A Little Background and Some Insights into the Team at eduLaunchpad.com
Scott Anderson, CEO | Brad Woodard, CMO | Van Garr, CSO
Founder, CEO, Subject Matter Expert
Please do not try this at home – I’m an expert. Ok, I guess that doesn’t work in this instance because I DO want you try this at home. This is why I’ve been dreaming of eduLAUNCHPAD for over 6 years: I want to share the knowledge and put the tools in people’s hands to get more students through college without a ton of debt.
I started working with the families of college bound students back in 1999. In 2001, I founded College Financial Strategies (CFS) because I recognized there was a great deal that could be done to help students and their families, but no one was providing the information and service to make it happen. Shortly after forming CFS, I wrote my first book, “STOP! Everything You Thought You Knew About Paying For College Is Wrong”. In 2005, I decided to make a big jump to the Internet and started RealCollegeSavings.com and went on to write my second book, “The Secrets to Real College Savings”. I still was not satisfied. I knew there was more that could be done. I knew that if I could somehow automate everything in my head and get up on the Internet, then the lives of thousands, possibly millions could be changed. I just didn’t know how to get it done.
Suddenly it all came together in April 2009. I was at a conference in the Chicago area when a man named Danny Silk asked the question of the audience, “Who is going to help you fulfill your dream?” It was frankly a moment of divine inspiration. Immediately the names and faces of key players shot into my mind. Now was the time to act.
When my wife and I got home, I called my long-time friend Brad Woodard. I knew he had been working in web development and marketing for years. And if anyone knew if this would work, it would be him. I got everything I had hoped for. Not only did he think it was a great idea, he grabbed a hold of it, fell passionately in love with the idea, and we were off. We’ve been going ever since.
Now, a few details about me. My wife Susan and I live in live in Davenport, Iowa. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Management from Jacksonville University and a Masters Degrees in Theology and Business Administration from Regent University. I am also a private pilot and need no excuse to find a reason to get up in the air.
Welcome to eduLAUNCHPAD.com.
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Co-Founder, Chief Marketing Officer, Product Manager
Back in 1984, when Scott and I were best friends in high school, it seemed to me that there was no way I would ever have the opportunity to go to college. It simply appeared to cost too much. My older brother had already passed on Engineering at the University of Illinois because of cost and it looked like I would have to pass on college, as well. My dad was a civil servant working for the Department of the Army, so the family was firmly entrenched in the middle class, but college still seemed out of reach. I remember having all these feelings; helplessness because I believed I had no opportunities and no choices; exclusion because all my friends were getting ready for college; and fear that I was being left behind. I ultimately enlisted in the Army as a Russian Linguist and relied on the GI Bill to help me pay for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I had some amazing experiences and met some fantastic friends as a result, so I don’t regret that choice. But I made that decision out of perceived necessity and because I believed that I had no other options.
So when Scott first approached me in 2009 with the idea for a new college search engine, I leapt at the opportunity. The idea that we could take his accumulated knowledge and experience as a College Financial Advisor and create a new college search engine that helps students and their families navigate the college search and financing process was just too tempting to pass up. eduLaunchpad.com is the result of our team's combined efforts.
All has turned out well for me so far. My wife Danielle and I live in beautiful Chicago. I did ultimately get to college and was awarded Bachelors Degrees in Economics and Russian and East European Studies from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I then decided that the Arts were the way to go and received my Masters of Fine Arts in Acting, also from UIUC. I'm still occasionally acting in Chicago and love to get up "on the boards" when I'm able. Who knows? Maybe you'll see me out there sometime.
As a co-founder of eduLaunchpad.com, my greatest hope is that our website can help you avoid the distress I experienced about college when I was in high school and show you there ARE opportunities out there and you DO have options. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to help you find those opportunites. Hopefully we've done that with this website. Good luck with your search and let us know how it goes!
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Co-Founder, Chief Security Officer, Systems Engineer
I have known Scott for more than fifteen years. When presented an opportunity to participate in this venture, my decision was easy. I said, “I am in”. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our team.
I was extremely fortunate to have academic scholarships that essentially paid for most of my college education. I was able to explore a wide range of subjects including Artificial Intelligence and Astronomy and ultimately graduate with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. My scholarships didn’t cover all my education, however, and it was sobering at times to think about where the rest of the money was coming from, quite frankly. My parent’s income was such that they could not afford to send me to college, at least not to a 4 year university. My father was a real saver, investing some as a way to save, and he exhibited a lot of discipline in this pursuit. It was very difficult to do on his income, but fortunately, his perseverance and dedication allowed me and 2 of my siblings to graduate college.
There is an underlying realization and need to reduce the financial mystery and misconceptions surrounding “what does it take” to attend the college or university of your choice. The vision for this project is to place the entire college selection process in a framework that not only addresses misconceptions regarding the true costs of attending college, but also highlights the components involved in making college more affordable.
It is our sincere hope that, with eduLaunchpad.com, you experience a process that clearly reveals what is possible and helps you realize your dream of going to college.
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