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 transferring 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 way...no 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.
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.)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.