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. 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 for 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 all together. Higher education should enhance young adult futures not waste time and money.
Parents can get more information about what to expect during the college process by visiting www.pocsmom.com and subscribing via the subscribe button to receive more college prep articles. Please share your views in the comments section about the question, “Is college wasted on the young?”