12 Core Strategies

At College for Less we have established 12 Accelerated strategies that can dramatically improve your student’s chances for success and reduce the cost of college for your family.

These are the 12 accelerated strategies that will:

  1. Empower and prepare your student to attend the right college, for the right reason.
  1. Save you tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the cost of college by paying wholesale, instead of retail for college.
  1. Enable your student to graduate debt-free and prepared to excel in the top 0.1% of their chosen career.

These 12 strategies work together at an accelerated rate, as you will see. Used separately, your student will benefit greatly. Used together, inside of The Top 0.1% Student Success System, your student will accelerate beyond 99.9% of all students graduating from college.

Strategy # 1
Take Control of Your Student’s College Planning

Your first strategy is that you and your student must take control of the college planning process. Whatever you do, don’t leave your student’s future in the hands of financial planners or guidance counselors. These professionals are well-meaning, but they just don’t have the tools that are necessary to put together a complete system to prepare you and your student for college. Let’s take a few seconds to understand some of the limitations of these professionals.

  1. Certified Financial Planners, CFP’s, or Investment Advisors, are typically not trained in how to reduce the cost of college. Their expert advice is that you must save for college. They know how to use investment alternatives with tax advantages and how to use other tax strategies.

Most Certified Financial Planners or Investment Advisors have not been trained in:

  1. The complexities of college preparation.
  2. What students can do to reduce the cost of college.
  3. What the student should do to prepare for college.
  4. How students can actually destroy their family’s financial strategies for college.
  5. How students can make wrong choices that can double, or triple, their cost of college.
  6. The real dangers of graduating with debt.
  7. The details, and dangers, of getting financial aid.
  8. nor, How to reduce overall tuition while attending private colleges.
  9. Certified Public Accounts, CPA’s, mainly know about strategies for reducing income taxes, but they rarely have been trained in the details of how tax planning strategies can negatively impact college financing and college financial aid. In many cases, they can easily overstep their expertise in college planning.
  10. Life insurance agents tend to sell cash value life insurance as an ideal, catchall solution for receiving more financial aid. But, the reality is that most of these strategies may harm the family’s overall strategy for personal and college financial planning.
  11. Guidance Counselors in middle school or high school can provide excellent advice about colleges, assessments, careers, and practical approaches for success in college. The problem is that they have a large number of students to counsel and a mountain of administrative paperwork to do. It’s difficult for your student to get all the attention they need. Plus, Guidance Counselors have little, or no, training in providing personal financial planning assistance to families or to the student.
  12. The Federal Government and Lending Institutions can actually cause long-term financial problems for students and their families. By encouraging students to use “easy-to-get” college loans, the student can innocently, and wrongly, leave college with excessive debt – debt that is well beyond the earning ability of the student to repay. “Kicking the financial can” down the road during college is a formula guaranteed to bring the student long term financial difficulties.
  13. And, while some College Planners can know about niche topics like: college selection, financial aid for college, college admissions, tax saving strategies, they are frequently limited to their niche expertise and do not provide comprehensive system solutions for the family of the college-bound student.
  14. Also BEWARE of some College Planners who, unfortunately, are primarily a marketing organization to sell high priced asset management services, investments, or life insurance products instead of choosing to focus primarily on truly preparing your student for college.

Strategy # 2
Nurture a Proactive Attitude about College

Your second strategy is nurturing a proactive attitude about college in your student, and ideally, that process begins early in the home… even prior to kindergarten. Your student must decide that they’re going to be successful in college and in their career path. They must accept the fact that the process of preparing for, applying to, and attending college will be a struggle. They must learn to make themselves do what needs to be done even if they don’t want to do it.… And they must learn how to take responsibility and take action to achieve their goals.

Strategy # 3
Do a Realistic Personal Assessment

Your third strategy is ensuring that your student learns how to do a realistic personal assessment. It’s important that they become aware of their personal strengths, their learning style, their personal passions, their interests, their values, their personality tendencies, and their skills. Most people do a very poor job of being aware of their own personal strengths and uniqueness. They wrongly assume that everyone else has the same strengths that they have. They take their own strengths for granted and have not learned to humbly celebrate their personal strengths and uniqueness. Objective assessments and individual counseling are frequently required to create this awareness and to empower the student to confidently utilize their strengths and uniqueness.

The personal assessment is the way that you and your student can start building the strengths and skills that will be necessary for their future success.

Strategy # 4
Engage Your Student in Programs that will Reduce the Effects of Their Major Shortcomings

Your student must get a realistic picture of their shortcomings when it comes to reading skills, writing skills, math skills, testing skills, speaking skills, time management skills, and project management skills. Your fourth strategy is engaging your student in programs that will reduce the effects of their major shortcomings. The types of programs that you’ll need will depend on getting a realistic picture of your student’s shortcomings in their personal assessment. Once you have done that, you will be able to find a myriad of programs and activities that improve their reading, writing, math, speaking, and organizational skills. It’s very important that both you and your student understand that college preparation is really about:

  1. Making the student aware of what they really want to accomplish in life and what impact they want to make in the world.
  2. Knowing the skills and experiences that are necessary to actually achieve that.
  3. Knowing the best educational path to develop those skills and experiences.
  4. Knowing the best educational institutions to support that path.
  5. Knowing exactly what those institutions are seeking as their ideal students.
  6. And, developing the knowledge, skills, experiences, and resume to fit that ideal profile.

Strategy # 5
Match Your Student’s Unique Strengths and Interests to a Target Occupation

Unfortunately, many colleges encourage students to enroll in college to “find themselves”. Statistics show that many students do not find themselves in college. 50% of entering college freshman will never graduate with a college degree. A better approach is to do your homework prior to applying for college. Match your student’s unique strengths with their preferred “target” occupation, select the college that will provide your student with the best education for their targeted occupation, and will provide the best financial package, to help your student meet their objectives.

Your fifth strategy is to assist your student in matching their unique strengths and interests to a target occupation. That doesn’t mean that your eighth grade student needs to decide what they are going to do for the rest of their life. It means, that by the eighth grade your student – with some adult assistance – is likely to have a good idea about the overall direction they want to pursue in life… But they must have a realistic picture of how their unique talents will fit with the career paths they’re interested in. The simple fact is that no one can move toward a goal unless they have a goal in mind, and one of the most important parts of planning for college is assisting your student to understand and to refine their career choices. Your goal is to assist your student to create and envision their target occupation in order to find the best environment in which they can excel and make the maximum use of their strengths, personality, interests, skills, vision, and goals. Isn’t your goal to empower your student to excel while doing what they love?

Strategy # 6
Assist Your Student to Understand What They Really Want Out of Life

Your sixth strategy is assisting your student to understand what they want to get out of life in addition to their occupation. It’s important that they understand that life really is much more than just a good occupation, living well, and getting rich. It’s important that they know what else is meaningful for them. They must know both what they want to accomplish in life and when they want to accomplish it.

Strategy # 7
Clarify Your Student’s Expectations about What They Want Out of College

Your seventh strategy is helping your student clarify their expectations about what they will get out of college. It’s amazing how many students go to college just because it’s the thing they’re expected to do. They have no real idea of the benefits that they need to get, or should expect to get, from attending college. Clarifying your student’s expectations will also assist them in choosing their educational path. They need to have a clear picture of the educational programs that will allow them to attain their occupational objectives and their life goal objectives while reducing the cost of acquiring their education. Your student’s educational path may include graduate school, college, community college, trade school, or even the military… And it’s important that they choose and commit to a realistic path that will move them towards the goals they want to achieve in life.

Strategy # 8
Select the College That Is Right for Your Student

Your eighth strategy is for you and your student to jointly select the college that’s right for them. Some of the most important factors to consider are

  1. Selecting a college that provides superior academic training in your student’s chosen occupational areas.
  2. Selecting a college that really wants your student.
  3. Selecting a college that will realistically allow your student to graduate on time.
  4. Selecting a college that is most likely to provide your student with a robust resume that shows they are educated and that they have real work experience in their selected career path.
  5. Selecting a college that will empower your student to grow academically, emotionally and spiritually.
  6. And, selecting a college that the family can afford without taking loans, raiding your retirement assets, or causing you to dramatically change your lifestyle.

It’s particularly important to select a college that really wants your student. You must know what each individual college is looking for in students.

  1. How much do they focus on SAT and ACT scores?
  2. How much emphasis do they place on high school grade point averages?
  3. How important they consider special talents like athletic ability, musical skills, debate, and other extracurricular activities?
  4. How much weight do they assign awards like the National Merit Scholarship?

The more closely your student fits a college’s profile of an ideal student, the more likely the college will provide significant financial assistance… And that will result in a major reduction in the cost of college. And, isn’t that one of your major objectives?

Strategy # 9
Ensure that Your Student Knows that Financing Their Education Is Also Their Responsibility and Make Sure Your Student Knows What They Can Do to Reduce the Cost of College

Your ninth strategy is making sure your student knows that financing their education is also their responsibility, and being aware of what they can do to reduce the cost of college and increase their chances of graduating from college. A few of the things that can be extremely beneficial are:

  1. Showing academic competence with a good high school grade point average.
  2. Showing academic competence by scoring high on standardized tests.
  3. Pursuing institutional, federal, state, and private scholarships.
  4. Demonstrating leadership experience.
  5. Having real work experience.
  6. Having a robust “pre-college” resume.
  7. Nurturing special talents and abilities.
  8. Pursuing special accomplishments.
  9. Developing and demonstrating superior Personal Money Management skills.
  10. Enhancing college-level personal skills in reading, writing, time management, and project management.
  11. Earning tax free money for college before they graduate from high school.

Strategy # 10
Know What You – The Parent – Can Do To Reduce the Cost of College

Your tenth strategy is understanding what YOU – the parent – can do to reduce the cost of college and to increase your student’s chances of graduating from college. A few of the things that you can do are:

  1. Tax code planning.
  2. Asset planning.
  3. Teaching and mentoring your student.
  4. Providing resources like mentors, coaches, tutors, and special training camps that can assist your student in acquiring the special skills and experiences they need to attract the best colleges.

Strategy # 11
Be Certain Your Student Knows What It Takes To Succeed In College

Your eleventh strategy is ensuring that your student learns what it takes to succeed in college.

  1. They must be determined to reach their personal goals.
  2. They must be deliberate and focused.
  3. They must know their occupational objectives.
  4. They must develop college-level study skills.
  5. They must develop college-level time management and project management skills.
  6. They must become committed to the concept that leaving college without a degree is simply not an option.

… And it’s absolutely critical that your student has everything they need to succeed in college before they attend college. If they attempt to acquire these things while they are in college, they will always be behind the curve.

Strategy # 12
Realize That All These Strategies Will Result in Your Student Getting Significant Benefits That Reduce the Cost of Attending, Succeeding, and Graduating From College

And, finally, your twelfth strategy is for you and your student to understand that all the previous strategies will not only — get your student ready for college, help them get accepted into college, and help them excel in college — they will also significantly reduce the cost of college. Reducing the cost of college is actually very simple. The most important way to reduce the cost of college is to get your selected college to charge you less by offering scholarships, tuition discounts, special opportunities… and they do that when your student most closely matches what the college considers to be an ideal student for that college.

Now listen to this carefully. If you pay more than 50 percent of the retail price of a particular college, you have either not properly prepared for that college or you have selected the wrong college. Here’s why.

If your student closely matches the ideal applying student profile of a private, prestigious college, that college is likely to provide scholarships that will make the cost of attending their college less than attending a public college… or even a community college. That’s right, with the proper preparation, your student can attend a private college for less money than a community college… and that’s certainly what you want, isn’t it?

Let’s review our 12 Accelerated strategies:

  1. Take Control of Your Student’s College Planning.
  2. Nurture a Proactive Attitude about College.
  3. Do a Realistic Personal Assessment.
  4. Engage Your Student in Programs that will Reduce the Effects of Their Major Shortcomings
  5. Match Your Student’s Unique Strengths and Interests to a Target Occupation
  6. Assist Your Student to Understand What They Really Want Out of Life
  7. Clarify Your Student’s Expectations about What They Want Out of College
  8. Select the College That Is Right for Your Student
  9. Ensure that Your Student Knows that Financing Their Education Is Also Their Responsibility and Make Sure Your Student Knows What They Can Do to Reduce the Cost of College
  10. Know What You – The Parent – Can Do To Reduce the Cost of College
  11. Be Certain Your Student Knows What It Takes To Succeed In College
  12. Realize That All These Strategies Will Result in Your Student Getting Significant Benefits That Reduce the Cost of Attending, Succeeding, and Graduating From College

It’s critically important that these 12 strategies be started early, and when they are correctly implemented your student will have an advantage over the other 99.9% of students who attend college when it comes to their chosen career. But the truth is that most parents and student cannot implement the strategies effectively by themselves. Like any critically important endeavor you will need expert help to be the most effective. And, the best way that you can implement these twelve strategies, is to work with an independent coach who is skilled in coaching students for self awareness, guiding them to excel in their unique areas of interest, selecting the best colleges to fit your student’s abilities and strengths, and assisting you and your student to use college strategies and financial strategies that uniquely apply to your family’s situation.

If you want to learn more about how to dramatically improve your student’s chances for success and reduce the cost of college for your family be sure to check out the College for Less Online Course.

 

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