More News on College Strategies

CollegeCampusMy son, David, and I went to a College Information Night last week sponsored by Chyten Educational Services.  While it certainly was a way for this outfit to raise awareness of their services, it was a very informative evening.  I know I have a maturing son on my hands when he left the meeting telling me that he enjoyed the evening and that there was a lot of good information shared.

Most people in the audience were Juniors – the year of heavy lifting in the college search process – the year students need to treat the college process as a part time job or at least an additional class.  However, if students are disciplined to get out in front of it enough in their sophomore year, from what I’ve heard so far the two best things to do are to:

1.  Write your resume – and let it be a tool that can be built upon over the next 2.5 years.  By starting early with it, and getting things down on paper, students won’t forgot anything, and maybe more importantly it points out where some holes may be that need to be filled in.  It also forces them to assess their key strengths.

2.  Develop the College Roadmap - Identify 2-3 “Reach” schools, 2-3 “Target” Schools (student’s background closely models what college is looking for) and 2-3 “Likely” schools.  I can understand for many (and probably most) it’s hard to know where to begin – there are so many choices out there.  There are a couple of online assessment tools – one at collegeboard.com and another called Naviance, which many High School guidance offices have, which can help start navigating this process.  (Naviance was the one most recommended). By asking certain key questions – size, geography, urban vs. suburban, etc., students can start narrowing down the field.  I imagine it would be a comfort to both student and parent to start Junior year with at least a roadmap of those schools that you know you want to visit and potentially apply to.

Now, I understand that these words of wisdom may only be a parent’s dream.  What kid ever gets started on something before the very last minute?  Not too many, but I will continue to chirp my suggestions.  There have been a few unscheduled homework free afternoons where I’ve suggested taking a stab at that resume.  Any results?  Not yet, but I’ll keep trying!

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