When it comes to creating your student’s success, there are multiple factors involved. We, at College For Less, Inc., have one of the strictest definitions of success, so you can be clear about what success looks like for your student from a College Selection and Admissions perspective, from a College Success and Graduation perspective, and from a Job Placement perspective. You are going to have access to the most advanced and complete college success program today.
PLANNING AHEAD FOR COLLEGE
Before we get into the 12 accelerated strategies , let’s spend a few minutes to understand the situations most parents and students find themselves in when it comes to college.
Since you regard your children as your most valuable asset, don’t you want to give them something that has more earning power than a Harvard MBA, has more connecting power than Facebook, and provides the right tools for any student to begin commanding top dollar even before they enter college? Don’t you wish you had a powerful crystal ball, or your own genie, that would help you look into your student’s future as early as the 6th grade to save tens—potentially even hundreds—of thousands of dollars on their college education and to explode their future earning potential?
One of the most important things facing any parent is their student’s college education. The competition for colleges and the cost of college is increasing dramatically, faster than ever before. That means that if you think preparation for college, selection and admission to college, and success in college is the same as it was a few years ago, let alone when you went to college, then you are putting your student at a significant disadvantage. And, if you have more than one student, the challenges related to college increase exponentially, particularly when it comes to financing multiple college educations. You will learn the secrets of how to prepare for college financially and how to get your student into the Top 0.1% Student category for college selection and admissions, success in college, and outstanding achievement in their chosen careers.
When your student is NOT one of The Top 0.1% Students:
- You will find your student “begging” their way into college.
- You will find your family paying full retail prices for college.
- You will find your student graduating, or not graduating, with debts.
- You will find your student graduating with skills that nobody really wants.
- And, you will find your student unprepared to be a high-demand expert in their chosen profession.
On the other hand, when your student is one of The Top 0.1% Students:
- You will find your student attending the right college, for the right reason, and at the right price.
- You will find your student graduating educationally prepared.
- You will find your student graduating debt-free.
- You will find your student being in high-demand among employers when they graduate.
- And, you will find your student prepared to become an expert in their chosen occupation.
These twelve (12) strategies are exactly how your student can become one of the Top 0.1% Students.
Most people assume that the path to long term success starts with an advanced degree from a highly prestigious private college… and one of the conventional wisdom strategies for getting your student into private colleges is to send them to private schools for their entire lives… for grade school, middle school, and high school. Of course, the problem is that the cost of all these schools is astronomical. So, if you don’t have a lot of “extra money”, or if you just do not want to waste money, you need a better strategy that puts your student in a position to compete with the students who go to the most exclusive schools. Wouldn’t you like to discover THE way that your student can go to a first class private college for less money than most people spend to go to public colleges and community colleges while preparing your student for college more effectively than the private prep schools?
Do you know that most college students end up going to the wrong college, for the wrong reasons, and they certainly are over-paying for the college they’re attending. Parents and students pay way too much for college because families do not understand that the cost of their student attending a college is more dependent on “the college really wanting their student” than on the college’s published retail price of attendance.
Many students graduate from college unprepared for success in a career they love because they don’t understand that employers measure a successful college career more on the student’s job preparation, the student’s vision, the student’s goals, execution, ability to rebound from adversity, and the student’s perseverance than on the name of the college they attend. They fail to understand that long-term occupational success depends more on the student’s attitude, strengths, uniqueness, their self-motivation, their education, and the student’s experience that they gain while they are in college than on just the college they attend or the grades they achieve.
And do you know that most people who go to college and graduate are not actually prepared for a successful career? The conventional wisdom that a college degree is the path to financial success is simply no longer true. Businesses want more than a degree. They want experience, a “can-do attitude”, a willingness to make a positive contribution and a willingness “to do hard things”. That means that simple college preparation is not enough. Now students must be prepared for success in life in addition to success in college.
The secrets that most parents and students never learn are how to prepare for college, how to apply to college, how to pay for college, how to succeed in college, and how to use college to prepare for their preferred future. Now is the time to ask yourself if you will simply let your student barely squeak into a college and stumble through their college experience, or if you want to prepare your student to win in both college and in their chosen careers.
Most students go to college for a few simple reasons, but the reasons are rarely well thought out. They include reasons like:
- The student wanting to live in an active and alive environment, like college – away from home.
- The student wanting to have fun
- The student wanting to find themselves
- The student wanting to earn more money than their friends who don’t go to college
- The student wanting to go to a “brand” name college or an Ivy League college
Unfortunately, in today’s college environment, things don’t often work out the way students or parents intend. In fact, today’s college reality – because of poor college planning — is:
- 50% of the students who start college never graduate. They end up with some college time but no degree… And that means that most of their college expenses were wasted.
- 26% of college freshmen dropout during their first year.
- 38% of college freshmen never return to college for their sophomore year.
- 48% of the people, graduating from college in 2006, moved back to live in their parent’s home – bad news for the both parents and the student.
- 80% of all college graduates, in 2009, had no job five months after graduating.
- Within four years after graduating from college, 40% of college graduates end up working in careers that are unrelated to their college majors.… And many graduates NEVER figure out what they really want to do.
- 55% of the US population, in 2009, was not satisfied with their jobs
- 22% of all employees, in 2009, expected to change jobs within the next year.
- Today, the average college graduate has accumulated student loans of over $25,000 and credit card debts of over $5,000. That means that they will enter the workforce with a big iron ball chained to their ankle.
- And… In 2009, about 65% of college graduates had student loans and about 33% of those students will default on their student loans. That will create both additional costs for the student and serious long-term financial difficulty for the student.
None of these disasters needed to occur.
ALL occurred because of “POOR COLLEGE PLANNING”.
If you and your student invest the average $80,000 for a four-year degree at a public college, or $200,000 for a four-year degree in a “brand” name college like Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, then you certainly do not want those kinds of results, do you? The sad truth is that most college students are just wasting money because they’re going to the wrong college, for the wrong reason, and the wrong price.
But, what makes all this really sad is that most of these problems are the direct result of students and parents not beginning to think about college until the student is in their Junior or Senior year of high school. Planning for college is simply put off. And by the time they finally do start thinking about it, the students and parents not only don’t know ANSWERS to the things they need to know, they don’t even know the QUESTIONS that they need to ask.
During high school both parents and students:
- Either do not have, or do not take, the time to deal with college planning.
- They do not know what is significant, and what is important, when it comes to college planning.
- They have not saved money for college.
- And, they assume that it is the parents’ responsibility to financially get their student through college.
Then, when college abruptly comes to the forefront in the student’s senior year, both parents and students start to panic about college, and that nearly always leads to bad decisions that result in paying way too much for a college education. Is that what you want?
And you WILL pay too much for college:
- If your student goes to college but never graduates.
- If your student selects the wrong major.
- If your student changes majors because of indecision.
- If your student fails to select a college that really wants them.
- If your student selects a college on the basis of where their friends go.
- If your student expects YOU – the parent – to be responsible for paying for their education.
- If your student changes colleges without a plan.
- If your student is not among the top academic students of the college they attend.
- If your student does not have a special talent that is valued by the college they attend.
- If your student does not manage their personal finances well.
- Or — if you and your student do not follow the college’s unique rules for applying and receiving institutional scholarships or discounts.
So, what can you do to avoid these problems for your student and yourself?
Well, it’s actually pretty easy. The number one factor that will help you and your student avoid the potential pitfalls associated with applying to and going to college is to start preparing for college early… and that is at the heart of all 12 accelerated strategies. But what does it really mean?
Take a moment to ask yourself what grade your student should be in when you start planning for their college education… The fact is – if you said anything later than the eighth grade, you’re thinking of starting too late. College preparation should begin as early as the sixth grade. That doesn’t mean that if your student is in the 9th, 10th, 11th, or even 12th grade that it’s too late to start. However, the best results are always achieved – if you start early.
The second most important factor in avoiding mistakes about college is to thoroughly involve and engage your student in the entire process. Their college and career is about them, not the parent, and they need to be in the middle of, take responsibility for, and buy into the decisions that involve their lives.
The secret to your student’s success is for them to develop a focus for their lives as early as possible.
Think about it. Students who have a strong passion for athletics like football, basketball, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, and even ice skating began receiving coaching in middle school or even earlier. Early focus and coaching takes place throughout middle school and high school. High school coaches even help students prepare for admissions to colleges on athletic scholarships. But it’s the students who must develop the athletic prowess, not the coaches, and certainly not you – the parent.
Why should it be different for academics? Unfortunately for most families it is different. When it comes to academics, students often fail to find a focus, and there are no thoroughly trained middle and high school coaches to help either students or parents carefully craft a skill set for success in college and in careers. High school guidance counselors do provide good advice, but relying on guidance counselors usually means you started too late, and guidance counselors typically can’t assist you with personal financial planning issues.
Both students and parents need to do college preparation proactively in order to:
- Help students understand themselves, their interests, their skills, and their passions, and come up with a comprehensive plan for how the students can pursue those interests and passions.
- They need to do college preparation proactively to choose the very best college where the student can pursue their interests and passions.
- And they also need to do college preparation proactively to prepare the student to really grow academically, emotionally, and spiritually throughout their entire time in college.
- And, they also need to do proactive financial preparation to figure out how to pay for their college education.
That means that good college preparation does more than get students ready to take college entrance exams.
- Good college preparation takes a holistic view of the entire college preparation process.
- Good college preparation helps provide a way for students to become self-aware and analyze what they really want to do in college, and in their later life.
- It helps students select a college based on their strengths.
- It helps students pick colleges that are likely to give them scholarships and other benefits.
- It helps students pick work-study and employment programs that will give them a resume in addition to a college degree.
- Good college preparation prepares the student to understand that leaving college without a degree is simply not an option.
- It ensures that both parents and students get all the necessary information about college preparation in a readily accessible, easy to understand, condensed form.
- It helps students focus on the need for, and the importance of, graduating completely debt-free.
- Good college preparation ensures that parents know how to take advantage of tax codes in order to re-direct money for college.
- It assists students in finding financial aid, work-study and targeted employment to finance their education.
- And, good college preparation helps both parents and students consider attending college from a return on investment point of view.
And this last point is extremely important to both the student and the parents when it comes to financing the cost of education. College is a huge financial investment and both parents and students must know how that investment will pay off in the student’s career choice and later life.
While a college preparation program can be started in the Junior or Senior year of high school, the best practice is to begin between the sixth and the eighth grade because by the sixth grade, most students – with some adult assistance – can get excited about finding out about the adult world… And, by the eighth grade most students can develop a reasonable understanding of whether they want to go to college, go to trade school, enlist in the military, or something else. By the eighth grade, most students have some general idea about what really turns them on in life and the general career direction that they want to pursue.
To gain the most from college and to achieve success in later life, students need a long-term purpose. They must have a dream that energizes them to succeed in and beyond college. First, they must understand what their dream really is. Then, they need to master the knowledge and skills that are necessary to accomplish their long-term purpose, and that process must begin as early as possible in order to attract the colleges that will help the student achieve their dream while providing considerable financial assistance.… And that’s really what both you and your student want, isn’t it?
And that brings up one of the most important considerations for both parents and students about attending college.
- How are you going to pay for the high cost of college?
- As parents, do you plan to use your money?
- Does that consist of your savings?
- Can you pay for it with your current income or will you be forced to borrow money?
- Will you be able to use other people’s money like financial aid, gifts, and educational tax strategies?
- Will your student need to assist with the cost of their education?
As you can see, preparation for college is really a very complex issue. Many families try to use a “do-it-yourself approach” to college planning, only to discover that the information that’s available in books, on the Internet, from high school guidance counselors, and from other typical advisors simply does not provide adequate answers. Parents and students need proven, practical answers to questions like:
- How to select the student’s unique educational path.
- How to prepare for college.
- How to prepare for college entrance tests.
- How to choose the colleges to apply to.
- How to apply to the selected colleges.
- How to choose the best college to attend.
- How to utilize financial strategies that uniquely apply to their family situation.
- How to build a robust resume – both before and during college.
- How to get excellent career preparation work experience during college.
- How to graduate from college completely debt-free.
- How to graduate from college completely prepared for a future occupation that you would love.
- and, How to graduate being wanted by organizations where the student can thrive in their chosen career.
Now you know that “Today is the time” to start planning for your student’s college and career future. Procrastination will only increase the cost of college for your family and decrease your student’s opportunity for college success.
So let’s learn the 12 accelerated strategies that can dramatically improve your student’s chances for success and reduce the cost of college for your family.