While raking the yard today (March 25), I got a call from a parent. Upset and confused. It seems that her daughter did not get accepted at her dream school, not to mention any of her other ivy and selective schools—1350 SAT, 3.8 GPA, active in sports and dance. From the three she did get into, little financial aid was offered, just a loan. I promised to call her back in a few minutes and put the yard tools away. The air was getting colder, and half the yard was raked. Yes, my office is open on the weekends.
Inside I jumped on a call and congratulated mom and her daughter on the outstanding acceptance offers from schools in and outside New England. I thought she would be very successful in any of the three. I listened, acknowledged her and her mother’s emotions, and shared some insights on what is happening in today’s college enrollment.
In March and April, families compare offers and make the final push to select the right school for the right reason at the lowest cost. An eye-opening and sometimes unsettling experience. We made plans to have a follow-up call to review possible appeals and finalize financing strategies with dad. I could feel the emotions in both voices and even a few tears. I reflected on the anxiety and stress; unfortunately, it is not unusual.
Parents of 9th, 10th, and 11th-grade students looking to college after high school are encouraged to begin the college planning process early. Like our students and their progressive learning, parents must invest time to obtain a working knowledge of college enrollment. Learning the who, what, when, and how of college admissions, funding, and available resources takes time and patients. Getting ahead start is a surefire way of eliminating April Tears! I’ve been a post-secondary education geek for 35+ years, and I’m still learning.
I’m In What’s Next
Check out my colleague Shelley Honeycutt from Pivotal College Years as she shares her insights on practical steps once accepted – I’m In What’s Next – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3v5DHP5b1c
For those who have decided, the deposit should be on its way. National Deposit Day is May 1. However, families can submit their acceptance (save my seat) and housing (I need a dorm room) deposit anytime prior.
Families working through their final selection and calculating the plan to finance the remaining education we have information on our website. Two reference tools: Five Criteria to Say Yes and the 2023-2024 Funding Checklist. Visit our Resources page to download the documents
A Different 13th Year
I hear more and more families talking about skipping college after high school, choosing a different education path, or entry point to the workplace. Recently a brighter lens has been focused on the importance of families looking at alternative pathways after high school. Educators, business leaders, and others now encourage families to begin as early as middle school to introduce the many opportunities students can to pursue their talents and interest after high school. If your family is one, I recommend you check out the work underway at American Student Assistance – www.asa.org
Need Someone On Your Team – Consult an Independent Education Advisor
Need help calming the waters, getting started, and addressing technical questions before, during, or after college, consult an experienced independent Education Advisor. They listen, focus on needs, and should have a holistic view from funding to enrolling (and beyond). Plus, you get the peace of mind that a professional is on your team 100% of the time.
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