Venkates Swaminathan: Jumpstart Your Kids’ College Life
Are your kids going to college anytime soon?
Majority of parents have a hard time when their kids are about to go to college. LifeLaunchr was created to help students and families find their best-choice college and get in, and to navigate the confusing, opaque college admission process with less stress.
LifeLauchr is focused on creating a better alternative that serves many more students and families, and offers a way for everyone to access expert help with college planning.
“It isn't enough to have all your extracurriculars lined up, basically, your application has to say something really particular about you.” – Venkates
Venkatest Swaminathan is the CEO and founder LifeLaunchr, a company whose primary focus is to help families and students find the best college to get in.
Learn more about how LifeLaunchr can help your kids get ready for college by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.
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Welcome to the thoughtful entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com where we turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. So we believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. Even you stick around to the end of this show, where I'll share info on how you could be our next guest three times a week, five to 15 minutes each learn from successful business owners and professionals it's time to get inspired. Let's go to Venkates Swaminathan, thank you so much for joining us, you are the founder and CEO of Life Launchr, and my audience is really going to like what you do because college, getting our kids ready for college, helping them figure out what colleges they should apply for helping them find scholarships. And, man, it's, it's a lot of stress. I've got one daughter in college, I've got two boys on the way. And there's so many options out there, there's so many choices. And you know, those choices don't begin in your junior year of high school. Those you know, those choices know strategies begin really early, like in middle school, in some cases, you know, you're really we're really trying to, you know, we're trying to be active good parents. But I wanted to bring you on because, you know, through what you've developed, you've created a really good system to help parents, can you kind of explain what life launcher is?
Yeah, of course, first of all, just it's really a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having me on. So yeah, my parents told me this all the time. The system was so much simpler when I went to college. I hear that constantly. And I tell people, yes, it's true. Absolutely. I only applied to one school, I got in and I went, that was great.
That was me. That was great. So tell me, tell me a little about Life Launchr.
So you know, you know, as I was saying earlier, parents will say all the time, this system was so much simpler. And it was one of the things that we do that makes us special is that we help parents navigate what's called the ballistic missile system. So holistic admissions is one of those buzzwords in the in the college admissions business. And it means that colleges consider many, many things about each student in order to make a decision about whether say yes or no, that means it isn't enough to have great grades isn't enough to have good test scores, it isn't enough to have all your extracurriculars lined up, basically, your application has to say something really particular about you. And the thing it has to say that I tell people sometimes is that the way a university decides whether you know, they might have five or 10 kids with the same test scores, the same GPA. And then they have to pick one out of those five or 10. Kids, the way they make that choice that they asked themselves 20 years from now, which of these kids will we be proud of which of these kids will be an alumnus that we are really delighted to have as part of our university? And, and so what we do is help parents and students really navigate that process and put themselves in the best place possible. We can't guarantee the admission, but what we hope you do is really help make the best argument the best possible case for why they should accept you and not the other person who's applying.
Right? Right, right. And so what we've done, so if you're interested through life launcher, you guys do free 30 minute consultations, where you help parents kind of figure out a game plan. And so you can actually the person who's listening to us right now, you can actually go to savings, angel.com, slash college, and Swami, which you say I could call you Swami. So you've got a couple of tools here that I really love. And one is called college match. And the other one is called scholarship match. Can you explain what those are?
Yeah, so finding a college turns out to be this this incredibly complex problem. And there are many sites out there, which allow you to look at all the data, what we've done in college match is bring all that data from many, many, many sources from the government, from private databases from the web, into one place, so that parents and students can go through and put in more than three dozen different criteria. And you could say I want a college that is you know, Catholic apologetics moderately progressive, a college that has a student to student faculty ratio of less than 16 to one college that will cost me less than $30,000. So less than $15,000. A college depends in the middle Midwest, so they can put all these criteria and get a list of colleges that are particularly tailored to them, then they can immediately assess in like this one quick to say, Is this a two Harvard School? This is a rich school, like a school? What will it cost you as a family? And what are your likely earning for a student Who goes there? And then they can get a detailed report based on their success, you know, what are the admissions requirements and so on. And so it's a free service we offer, if you sign up as part if you use it, and then sign up as a paying client for life sponsor, of course, there's a bunch of extra information you get on the free services quite valuable. People love it. scholarship match is similar, but different. There are literally dozens of sites out there where you can find scholarships. And the problem with most of them is that the vast majority of them are paid for by advertisers. Because they're paid for by advertisers, they will tell you about hundreds of scholarships every month that they think you should apply. And when people get you know, I've had the same experience when you get hundreds of scholarships a month, you apply to none of them, because it's overwhelming. So what we do is that, try to ask you a bunch of questions, you know, what's your religion? What's your ethnicity? What is your connection to the US military? What's your GPA? What companies did your parents work for? What organizations do you belong to? What are your interests? What might you want to study in college, and based on that, we might tell you about 10 scholarships and one that you should apply to. So it's a very, it's a power of few, right, if I told you about 10 scholarships that you should apply to, there's a good chance that you will actually apply. And you can keep searching every month, we tell people on the point of this is not to do it one time, but to develop a discipline, practice and do it constantly. So that if you spend 15 minutes a week, starting in freshman year of high school, yeah, all the way through your year of college searching for scholarships, you can cut your costs of college by 10s of thousands of dollars. It's just a discipline practice. But we made it easy, you get
treated like a very, very part time job, you know, get your kick you, you know, I think it's helpful that our kids know how to apply for scholarships, and very successfully. And so beyond your free tools that you offer, and you provide your blog is really good. There's so many great articles. And again, you can access all of these, you go to savings, Angel calm slash college, and we'll actually set you up and thank you so much for offering that free consultation. I think that's super helpful. You can get tapped into a lot of the great blog content that Swami and his team have put together. And then beyond that, though, you do have a premium service? And can you kind of explain some of the maybe share some of the success stories or what you see parents and kids being able to experience when they get coaching through that process? I'm a guy, I would imagine it can make a big difference. And I bet you could probably get it to pay for itself pretty easily. You are tapping into the right scholarships and so forth.
Yes, absolutely. You know, in fact, just one successfully, that's really amazing when you talk about, you know, courses that we had one student who we helped get into NYU, which is a great school, with a little bit of a stretch for him. But the key thing is that he got over $45,000 in scholarships, the year from NYU, which meant that his cost of attending NYU suddenly went from $65,000 a year to about $20,000. And this is a family that qualified for no need based financially. Right, which is the vast majority of people who work with us don't qualify for need based financial aid. So the cost of our premium service like almost always pays for itself for families, because they if money matters, they can get into schools, which will really where they can get more scholarships, right. But beyond that, I say what we do with our with our premium services, that we are a coaching service, so you sign you connect with us that maybe need maybe one of our two dozen other coaches, who will then work with your kids through the high school, high school and college application process, right. So family sign up as early as freshman year of high school, actually, we attempted to sign up in the middle school. And then of course, the most intensive portion is when their kids are going through the application process. But just for people going from junior to senior year, and then to the early part of senior year, basically, that's the intense part of the application process, we help them with the entire thing. So we help them find the right call just apply to we help them write that essay, or to revise and really create a powerful essay that sets them apart in the holistic admissions process. We help them build their resume, fill out their application, fill out their financial aid camps, so that they can maximize that the outcomes right. And the whole point is to is to think about how to maximize your child's outcomes. And to do it with the least amount of stress possible. So it's a very complex system. And I tell people a lot that this is like navigating the tax system by yourself, you can certainly do it, you can learn the tax code and fill out your tax forms yourself. Yeah. But there is a reason to work with a tax accountant because they can save you money. And there's a reason to work with us because our students really do better. So we have kids who get in, you know, we our track record is really extraordinary. Our kids have gone into Princeton, into Cambridge into Oxford, into the University of Toronto and to Stanford, Yale, Harvard. But it's not just those top name schools, his kids will go to Michigan, Illinois, and attend Wisconsin or the University of California at Cal State Universities or University of Texas, or Rice University or Hampshire College. It's basically top state schools, it's a liberal arts colleges. It's really helping each student that each family find the best fit for them. We don't try to pressure you to fertile apply to one school or another, we help each best fit for them. And
I love that, you know, and lest we think that we can just rely upon a high school counselor. That's not a really effective way. If we're truly looking out for the best interest of our kids, I think high school counselors mean well, but they just don't have the resources and expertise that's required. And in today's world.
Yeah. Well, I think the fact is that, first of all, I have a huge amount of respect for the work of high school. Anybody under the switch people, the average high school in the United States has one guidance counselor for 470 students. Wow, that is an appalling ratio. When you think about it, that means that, you know, same thing happened with my daughter, her guidance counselor literally had no time during her years of high school to sit down with her and say, Wait, what's the best fit for you? Right? So the reason to work with us is because it if at most schools, the guidance counselor's don't have the time to sit down and get to know each child well enough. But secondly, they also like the expertise in some cases, simply because they might know all the schools in the area. Like if your kid goes to school in Michigan, they would know the universities in Michigan and Michigan State and so on. Yeah, they're unlikely to know a school in California. And I'd like to tell you, hey, you should consider Redlands University, or you should consider the University of Puget Sound. And you should consider Franklin and Marshall up the Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. They're unlikely to know all these wonderful, amazing schools that will be the right fit for your child. But that aren't all that aren't in the headlines. And the robot.
Yeah, awesome. Well, so again, we've got a link all set up. So and again, thank you so much for offering that that free 30 minute consultation, but you can get there by going to savings Angel calm slash college and if you get my email, I'll also send that link out so you can take advantage of that if nothing else, Swami you and your team of coaches that are very, very good, I think you're gonna provide some great help for parents and helping understand and of course, you know, you do have a fabulous program where you're helping students you know, really get kind of fulfill their dreams, which I really, really love. So, thank you so much for joining us. Again, big context Swaminathan. You're the founder and CEO of life launcher, and again, we've got the link all set up at savings Angel calm slash college. Thank you so much Swami.
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