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Helping the College-Bound Achieve Their Dreams is What We Parents Always Want to Do
Every parent with a college-bound student has the same wish, we all want our students to be successful in college and achieve their dreams.
In part two of her article, “Is College Wasted on the Young?”, College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, shares solutions to some pretty dismal statistics in regards to students completing college successfully and on schedule. As parents, we need to do everything we can before, during, and after our student’s college experience to give them the best possible chance of graduating from college and achieving their dreams.
THE SOLUTION: IS COLLEGE WASTED ON THE YOUNG?
Many may think college is wasted on the young since almost half of all students who started a four-year bachelor’s degree program in 2008 failed to earn their diploma within six years. The scary facts were explored in Part 1 and Part 2 provides solutions so the young adult college-bound will achieve their college and career goals on schedule.
It begins with parents and their students sharing that same goal and expectations as a meeting of the minds. It continues with communication to make sure both remain on the same page. It concludes with a solid plan to accomplish this and the requisite follow-up to stay on track.
Parents can keep helping their students explore possibilities through books, travel, and local attractions. Although some teens focus early, many will pick up and discard interests like they are in a search for the perfect shell on a beach. However, the more topics they add to their collection, the more knowledge they have as to what they are good at, enjoy, and want to know more about. It’s the first step to making informed choices about which college and major/minor will lead to academic and extracurricular success.
The next step is for students to objectively review their qualifications compared to college admission requirements. Parents can help them brainstorm a list and form a plan to beef up strengths and fortify weaknesses. Check with high school teachers and counselors when extra academic help is needed, school and community clubs to add volunteer opportunities, and local professionals/businesses for networking and work experience. The more students exceed what a college is looking for, the greater the likelihood of generous financial aid to entice a student to attend.
The last thing before making a commitment to attending a college is for students to commit to a plan to graduate on time. It is essential for families to take the college process as a serious and special opportunity and not for granted. Parents and their college-bound can visit schools and check out their support resources. They are included in the college bill whether used or not. It’s important for students to understand when they need these services and what they must do to take advantage of them.
It is better to delay decisions than make poor selections. Some teens may need more time to prepare, travel and work. If an additional semester or two is necessary for students to take full advantage of on and off-campus opportunities, it is preferable to switching majors, transferring, partying or dropping out altogether. Higher education should enhance young adult futures not waste time and money.
Don’t wait until your student is in college to take the steps in Wendy’s article. There is plenty to do NOW to help increase your student’s success in college. This article is of great value to parents with students of ALL ages and I highly recommend it.
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets and more, have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.