Every parent dreams of creating a viable path for a successful post high-school education for each of their children. College planning is complex and difficult. This is attested to by the often crushing student debt families experience, the dismal college graduation rates and of course, the disenchanted college graduate. A parent’s guide to college planning is one of the most dynamic and fascinating scripts that each parent needs to write with and for each of their children respectively.
Most parents envision a guide to college planning to be like a handbook. There are different chapters for each grade. Each chapter has a “to-do list”. When their child arrives as a senior, the list is practically completed and college success should await them. This is the typical approach provided by high schools. At one level, this is all fine, good, and perhaps a necessity. Yet the results strongly indicate that this is an insufficient approach: less than 60% of college students finish at a four-year college with a degree within 6 years and less than 30% of the students attending a two-year college achieve either an associate’s degree or a certificate within 3 years.
In contrast to the “list approach”, we want to make a case that the “Parent’s Guide to College Planning” consists in having the proper pre-college perspective for each child.
This proper perspective, what we call a “Parent’s Pre-College Mindset”, centers on the undeniable fact that the parents (guardians), the student and the college are the three main players in the college preparation process. These are the three players who bear responsibility and financial consequences once the college journey begins. When parents can call this mindset their own and execute the developing path therefrom, they radiate confidence. Remember, middle- and high-schools do not have any financial obligations to the student/family, once they graduate; there really are no consequences for either good or bad quality guidance / advice.
The second fact – with very few exceptions, very few – is that the parents are the ones who know and understand their children better than others: this includes student counselors and advisors.
Needless to say, parents must have a basic understanding of the pre-college process. This requires a working knowledge and familiarly with the financial dynamics, the academic levels, published and unpublished opportunities and resources. We as parents must process an unwavering belief in the potential of each of our children. We need the tools required to allow our children to become their best during the pre-college years. Then our kids can have an awesome and fulfilling college experience – regardless of the type of college they decide upon.
The “Ultimate Parent’s Guide to College Planning” consist not just in following a “to-do list”. Quality results have proven time and time again to be found when parents know how to guide their children towards college success. Do you know how?!
Hi and Welcome to the Parents Planning 4 College Family! For years we have been helping families tackle their unique college preparation challenges. We can help reduce your stress and make better quality decisions - and save you a lot of money!