

Mon, Mar 15 LAUSD Choices initial lottery results are announced. This is not a death sentence, this is just the beginning of a long road ahead.

Tues, Mar 16 at 8p – If you’re on Clubhouse, Join MotherbirdLA’s Mia and I for a live “Wine and Whine” Chat dicing it up on LA schools after the LAUSD Choices lottery results come out. 

Thurs, Mar 25 at 12p – Middle School Madness webinar
*Recommended for 2nd-5th grade parents.
You thought choosing a Kinder was tough? Yikes! Middle School!


And, coming in April…I’ll be bringing a new webinar sharing all I have learned:
Date tbd  – Maximizing High School With An Eye Towards College
Learn how to maximize your high school experience in order to optimize college opportunities. Just like everything else I teach, there is a strategy, and it starts early.

View the whole GoMamaGuide webinar series

Hang in there folks. Go easy on yourselves and your children.  I’m sending all of you, from the littles to the grown-ups, a giant virtual hug for making it this far. ❤

SMARTTRACK College Funding Webinar Weds Mar 10

Introducing SMARTTRACK College Funding Webinar

What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College
(You NEED This Info Folks)

with Cyndi Menegaz, National Program Director at SMARTTRACK® College Funding

March 10, 2021
7p
FREE
*Recommended for parents of 8-12th graders.


You guys, I’ve personally taken this seminar twice, and found it extremely helpful as we planned financially for my daughter’s dreaded college tuition bill. I learned so much and it helped me plan way in advance so we didn’t have to limit our college options or pay retail tuition prices. I am convinced that
SMARTTRACK saved me a huge percentage of tuition by looking at my assets and suggesting adjustments I could make when my daughter was a sophomore in high school. If you are savvy about planning ahead, and I hope you are, please jump on this opportunity to learn more. Like everything else, the earlier you start planning, the better off you’ll be. And as public school families, we need all the option$ we can get.

Also, as a special bonus, GoMamaGuide is partnering with SMARTTRACK where you’ll have an opportunity to schedule a free call with them just like I did to review your financial picture and see if there are any strategic things you can do well before filling out those financial aid forms senior year. (The dreaded FAFSA and CSS. Yay, more acronyms to learn!) If you do decide to work with them, you’ll get the GoMamaGuide discount.

At a minimum, do take advantage of your free call.