Most students (and many of their parents as well) haven’t thought through what they should be expecting from the college they will or are attending. They have not taken the time and effort to write down what they should receive in return for the checks they write and the loans they sign off on. In this regard, these households are de facto on what we call “pre-college and college auto-pilot”; they find themselves doing what everyone else is doing and will, in all probability, get the same, often dismal results. As we know, not having clear expectations equates into not having a standard. The “bar is very, very low”. Expectations set the standard.
Every student should be able to expect many things from a college; these are twoContinue reading
Understanding the magnitude of college planning during the pre-college years for our children can hardly be overstated. Most parents are able to make it clear to their children that they are expected to go to college. Even most high schools are able to get that point across – be it to an apprenticeship program, a technical college, or a traditional four year college.
At this point many children find themselves with the inevitable task of picking a college – yet they often don’t get connected with a deeper purpose. The motivating factor appears to be more the “chance to get away from home” or “I’m going to go where my friends are going”.
Indeed, it is all good that our children are expected to “go to college”. Yet the buy-in Continue reading
We have observed hundreds of parents with students in Middle School and High School preparing for college. In short, do you know what is missing? Fun. Yes, a three letter emotionally filled word. Fun. The frustration with college planning seems to have taken much of the enjoyment out of these important years in our lives; it is like so many parents have lost all sense of excitement when it comes to planning for college.
One of the deeper roots of this is lack of understanding how the complex college system works and Continue reading
Many parents are considering whether their student should go for a “gap year”. This is a year in which a graduate from either high school or college takes an amount of time – normally for six months or even for a full year – to “do something else”. The student/graduate then is a so-called “gapper”.
During this time, students visit foreign counties, take a course (such as a language course or a special interest course) or volunteer to support an organization. Many too decide to spend a year in the work force – earning money and trying to discern what career field they want to pursue.
This strategy is prompted by a variety of motivations and a corresponding value Continue reading