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Most Guidance Counselors, Parents and Students Choose Colleges The Wrong Way

Putting aside the recent craziness in the world of college admissions, if we learned anything at all, we can agree that there is too much emphasis and emotional intensity placed on getting in...

​​​​​​​...and where your child will spend four years (hopefully), instead of what really matters:

​​​​​​​The "Next 40" years that college is supposed to prepare you for!

Because it's all to easy - if you merely "wing it" - to set you ​​​​​​​and your child up for easily avoidable, bad future consequences: rejected across the board​​​​​​​, floundering at a "bad fit" school and transferrin​​​​​​​g or dropping out...

Or, even worse:  a job your child hates for the rest of their lives, crushing student debt or a minimum wage job with little upside that doesn't require a college degree

College is a means to an end. Theoretically, it's an investment, which implies that there should be a RETURN on investment:  Getting "it" for as low a price as possible, and getting something out of it that's MORE than you put in!

Can this happen without any planning? 
In the old days, back when you and I were in college:  yes, it was easier. 

But in today's marketplace, competition is fierce and global.  College grads from all over the world are vying for the same jobs that our kids want, but, frequently,  for a fraction of the salary our children feel entitled to.

Here's the perplexing thing:  college is ostensibly supposed to prepare out children for post-college life in five, six or more years.  But who among us can predict what the "hot" jobs, careers and opportunities will be then?

Case in point: Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest...all were recently valued at multiple billions  of dollars by the marketplace.  But they didn't even exist until 10-15 years ago!

The cliche about the only thing being constant is change has never been truer than today. Our kids, heading to college while incurring massive amounts of debt and facing an uncertain economy, need to acknowledge this reality and THINK about what's going to make them valuable in the marketplace, and how they'll make their way.

​​​​​​In other words, improvising doesn't work today.  Obviously, the world has changed since we applied to college. 

Yesterday's "Safeties" are today's "Reaches." A mom told me last week that a kid at her high school went 0-for-11, getting denied or waitlisted at each school - even the "Targets" recommended by their guidance counselor. 

​​​​​​​Student debt is out of control and so is barely-reported parent debt.

Plus, it's easier than ever to major in something that employers and the marketplace laughs at ("Women's Studies?"  "Less Commonly Taught Languages?"  "Puppetry?"  Actual majors at colleges that cost $50,000-$75,000 per year.)

The good news is that each and every one of these unsavory consequences are easily avoidable - with PLANNING.

Naturally, you're here because you want the same thing for your child as Pearl and I do for our four kiddos - to help them avoid deadly mistakes and succeed post-college.​​​​​​​

There is a better way.

We take a "backward" approach to creating a college plan for our clients, integrating four separate disciplines.  

We're the only game in town that does it this public high school guidance counselor, private school advisor or any other college advisor addresses these critical elements in a comprehensive, simple system: 

First, we explore your child's "wiring" and what that translates into in terms of where they can fit into the world AND make a living (i.e. getting off Mom and Dad's payroll, a/k/a the "Full Ride" scholarship. :)


Immediately thereafter, we build a strategic and balanced college list that includes schools highly reputable across the cluster of best fit majors and careers that we mutually decide to focus on, as well as factoring in more traditional "best fit" criteria: small, medium, large, East Coast, West Coast, etc.

3. Position
The next component is reverse engineering what admissions officers want to see, uncovering the unique qualities of each child to position them to stand from thousands of competitor-applicants.  This includes resume-building, essay writing, test prep, visits, interviews,  and more.  Your child will look the same on paper as 5,000-10,000 other competitor applicants, her task is to advocate why SHE is "The One."  (This starts as early as 9th grade.)

4. Produce

The last step involves scholarships, financial aid advice and forms preparation, and creative funding strategies that frequently involve tax-related advice for high earning business owners. We are experts at negotiating scholarship and financial aid awards, also.

Services include college advising, financial aid and scholarships consulting, test prep classes and tutoring and careers and majors advice.  

A final, important note:  we are definitely NOT a good fit for everyone.  We are not an "el-Cheapo" operation (see below for fees), and we don't work well with uncoachable kids who don't implement advice well, or drama in general.  

You will receive access instructions for our conference call after you book it.  You can invite anyone you like onto the call (child, spouse, etc.).
Note:  It's a CONFERENCE CALL.  We each dial in and you can invite anyone you like (I don't call you, I will be on the conference line, waiting for you.).

​​​​Questions?  Call 516.882.5464

Three things happen during your College Strategy Session:
Fire away any "burning" questions on our conference call!  (You'll get our conf call log in details after you book.) Most calls are about getting into college, paying for college (grants and scholarships) help managing the whole process, i.e. ACT/SAT, what do do when, esp. choosing colleges, extra-curriculars, interviews, applications essays, more!
You'll get answers to each of your questions.  However, be forewarned:  typically, Andy has several questions for YOU :)  Frequently, his questions are about grades, standardized test scores (if known), extra-curricular activities, financial info such as income, savings, your goals...and challenges!   
On your call, Andy  will give you the best - and candid - advice possible.  If he believes that you'd be a good fit for one of our programs, he'll make a recommendation..and if Andy does NOT think that our services will be valuable to you, he'll tell you as well (this is the case with approximately 1/3 of prospective clients). 
H​​​​​​​ere's what everybody is talking about 
As soon as I walked through your door I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Thank you for all you have done for my precious girls! 
-Beth Marcus
Scottsdale, AZ
Thank you for all your help with the applications and essays!
-Victorien Jakobsen, Vassar College

I recommend you to all my friends with kids headed to college that they call you.
-Frank Brecher
Commack, New York

Initially, I thought I was just going to get financial aid advice but 
Andy helped us with a lot more than that.  

He spoke about camps Alexis should attend to showcase her talents, the sports resume to send out to colleges, sports DVD, the essays she should be writing, internships and just so many other little details that I just didn't think about. 

His rolodex is filled with the right connections that Lexi needed for the college process. He helped us market our daughter. 

I think it would be worth your time to meet with Andy. Thank you!
-Karen Greene
Glen Head, New York

Andy put all my wife's anxieties about the college paperwork to rest.  I can't say enough about the quality of his work.  My daughter is so happy at Columbia!
Thanks, Andy!
-Vince Gonzalez
Huntington, New York

About Pearl and Andy 
Pearl and Andy Lockwood are attorneys-turned-college consultants who help "Forgotten Middle Class" families get into - and pay "Wholesale" prices for - the best countries in the country...even if they think they can't possibly qualify!

​Pearl is a former Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, New York and our resident financial aid forms prep maven, filing 400+ financial aid applications annually.

Andy is a Best Selling author and appears regularly in The Wall Street Journal, Fox, local CBS News and other media as their featured college expert. 
The Lockwoods have personally mentored students admitted to Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cornell (Pearl's alma mater, Andy went to Wesleyan University, a "Little Ivy" as Pearl reminds him) as well as community colleges and many colleges "in between."  

Two dirty little secrets are that rankings ignore quality of education, and, by necessity, the effort students put into their education. That's why Pearl and Andy are adamant that "College ROI" more important than bragging rights displayed on a sticker on the rear window of an automobile.  What you get OUT of college matters far more than where you go.

Approximately 70% of clients come from the New York area, the balance hail from all over the country (even out of the country, China, Spain, Australia, Serbia), as well as all walks of life, including business-owners, student-athlete families, divorced/separated families and "regular" high income and Forgotten Middle Class families who don't want to the right questions to ask, feel overwhelmed and don't want to commit any long-lasting errors with their children's education and success post-college.

A note about fees
As noted, we charge a premium because of the value we provide to our clients in terms of scholarships, reduced stress, time savings and other important benefits.  We are compensated in a manner that our clients - and we - believe is commensurate with our value.

Fees range from more than $1,700 for financial aid forms preparation and consulting, $10,000-15,000 or more for college advising, depending on when we start coaching students (e.g. 9th grade vs. 11th), whether they do test prep and/or tutoring with us and other factors.  The majority of clients are in the middle somewhere.

​​​​​​​Our fees are an investment - with a return on that investment. Not an expense.

If we chat and ​​​​​​​mutually think you'd be a good fit for one of our programs, we can discuss recommendations, fees and payment options.

Final note:  Andy turns down as many as 3-5 potential clients per month because he determines, in good faith, that they would not be a good fit for one reason or another.

The point is that we exclude those who won't do well in our program, so you don't waste your money and we don't set ourselves up for frustration and failure to meet unreasonable expectations.
One such prospective client, Anthony DiBattista of New Hyde Park, New York,  remarked to Andy, and his son, at a presentation, "I met with your dad. He told me that he couldn't help me and not to waste my money hiring me.  That's when I knew he was an honest man."

More Reviews
'Dear Andy:
Your professionalism and patience is what makes you and your business so successful. I am going to recommend you to all my friends so they can put their mind at ease and not have to worry about undertaking this daunting process alone! 
-Sabrina Ferrara 
Hauppauge, NY 
Andy, We want to thank you and Pearl for all your hard work advising us on the issues surrounding college admission. You simplified an often complex process and took a huge load off of our shoulders. 

While we should have listened to your advice regarding early decision, we were pleased with the increase in financial aid afforded to us.  
We look forward to your counsel in the years ahead for all three of our college bound children. It’s great working with you both.
 -Jeanne & Gary Lofgren 
Westbury, NY 
Dear College Pete and Andy: 
We wanted to express our thanks and gratitude for your professional guidance in the college planning process. We first met with you at one of your seminars when Lauren was in the beginning of 10th grade. While initially it seemed perhaps to be a bit premature to plan for college three years in advance, it became clear that in fact that was the perfect time to start planning. You never made any guarantees other than that if we followed your strategies we would put ourselves in the best possible position to be eligible for financial assistance.Lauren received a letter from Vanderbilt approximately one month ago. The good news for her was that she was accepted for admission...but Vanderbilt's initial award for financial aid was approximately $9,000.
It became clear that Vanderbilt misconstrued some information on our tax return, and you, You and my accountant and I worked closely together to further explain the tax situation. Ultimately, through perseverance and continued support from you, the initial award was increased from $9,000.00 to $39,000. We are thrilled as parents as is our daughter, Lauren. 
 We would highly recommend your professional service to any family who is considering sending their child to a private university. 

-David and Lisa Reiser, 
Plantation, Florida   

I recommend that you contact Andy, everything was done for me, college applications, offers...he guided me through the entire process -it was great!  I didn't have to worry about anything!
-John Pawlowski,
Smithtown NY


-Alec Fischthal
Hewlett, NY 

We'll send you dial-in info immediately after you book your conference call.
If you have ANY questions about booking a meeting or other topics, call 516.882.5464 or email  Either Andy or someone on his team will get back to you.
Disclaimer (to demonstrate that I want to law school):   Lockwood College Prep and its employees and owners make no claims or representations about results.  Your results may vary, particularly because said results depend largely on your grades. scores and efforts, which of course we cannot control.