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Are you a parent wondering which college scholarships are legit and which are scams? We’ve got an expert on the show, the founder of The Scholarship System, who figured it out for herself and funded her entire college experience with scholarships!
No matter how old your child is, there’s something that you (or they) could be doing right now to get college scholarships. This week’s guest, Jocelyn Pearson, figured out how to get six figures in scholarships and get out of college with no debt! Her website, The Scholarship System, tells you step-by-step how you can do the same, and she’s on our show today giving us her secrets.
Here’s a little more about Jocelyn:
Jocelyn Pearson founded The Scholarship System to share her own experience of graduating from college with ZERO student loans. When college looked unaffordable for Jocelyn, she sprang into action and secured over $126,000 in college scholarships, even receiving an overage check for expenses. It wasn’t an easy process, however. It took her years to figure out exactly what to do to be selected for scholarships. Now she helps families learn how they can do the same by teaching them her 6-step System. Families have secured over 7-figures in scholarships and growing! Jocelyn is from Charleston, South Carolina but currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband, Donny, and Jaffe, their rescued, pleasantly plump dog.
This Week’s Links
Interview with Jocelyn Pearson (00:01:03)
Bytes of the Week (00:30:03)
“Sesame Street” Asked People Which Muppet They’d Take On A Deserted Island And The Debate Got Heated, by Pablo Valdivia – BuzzFeed
Teenagers react to Windows 95. cannot imagine what their elders endured, by Justin Pot – Digital Trends
What getting online used to sound like:
Andrea’s mom’s commercial:
Esurance’s ‘Offline Over-Sharer’ Beatrice Is My Real-Life Mom, by Andrea Smith – Huffington Post
The College Admissions Ring Tells Us How Much Schoolwork Is Worth, by Malcolm Harris – New York Magazine
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Rebecca: Hi, welcome to Parenting Bytes. This is Rebecca Levey of KidzVuz. I’m here today with Amy Oztan of Amy Ever After.
Rebecca: Hi Amy! And Andrea Smith, technology guru extraordinaire.
Andrea: Hi ladies!
Rebecca: Hello. Today on the show I feel like, you know, who is not talking about college admissions, but we’re going to talk about something a little different, which is how to get money legitimately. [Amy laughing] How like you can get money instead of spending out the money. We have a scholarship expert on the show today who’s gonna talk all about the system she developed to get scholarships, find scholarships, apply to scholarships, keep track of all the scholarships, there is so much money out there to be had for kids from high school. Even while you’re in college, even graduate school, so we’re going to have her on and tackle this huge issue of how to afford college.
Rebecca: So we’re here today with Jocelyn Paonita Pearson, founder of The Scholarship System dot com, The Scholarship System on its own not just the dot com! But we are so excited to have her on today because we know that affording college is probably top of mind for all of our listeners. You know we’ve gone through some of the admissions process with some other guests and I think in light of the college scandal that came out this week where people have seen the extraordinary amounts of money that some people have to buy their children’s way into college, forget about affording it once you’re there, this huge chasm between sort of haves and have nots is starker than ever. And I think people don’t realize how much money and opportunity there is for a lot of kids to be able to afford college. I think this made it feel even more daunting for a lot of parents. So Jocelyn, we are so happy to have you on today to tackle this because it I think is the number one concern of parents. I think most parents aren’t just concerned with the getting in. They’re really concerned with how they’re gonna afford it.
Jocelyn: Yeah absolutely. I’m so excited to be here and I think you hit the nail on the head. I mean there’s so many studies out there about parents losing sleep about this. I mean this is definitely top of mind and that’s why it’s such a rewarding space to be in. So I appreciate you having me.
Rebecca: Well let’s sort of jump right in and talk a little bit about how you came to this on how you developed this scholarship system.
Jocelyn: Yeah. So it’s- I think some of the best things are found by accident and that’s actually how The Scholarship System came about. When I was in high school my parents sat me down and said you know, we love you, but there’s no way we can afford this cost of college, because I have multiple siblings. And they said there’s just no way. And so I actually had just also watched Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in school. We had some weeks to kill after exams or something like that. And it showed me this debt snowball and it made me terrified, absolutely terrified, of student debt or any debt for that matter. And so when my parents sat me down I said oh my gosh, you know, I don’t want student debt so I’ve got to find something else. And that was what really began my journey to scholarships. And like most families I figured I had to get you know a big offer from a university in order to get a free ride or I had to win this Dr. Pepper Coca-Cola scholarship, and we can talk about some of those in a little bit. And if I didn’t then there was no way I’d get a free ride. But I was pretty stubborn fortunately. And so for the next year I was applying to what I thought were legitimate scholarships and they weren’t. And we can define that a little later. And I nearly quit because I spent a whole year and didn’t hear anything back. But I got tons of spam and it just got sucked into what I call borderline scams. But then towards my the end of my junior year in high school I finally won a five hundred dollar scholarship. And while most parents are probably listening to this thinking, five dollars, that’s not even textbooks! What that five hundred dollars was for me was really, it validated the idea- OK, there IS money out there. I just need to know the right places to find it and what a legitimate scholarship actually looks like. And from there my senior year I kept building on this information, this knowledge, and kept tweaking my strategy and got enough to cover my freshman year. And then when I got to college I got enough to cover my sophomore, and then junior, and senior. And by the end of it it I got six figures in scholarships, graduated completely debt free.
Jocelyn: And I thought, this- it sounds pretty ignorant, but I thought a lot of students did that until I graduate college and all of my friends were talking about how they were you know having a hard time making ends meet, and I was over here traveling with my then boyfriend now husband and you know investing in my 401K and stuff and they were like well you know friends we’re reaching out saying, how did you do this?? You know, or family with kids still in college, they’re asking me how I did this and when I kept telling them I realized oh my gosh I sound like a broken record. This was just- it was repeated steps over and over that were fine-tuned to the point that they worked. And then that’s when The Scholarship System was born.
Rebecca: Wow I love that story because I love that you didn’t just get defeated by your parents saying that to you, because I think, you know kids are already feeling so much pressure about getting in and then when you take on that financial piece it can be very overwhelming for a kid, because like you said, like you’re just starting to understand finances. Most kids don’t even understand you know aren’t getting even that video you got to watch.
Rebecca: So you know how how does someone start? I think people can get overwhelmed by the websites that start coming at you, especially as soon as your kid takes a PSAT. You know it’s like FastWeb this one and that one and it does feel like almost like a lottery, like just throw your name in this email list and now you’re entered and you never hear of anyone winning.
Amy: Well I started sending my son those kinds of e-mails and saying “Oh my God you should apply for this!” It was my son who was like, This sounds like a scam.” And I had no idea whether it was or not.
Jocelyn: You know it’s funny because kids these days, or students, they’ve been they were born into this dot com age, right? And so actually they’re doing a better job at identifying the scams than parents. And so a lot of times it’s hard for me but I have to have that conversation with mom and dad saying no, stop sending those, your student is right. Because they come back and they say, well, someone has to win them, why not spend the 15 minutes? But you spend 15 minutes on a hundred of them and you just spent a lot of time that could have instead put towards perfecting an essay that could be reused on legitimate ones. And so you guys are not the only ones. Those are the ones, you use the perfect term, lottery, or what I call it, sweepstake scholarships, they’re sweepstakes scholarships, and that’s what I primarily applied to my junior year because they were quick and easy. You know I could sit there in front of the TV and just knock them out. And for those parents that are wondering what are these look like, these are the ones that can take five to ten, fifteen minutes to submit. Maybe they have one short, like one sentence essay or a 250-word essay. They don’t ask any kind of criteria. And basically that’s- it’s what you said where you just put your name in a hat and they randomly draw a winner. And those are not the scholarships we want to go for because those are based on luck. The ones that we teach students to go for are the ones that are actually based on credentials and skills and and accomplishments, because those are the ones that are within our control, right? So if it’s based on luck we are just literally relying on luck. But if it’s based on skill and essays, essay quality and things like that we can actually improve our chances by improving our materials, right? So that said you know I got sucked into those and my inbox that I used to sign up for those now has over 20,000 unread messages. I had to just completely start a new one because what they were doing, the reason I call them scams, and that might be a harsh word but it’s borderline a scam, what they’re doing is they’re collecting the emails from those drawings and selling them to affiliate marketing, affiliate marketers and so that’s why you get flooded with all of these e-mails, and some students don’t know better. It’s great that your son did know but a lot of students don’t and so they just get bombarded with all these e-mails. And so we don’t want to waste time on those. So I guess when we’re talking about where to get started, your initial question, first let’s- if it’s OK I’d love to just define what a good scholarship would be. Is that OK?
Amy: Yes, please!
Jocelyn: So obviously we talked about what is not a good scholarship and that’s these sweepstake ones, they take five to ten minutes, they’re not really based on credentials. They’re not something I can compete for based on my own qualities. Legitimate scholarship would be on the other end of the spectrum where they’re asking for things that can be used to identify whether or not your student is going to be a good fit for college and beyond. So, the way that I tell my students, the way that I describe this to our families is you want to think about, scholarships want to invest in a student. They want a student that will be a positive return on investment. That means this student’s going to take the money, go to college, and do something with it. And you know that doesn’t mean that they need a perfect GPA. A lot of times we can justify a less than perfect GPA with a good essay. But we need to show, hey, we, you know, we’re actually going to do something with our- with this money, with our college degree, and with our lives. And so the way to show that is through, you know whether they have essay requirements, they might ask for transcripts, they might ask for recommendation letters. So these will take a lot more time, but you can do way less of them than these random drawings. So, and there’s some that are in the middle of the spectrum, maybe there- it’s only one or two quick essays and transcripts, but that’s still a lot more than just throw your name in the hat. And so that’s what we want to look for, those legitimate scholarships. So I think the first thing is for families to just understand what are we looking for. And that’s really what started changing my path on this.
Rebecca: So how do you, you know, I think sometimes people also have in their mind that your kid can only get a scholarship like you said if they have a perfect GPA or crazy S.A.T. scores or they’re an amazing athlete, you know let’s say you have your run of the mill kid, like good solid kid, and they’re not a star athlete, but maybe they’re on the school paper, or are they, you know, do a lot of community service, or you know, or they play an instrument, where- how do you even begin to find scholarships that are tailored to your kid?
Jocelyn: Yeah, and I love what you brought up, because so many- I was the furthest thing from an athlete. I mean for those that know me or have followed The Scholarship System for a while they’ve probably heard my funny softball story. I was so far from getting any kind of athletic scholarship, and actually less than 2 percent of college students even get money for athletics, which is funny because that’s a path that a lot of people assume that’s how you get money, but it’s not. So athletics are pretty much out anyway. And then there are scholarships out there that don’t even ask for GPA, or for example us as The Scholarship System, as a way to give back, I started giving out scholarships three or four years ago, and we asked for GPA but we only have it as a backup for a tiebreaker. It is not a requirement per se. And we have yet to use it. So we actually hide GPA whenever we’re looking at our applicants. So there are scholarships out there that don’t even ask for GPA or have a GPA requirement of, for example 2.5. So a lot of students are eligible there. And same with, you know, A.C.T. or S.A.T. test scores. A lot of scholarships don’t even ask for those. So as far as, you know, students being average, or however they define that, I think a lot of parents would be surprised at the amount of scholarships they can qualify for, because the scholarship committees are normal people. They know that not everyone’s a great test taker but they can still be very successful and that’s where the essays come in. So, but as far as finding these I look- if it’s OK let’s start talking about, I’d love to dive into just kind of how to get not overwhelmed. You mentioned websites earlier, so we can talk about where to find these. So the first place that all families should look whether they’re average or not is looking local, because those are going to be the low-hanging fruit. So that’s another common myth that we often run across is, you know, even I fell into this where I thought I had to get a Coca-Cola scholarship which, then you do need this amazing GPA or A.C.T. score, what have you. But the local scholarships, only local students can apply to those so there’s less competition and a lot of times they’re more lenient on requirements anyway. And where we can find those is first and foremost of course looking at your own high school and talking to them. So a lot of high schools these days are putting them on the website, whether it’s a blackboard or it’s behind a log in screen or sometimes it’s just on their website. So students should always check their own high school’s website. Another strategy is checking high schools around yours. So sometimes a different high school might have found out about a scholarship that yours didn’t. So I always recommend students looking at schools around them. Additionally I always recommend students actually going into the guidance office. I know this sounds crazy but there are still scholarship in there- like wait, what? You have to go inside? But there are still committees out there that are on the paper method because they’re you know an old Rotary Club or an Elks Club where their members have been in this for, you know, 30, 40 years and they are just sending letters to the school still. So walking into the office and saying, hey do you have any that are not on the website and applying, you can even still do that, you know for while they’re in college even. I got a scholarship by walking into my advising office and saying, do you have any. And they still had a paper method for applying which is absurd. But it’s accurate. And then another place to look locally are local community foundations. Now this is just direct bull’s eye to huge money opportunities. Community foundations get endowments and donations. And I mean just one alone can have half a million dollars that they give out annually. And a lot of times if our seniors get them they get them every year while they’re in college. They reapply but they get more and more money typically each year. And so those local community foundations, that’s a great place to start. Now for- you know, I know some of you are members of The Scholarship System and so you’ve heard of my Google method which is the easiest way to find these, and we can talk about, I know we’re limited on time, but I can share a webinar later where people can learn that. But just googling local community foundations, you know say you’re in Dorchester County, you can do Dorchester County community foundation scholarships and look through those that show up. That’s a quick way to avoid those overwhelming websites and still find a lot of potential dollars that have less competition, which is just, you know, it’s great all around compared to going FastWeb dot com that’s going to flood your e-mail with junk.
Andrea: Having a child who’s actually gone through this I can only say, and I know it’s easier now with common applications and everything, but you know when kids are going through this and they’re so stressed anyway about taking tests and looking for the right school, writing their essays this- I mean it takes time and I know there is a certain kind of kid who’d be really good about sitting down and writing essays for these particular scholarships, but I get the feeling, or I got the feeling then that it was just like, yeah, they’re maybe like two hundred dollars here or four hundred dollars here but man it’s not worth the time because there’s so many hoops to jump through. How do you- how do kids balance that, because they’re the ones who have to do the work.
Jocelyn: That’s a great question and that’s actually so funny. You guys are just running down the list of myths that we address. [Amy laughing] And one of them is first off that, you know, these small dollar scholarships are not worth my time. I will tell you right now I got one scholarship that was a few thousand. That was seventy five hundred dollars, which is obviously a huge chunk, but after that my scholarships were a thousand dollars here. Twelve hundred dollars here. Six hundred dollars here. Five hundred dollars there. And they added up to six figures. So they’re, and I think behind the seventy five hundred dollar one my largest one was two or three thousand dollars. Now again that’s a decent amount. But I went for all of those small dollar ones and here’s why. One of them was only I want to say five or six hundred dollars, and when I applied they actually, they were giving out two awards. I was one of the students that applied, one of four students. So only four students applied because of exactly what you just said I’m sure where they said five hundred dollars, that’s not worth my time. And what the committee actually ended up doing was they said well, you know what, why don’t we find an extra thousand dollars and give all four of them the award. And that’s what they did. So it was a 100 percent success rate because I just applied to this five hundred dollar scholarship because no one else was willing to because they thought it wasn’t worth their time. And even still if you think about it even you know a few hundred dollars, there’s no way that that essay is going to take them 12 hours of time, right? It’s probably gonna take them a couple of hours to really perfect this essay and so that is still probably 50 to 100 dollars per hour pay rate. So I don’t know what student can possibly ever get that hourly rate, but that is something to think about and we’ve actually sat down with students where we’re like hey, let’s calculate, let’s calculate how much you would get per hour on this. And it’s shocking. But that said, the final myth around this is that it doesn’t have to take a ton of time because you know while they’re putting a lot of effort into these scholarships upfront you’ll find that a lot of them have recurring themes. And so a lot of times we can reuse at least parts of our essays. And for example one of our students now coaches as- she’s one of our coaches in The Scholarship System. She says that she thinks she probably used about four to five core essays, and she was able to get six figures in scholarships. So you know upfront it’s you know an investment to get these scholarship essays done. But then they can reuse rinse and repeat. And that’s where you really start getting this well-oiled streamlined machine and so it doesn’t have to take a ton of time.
Rebecca: And do you feel like you know they’re going to have to write these essays anyway for college and so do you feel like there is an alignment between a lot of the scholarship essays and what becomes a personal statement and supplementals on their common app?
Jocelyn: Oh gosh, absolutely. I mean we, we teach personal statements in The Scholarship System because it’s- that’s basically what a lot of scholarship committees are asking for. They don’t call it a personal statement, but that’s really what they’re asking for, you know, what do you want to do with your life and why? Or what are you going to do with this scholarship money? Or why do you deserve this scholarship money? A lot of times you can at least pull the stories that you talk about in that personal statement. So, so absolutely, they can reuse these. And really what colleges are looking for is the same thing that scholarship committees are looking for. They want to say OK, if we admit this student are they going to do something with this degree. Are they going to come in and invest in the campus, be an active member and take this degree and do something with it. Scholarship committees are thinking the same thing. So 100 percent. These essays can absolutely- they’re all around the same core stories that students can use.
Rebecca: So I will say. So my daughters both dropped out of applying to the Coolidge scholarship. They just, one- one was doing it and then she was like, “I can’t deal with this right now.” And then the other one’s like, “I’ll do it!” And then she was like “I’m so not dealing with this right now.” Because all the deadlines for it hit right at finals and it just became- it was like the worst timing possible, they had state exams and finals at the same time.
Jocelyn: Oh my gosh.
Rebecca: And it was one of those things where I was thinking like, how do I motivate them. I mean this is a full ride scholarship. And I think to Andrea’s point it was really hard for them to see that big picture potential of a full- what a full ride would look like, right? You’re potentially talking about almost 300 thousand dollars. If you’re at a private university. And it’s still- it still became this additional thing in the middle their junior year, all lined with all these horrible things that was just too much. I am wondering, is there a way…how do you keep track and sort of pace it so that you know, had they sort of known earlier, or had- honestly the scholarship just didn’t open earlier, which is part of the problem. You know, how do you set up that kind of timeline so that your kids can pace the workload and they’re, you know, if they’re going to apply to scholarships how they can incorporate this into what they’re already doing without totally freaking them out.
Jocelyn: That’s a great question and this is why you know I get families that are in their sophomore year in high school or their student is in their sophomore year in high school and they’re like, “Oh it’s too early, you know, we’ll come back.” And then I get my families that are in their junior-senior year and they are freaking out and they’re like, “Why didn’t we start this in the previous year?” And, and it’s just funny, I’m like, you know, where is this year where people think it’s perfect timing? Because they used to go from it’s too early to it’s too late. And I always wish that I could connect people to, to, you know the families that have seniors to let the younger families know: start now, because the thing is you know as a sophomore, and actually there are scholarships that younger students can apply to, as young as four years old, which a lot of people are surprised to hear. [Amy laughing] Yeah. They draw. They submit drawings and they win a bond that matures when they are 18. And so there are scholarships out there for kids as young as 13 years old, 14, 15, and so in my opinion the best way to spread this out, and I know it’s tough because a lot of parents don’t think about it. They’re just trying to think about surviving high school never mind paying for college already. But for those with younger students, start in 9th and 10th grade. I actually have a close friend of mine, he pays his 11 year old five dollars for every scholarship application that she submits. And even though she’s not eligible to apply to all of them she is becoming just a scholarship machine. So by junior-senior year she has these essays ready to go perfected and she can knock them out and just submit. So that said, you know the younger that they can do that, they can begin, they can start at least identifying the scholarships, because a lot of times these days the nice thing is that you can research them and find the deadlines, and a lot of times the deadlines are the same year after year. So I can find scholarships as a sophomore that I can apply to as a junior or senior, put them on my calendar for next year, and maybe maybe put the due date a month earlier just in case they move it up a week or something like that. But most of the time the scholarship deadlines are the same year after year or around the same time. So what they can do is start snowballing their efforts, start doing the research right now and then you know, they can start looking at these essay topics, start seeing some common patterns, and that’s where you can start saying oh, OK, I can use this experience for this this and this essay, I can use this experience for this essay, and you can start compiling them.
Jocelyn: And then when we get to junior year, senior year we now have these core essays that we can just kind of tweak as we need. We already have the list of scholarships we want to apply to, we know the dates of our local ones so that we don’t miss those, those are big ones. We know the dates of our university ones so we don’t miss those. So that way junior year it’s just about- junior and senior year it’s just about hitting the submit button over and over. You know there’s ways to just streamline this so that they can collect the materials and that way they’re not starting from scratch every application which is another thing that we really stress because yeah, it is a lot to ask of our teenagers. They’re doing more than any generation before us. I mean it’s absurd what teens have to do.
Rebecca: It’s crazy.
Jocelyn: And so if we can spread it out the earlier the better. Now for those that are not, you know maybe they’re down to the wire-
Amy: I was just about to ask about that! [Jocelyn laughing] For those of us who didn’t start at 4 years old, for those of us who say, maybe, have a senior, is it too late? When are the deadlines for these generally?
Jocelyn: So I will say it’s never too late because I was getting money, if, you know, if you caught this during my story-
Jocelyn: I was getting money all the way through college. So it’s never too late. My last check I cashed on my way home from college graduation. So it’s never too late. But that said they- if they’re applying for scholar- or- sorry, for college then they can absolutely use their admissions essays like you just said and grow on those. I used one of mine year after year for scholarship applications. But also, and I know some of them don’t want to hear this, but over breaks they can cram. And that was actually my strategy because like I said my junior year went to waste. So I was actually one of those students that was down to the wire because I wasted a whole year on scams. And so what I found was I did passive research in the meantime during the weeks you know, some of our families what we recommend is setting up Scholarship Sundays, where they dedicate just- even if it’s just an hour a week and that’s their dedicated time to do research. And then over breaks you know whether it’s winter break or spring break they can knock out a lot of the essays. And this is- we call it batching. So you’re bashing these applications and it’ll be one heck of a day. [laughing] And maybe we need some some snacks and make it fun, maybe invite a friend over that can- that also needs to apply for scholarships. But you know you can batch them if they’re not a student that wants to do a regular every week, maybe an hour, hour and a half every Sunday. So but that said it’s not too late. I promise.
Amy: And you’ve talked a lot about essay based applications. Are there applications that involve, like I have a musician, and so are there scholarships for the arts and for things like that that aren’t connected to the schools? Like a lot of the schools will give scholarships but are there ones where say you send in a video or something like that.
Jocelyn: Absolutely there are. And actually that was a lesson that we recently added because video essays are becoming more and more popular. But yeah there are portfolio based scholarships is what I call those. A lot of times they are through the university. I will be- I will say that music scholarships are harder to come by. I almost think it’s because people know that that’s a career path that typically struggles financially and so there’s just so many people looking for money in that area. So it’s very difficult to find. So I always push my fine arts students to think of scholarships they can get. Not not to close the door on those but to try to think outside the box, you know what else can we look for as well. But, yeah there’s scholarships- that still falls in the realm of competing for money. Right? You still have to submit something that shows your skill level whether it’s a recording of playing a musical instrument or submitting a drawing or photography. You know some sort of portfolio, that’s still skill based. But yes to answer your question there’s absolutely ones like that.
Rebecca: All right Jocelyn, this was so crazy helpful. [laughing] But I mean I know there’s so much more to what you teach and what you do. So where can people find sort of more information and hopefully get started? Where would- where should we send them?
Jocelyn: Yeah absolutely and I wish, I mean as you guys know I try to cram as much in here as possible.
Rebecca: No, they’re really helpful.
Jocelyn: But there’s so much to it. But we we have a blog where every week we post new blog posts, they’re always very in-depth step by step guides. So they should check out our website The Scholarship System dot com. And that’s where they can get access to a lot of free resources, we have a free writing guide. We have all of those blog posts. And then if they want to learn for example my Google method, if they want to do an in-depth training on where to find the scholarships especially, that’s what I focus on in the training, we have a free webinar and they can just go to The Scholarship System dot com slash free webinar and, and that is what I highly recommend. It’s about an hour long training where I go much more in-depth about the myths and where to find them. And I think those two places. Oh and also of course follow us on Facebook. We share scholarships and helpful articles on there. So that’s- if you go to Facebook just search The Scholarship System. So if they go there, that- we have so many free resources to help families. And of course they can always reach out to us if they have any specific questions.
Rebecca: That’s so helpful. Thank you so much for joining us today. This was great. I hope we help a lot of parents. I think people feel so daunted right now.
Amy: I feel helped!
Rebecca: Good, because there is money out there. I mean, I think I can’t remember, you probably know like the statistics, how much money is left on the table every year, that’s not, that no one applies for.
Jocelyn: Yes. I don’t have the specific number but there’s over one hundred twenty five billion dollars in money overall. So lots of money.
Rebecca: Yes. Go get it. Thank you Jocelyn.
Jocelyn: Thanks so much for having me. It was a blast.
Rebecca: Great. Bye. We’ll be right back with our Bytes of the Week. This week’s episode is brought to you by Aftershokz. Parenting Bytes listeners can get fifty dollars off Trekz Air or Trekz Titanium or Titanium Mini bundles at www dot Aftershokz dot com. That’s A F T E R S H O K Z dot com, with code PB50 like Parenting Bytes 50. Get yourself an awesome bundle in our incredible headphones that we tried out. You can listen all about them on an episode of Parenting Bytes we’ll link to that on our show page, but if you’d like to try them for yourself check them out at www dot Aftershokz dot com. And don’t forget to use the code PB50 to get fifty dollars off your bundle…We are back with our Bytes of Week, Amy, what do you have?
Amy: Ok this is a fun one. So the Sesame Street Twitter account. The official one they tweeted out a question. It was you’re stuck on a deserted island and you can pick one of these Sesame Street friends to come with you. Who are you picking and why. And it’s a picture of Oscar the Grouch. Grover Elmo and Cookie Monster and the conversation that ensued from this was amazing. Like people really got into it and they really had some opinions about it not just like like there are famous people non famous people like everybody was getting in on this and BuzzFeed of course collected some of the best tweets and put them all on a list. So we’ll just link to the BuzzFeed thing because it’s it’s so much fun like a where was one of my favorite ones it was actually from Quest Love Grover and Elmo ask too many questions and I don’t want to find out that cookie is an omnivore on a deserted island. So I’ll pick Oscar because he won’t nag me with questions Is the whole conversation is just delightful. So linked to that
Rebecca: It sounds awesome. Who would you pick.
Amy: Oh my God you know I’m tempted to say Oscar just because I’m an introvert and I feel like he wouldn’t talk to me a lot. So I think just for that reason I would pick I would pick Oscar the Grouch about you.
Rebecca: I think I don’t pick Grover because almost too annoying and his voice would get at me and I do feel like Cookie Monster also has just a limited conversational ability.
Amy: And also if you find any food he’s going to get to it first.
Rebecca: Yes and I feel like he could really turn like if he gets angry enough he’s gonna turn in a bad way. But Grover I think I know he asked a lot of questions but he has a lot of really good conversation and he tends to sing the good songs with everyone like for Grover he can fly.
Amy: Oh that’s that’s
Rebecca: Can be super Grover.
Amy: That’s a good point. How about you Andrea?
Jocelyn: Well you know I would have said Elmo but Rebecca’s right. He could probably be like to you know overwhelmingly positive and cheery. So that may get really bad but maybe snaffle up a guess like Snuffleupagus.
Amy: Not a choice
Amy: You have
Jocelyn: A choice
Amy: Now. You have to
Amy: Pick one of the four.
Jocelyn: Oh God I totally blew it. Which tell me the four again.
Amy: It was Oscar
Amy: Grouch. Cookie
Amy: Monster Elmo and Grover.
Jocelyn: Oh but I once fee
Rebecca: But Snuffy is imaginary.
Amy: No he is not anymore.
Rebecca: I know he’s not. You know that he I was traumatized when I was about four. I went to the Sesame Street set and Snuffleupagus was coming down in two pieces on the freight elevator. He was being lowered onto the set and I was- I just did me an
Amy: Oh you know I have to tell you I visited the set as an adult and they were really great about letting us take pictures and film anything we wanted but they said the one thing that we couldn’t do was take pictures of dead Muppets which is what they call the Muppets when nobody is operating them.
Amy: Like when they’re just lying on a table so
Rebecca: I see why
Amy: No dead Muppet pictures you will traumatize 4 year old Rebecca.
Rebecca: It is true I did bring Cookie Monster a huge box of cookies from the Italian Bakery in Brooklyn.
Amy: Oh that was so sweet. I still have- they let me have- I sat in Big Bird’s nest and they let me keep a feather and I have it framed with the picture of me in the nest.
Rebecca: That’s awesome.
Rebecca: All right Andrea what do you have.
Jocelyn: So this is really funny. I’m not one to watch videos of teenagers right like reacting to old people thing but digital trends. Has a video of teenagers trying to use a computer with Windows 95 and this really strikes at the heart of who I am. I mean I’ll never forget going to the windows 95 launch I think was the first time as an ABC reporter producer we actually got a bill gates interview that’s when he used to still go to these launches. It was the hugest thing ever Windows 95 was the hugest thing ever. And this is literally eight minutes of teenagers looking at a video and saying things like this is prehistoric like a dinosaur. Wait a minute how do you get on the Internet. If there’s no Wi-Fi. Because there was no built
Jocelyn: In Wi-Fi
Jocelyn: In Windows 95
Jocelyn: And the person says well you had to use a modem and they say what is a modem. And it’s really hysterical. And it had me laughing and cringing at the exact same time. Like the whole idea of that dial up now are that TSB IP you know like
Jocelyn: Waiting for the sound. It actually reminds me of the insurance commercials that my mother did
Jocelyn: You know waiting for waiting for
Jocelyn: A dial up
Amy: All right I’m going to post both audio of the sound and your mother’s commercial.
Jocelyn: And excellent. And basically it’s just hysterical. And finally one kid says God this is just such a pain in the ass. So we will post a link to this video. It’s funny
Rebecca: It’s so funny. A
Amy: I don’t think I would do much better with Windows 95 at this point.
Jocelyn: I think what’s really intriguing to me having watched this technology evolve right. Like using AOL on dial up is the whole idea of Wi-Fi. I mean Wi-Fi is ubiquitous. You know you walk down the street and you can get Wi-Fi you’re on a college campus you get Wi-Fi everything has Wi-Fi and when Wi-Fi was first baked in to browsers It was huge like the first thing that we do now when we set up a new computer is connect to the Wi-Fi and then everything else is instantaneous. But back then it wasn’t even built in. So really that’s how far we’ve come in you know not that many years when you consider how fast technology moves
Rebecca: Sure I remember watching the launch of Netscape. I mean there was no there was no browser there was no way to actually surf the web. You were in these like closed gardens a prodigy or AOL.
Rebecca: So yeah. No I remember. I remember my first job. We all watched it. We were all like wow That’s
Rebecca: The little shooting
Rebecca: Star in the course.
Rebecca: Yes. So all
Rebecca: That just
Rebecca: So I don’t
Rebecca: All technology’s moved so fast.
Jocelyn: Technology moves at lightning pace I mean now we’ll go to you know a press conference and the first thing you do is like what’s the hashtag what’s the Wi-Fi code. You know how can
Jocelyn: I tweet
Jocelyn: If there’s no Wi-Fi. How can I do this if there’s no Wi-Fi. And this literally I mean the launch of Windows 95 right there. There was no Wi-Fi. There was
Jocelyn: Of this.
Jocelyn: It was
Rebecca: In your
Rebecca: Ether net cable.
Jocelyn: Here’s an operating system. Yeah.
Rebecca: Yes. That is trying to be like a Mac. So my Byte this week is sort of in line with our guest or at least in line with college which is an article in New York Magazine which has been breathlessly covering the scandal just loves it. But this article by Malcolm Harris is so good it’s called the college admissions ring tells us how much school work is worth. And it’s actually not about the scandal. It’s about kind of about the price that people paid for it but also about how do you quantify student labor. Like how do you quantify your kids the amount of work they’re putting in all week and then the extracurriculars and then the like how do you do that and they were saying if you look at how much these parents are paying and the fact that college admissions officers off the record will admit that it’s about 10 a 10 million dollar donation is what secures a child’s admission. And he said so if you figure out that’s about one hundred thousand dollars worth of labor for every year of your school life that kind of makes sense. You know. You know give or take how different first graders from 12th but like that’s how much labor a high achieving kid who would merit getting into a universe.
Rebecca: This kind of university should be getting paid for the amount of hours and time in work they’re putting in. It’s a really interesting article. It’s like the whole idea is that your labor is unpaid with the idea that you get compensated indirectly later. Right. So like grades are sort of validating use test scores sort of validate you. But that what these rich people were buying for their kids is basically human capital the appearance of skills and abilities that didn’t actually exist. And so it’s a really interesting way. I don’t know. We’ll send it to my daughters like it’s an interesting way I almost for them to look at how hard they work like the effort they put in this whole idea that unlike your job where you get a raise unlike anything else where you have measurements of how hard you’re working the whole idea of working this hard is for what how it pays off later in life in increased wages and whatever. It’s maybe it’s part of why our kids are so stressed because they can’t quantify this in any way except college and that’s what this part of the pressure about getting into college. I don’t know but it’s a really interesting article and it’s a really interesting way to look at it
Amy: Oh I just remember being really really really immature in college and not wanting to go to class college was just like the next thing that I was supposed to do and I wasn’t always really into going and then another student was like why would you skip a class you’re paying for it. And I was like I never thought of it that way. Not I’ve been accorded I guess corner of that article not only was I paying for it but I’m doing free labor. So
Rebecca: Right. I mean it’s an interesting. I mean he’s mostly talking about obviously like public. If you’re going to public school I guess your parents are paying for it if you go to private school your whole life. But it was yeah it was just to me it sort of almost sums up why kids and particularly middle and high school or so they just don’t have anything to like hold on to. That’s tangible for all the work they’re doing or the not work they’re doing. Like there’s not. Your grades are the only way that gets quantified and even that is so I don’t know subjective and random in some way so I don’t know it’s a really interesting way to look at it. And
Amy: A little depressing so I’m going to go back to thinking about Sesame Street.
Rebecca: Let’s go back to thinking about how Oscar would quantify its free labor of living in the trash. That is our show for this week, we will have links to everything we talked about on Parenting Bytes dot com and Facebook dot com slash Parenting Bytes where you can find us and talk to us and comment. You can find us anywhere you get your podcasts. You should rate review subscribe share. And until next week, happy parenting,.
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