Most parents of college-bound students (K-12) approach their college planning campaigns like a horse pulling a carriage in downtown Charleston, SC – with blinders on!
Why blinders? Blinders keep the horse both focused and calm, eliminating distractions that could cause issues.
Blinders, however, are of no benefit whatsoever to parents of college-bound students. Blinders keep parents focused on little else but the admissions process – just getting admitted is the end-all, be-all goal.
We can see why parents are lost, overwhelmed, confused, and worried. Especially after they’ve focused for quite some time on admissions. After all, the school can reject the applicant, further increasing confusion and worry. And, friends and relatives can add to the stress, certainly unintentionally.
While parents and their students focus on admissions, they often disregard other factors, such as:
· Cost – focusing on sticker price, thereby eliminating what might be the best school for their child at the best price for their budget. “Sticker price” is merely a starting point.
· Size – what size school might provide the greatest success for their child? It may not be the school with the lowest “sticker price.”
· Location – an in-state school may cost more, regardless of the published “sticker price.” Often, the farther from home the child goes, the more money made available to the family.
· Course of study – often, the child fails to identify the courses of study that best suit their interests. Wouldn’t it be better to identify areas of interest, then identify the schools that provide courses offering the greatest opportunity for success?
· Graduation – choosing schools with areas of interest and the highest 4-year graduation rate likely would be much kinder to the parents’ wallet.
· Funding – often parents believe they are saving in the right places, only to find out that what they are doing may have negative consequences when it comes to paying for school. There are places to shelter savings, thereby increasing eligibility for aid.
· So much more…
Even though parents believe they can handle all aspects of a college planning campaign (and they can, if they can dedicate the time and energy needed to do so), they often fail to see the forest for the trees.
Let the professional college planners, The Money Architects at Vivensure, assist in designing and implementing your family’s college planning campaign. They’ll make sure the blinders are off!