Wednesday’s Parent: Hunting and gathering a college list Part 2

Creating a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Creating a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

A lot is riding on making a good college list. Your student will be applying to the schools on the final list so they better offer the best chance for student success. It’s so important that Suzanne and I are giving our tips in two parts. Last week’s Part 1 was about general criteria and today’s Part 2 is about refining the list.

Thinking of the college list process as that of gathering and hunting means discovering how well suited each college is to the student and determining where he is most likely to thrive. From over 4,000 schools, many may be ruled out by location, school requirements and college stats. The next step is to find those eight institutions of higher learning most likely leading to student success. These are the ones the student will apply to and be happy to attend.

The definition of student success varies with each student. The key is what each school will do to keep the student on track to graduate and obtain the academic/extracurricular experiences she desires. They should include:

  • set time to graduate
  • short term goals
  • long term goals

Could there be more or less than eight final schools on the list? Yes, but be mindful there are hefty application fees that do not go towards paying the college tuition bill. There should be enough schools to provide the student with options. Once those admission offers are extended, he will be reevaluating based on his own student growth and the college’s financial aid awards.

Here are five ways parents may help their child find their college matches:

  1. Visit A visit to a college campus accomplishes two major things. It judges the fit of a good on paper school and provides that intangible and very personal sixth sense gut reaction of yea or nay. (Warning – parents may have a totally opposite gut reaction.) Parents may help their students with a “collegecation.”
  2. Categorize Parents may help their students organize their college list. Counselors often advise placing schools into three groups: safety, target and reach. These categories are based on school requirements and student credentials to determine likelihood of admission. By going further, students will focus on nuances to pick a school based on its own unique flavor.
  3. Connect Social media provides a multitude of ways for students and parents to learn more (pros and cons) about the college, other prospective students, current students, alumni, and professors. For parents, many schools have social media and website information devoted to parents and families as well as a parent association. Sometimes parents of college students serve as college promoters so it is helpful to consider the source of all info.
  4. Rank The amount of information acquired from college research is staggering. Parents may help their students create spread sheets to organize the info according to what is most important to their child. This is about creating a personal college rating system based on pros and cons for your student to attend.
  5. Support The parent role here is to support your child because if she is not vested in the college experience, she won’t do her best. This may lead to a waste of time, money and energy. Listen more than speak to encourage your student to analyze the facts, understand his emotions, and make good decisions.

Read Suzannes’s blog Finding the Best Fits–A College List Part 2

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: 7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making

7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making in the park by Wendy David-Gaines

7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making in the park by Wendy David-Gaines

Life is full of choices and the quality of life depends on the quality of those decisions. One of a parents’s major responsibilities is to teach good decision-making skills to their children. With this ability, students are able to make good NOUN choices – the ones about people, places and things.

Soon your child will be choosing where to apply to college, what he will major in, who she will choose as friends, who he will marry, and where she will live and work after graduation.

Taking parenting advice from Shakespeare’s timeless quotes, here are seven steps to making good decisions:

1. “Past and to come seem best; things present worst.” King Henry the Fourth, Part II  It’s normal to be stressed when faced with an important decision. Take a deep breath and go to your mental happy place to put everything into perspective before making a decision.

2. “This is the short and long of it.” The Merry Wives of Windsor  The first step in making a good decision is to clearly list the options.

3. “There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things.” King Henry the Fifth  Weigh the options carefully by considering pros and cons for each choice.

4. “Thou art a scholar: speak to it Horatio.” Hamlet  Seek advice from experts and those who have dealt with similar experiences when needed. (Don’t forget to let your child know you are a great resource – a parent available to listen and advise, when asked.)

5. “Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” Measure for Measure  Doubts and second guessing are common. Don’t let them press you into procrastinating or preventing the making of a final decision.

6. “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Twelfth-Night  Once a choice is selected, commit to it, make the most of it and move forward.

7. “What’s past is prologue.” The Tempest  All decisions have consequences and the future is filled with possibilities. Be ready to follow this Shakespearean plan all over again to make the next choice.

There are many other fine quotes from Shakespeare and others to inspire good decision-making. Let me know your favorites.

Jump over to Suzanne’s blog chock full of more parent tips to teach teens how to make good decisions.

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

No knives on planes

No knives on planes Photo by By Alexander Rushing uploaded by Partyzan_XXI, File:Pocket knives.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

No knives on planes
Photo by By Alexander Rushing uploaded by Partyzan_XXI, File:Pocket knives.jpg – Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

Last April, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) proposed relaxing restrictions on knives, certain sports equipment and novelty bats, allowing passengers to bring these items on board. Prompted by a public outcry, the proposal was abandoned yesterday.

Air travel  is crucial for many parents and their college-bound students. Without this transportation option, certain college choices may no longer be feasible. The college process generates plenty of stress but worrying about personal safety on a routine commute to and from school does not have to exist.

All knives were originally banned for a reason. Unnecessary safety risks are not acceptable.

Read on