Did you watch the Super Bowl? Perhaps Team USA in Beijing? Or Ohio State basketball? Everyone knows successful sports teams make strong game plans. A successful (and less stressful) college plan starts with a well-thought-out game plan, too. And just like the Super Bowl teams have extra time to prepare, we recommend families start early as well. (Haven’t started? No problem! Just jump in right where you are. We’re here to help.)
What is a strong game plan?
We found this article that shared these tips that you can apply to your college planning game plan:
- KISS – Keep it simple stupid (Their words, not ours.) – If something doesn’t fit, don’t try to force it. The process is not hard. You can do this!
- Watch film – Gather info about the players and the process (the colleges, majors, applications, visits, etc.)
- Draw it up – After you’ve learned about what you need to know, sketch out the steps to get there.
- Don’t chase ghosts – Build your plan on what you know. Don’t be distracted by what isn’t real or what doesn’t matter in your situation.
- Stick with what you know – With all the decisions along the way (HS courses, college, major, costs, etc.), follow what you know about your student, your family, and your goals.
Let’s throw in a few more tips to help you with college prep game planning:
Think about the money
Every year, we read comments from shocked parents in an article or Facebook group – they’re shocked that their child’s #1 college choice is not offering any merit scholarship money. It’s going to cost much more than anyone expected. And, now what? We want parents to become informed consumers much sooner than spring of their senior year. Click for a few ways to get that process started.
Dig deep into the details of the process – how does it all work?
Learn as much as you can. And find a trusted resource to support you when you have questions. This idea is so important to us that we crafted a variety of high school, college, and career planning programming to meet you where you are in your child’s journey. We’re trying to make it easy to get the information you need!
Know yourself (Does your student know themselves?)
High school and college should be times of exploration for our students. Who are they? Who do they want to be? Strengthening that understanding makes decisions easier. We don’t mean that students have everything figured out. We mean they are learning as they go. Try out that elective. Take that summer camp And then think: what do I now know about ME after that experience?
When it comes to that deeper dive into a student’s strengths and interests and how to explore careers, our Heads Up! workshop gets that thinking started for grades 7, 8, and 9 and our Guided Self Assessment process gives older students a 1-on-1 thinking partner.
Remember, you can do this! Go team!
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