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Startling College Facts for Friday the 13th

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For the past 10 years Sallie Mae and a global research firm (Ipsos) have looked at how America pays for college.  In the 2017 report it was found that students and parents are likely to be sharing the cost of education.  84% of students expect to repaying their student loans and furthermore 21% feel responsible for repaying the loans their parent has taken out.

Another startling fact is that 9 out of 10 families want their child to have a college education but only 4 out of 10 have a plan to pay for it.

Now let’s talk numbers:

  • $1.45 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
  • 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt
  • Student loan delinquency rate of 11.2% (90+ days delinquent or in default)
  • Average monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351
  • Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203

((Data via federalreserve.gov, WSJ, newyorkfed.org and and clevelandfed.org)

One of the reasons we offer the free workshops and speak at events  is to get the conversations started.  We have found a sort of disbelief when we talk prices of schools and standards to even be considered for acceptance to a preferred school.   Marc will give you an estimate of what your EFC (expected family contribution) that way you have a starting point.  Y’all will discuss the various kinds of aid plus go over the college process. He’ll go over our services, perhaps there will be a fit or if not, you leave will a better idea of the college process.

Please call 614.934.1515 to schedule your free consultation

From the Sallie Mae and Ipsos 2017 Study

For more information:

How_America_Pays_for_College_2017_Infographic

Optimize College Education for Real World Work Environment

“Top Ways To Optimize College Education For

The Real World Work Environment

August 2017

 

Dear Parent,

There is a lot of work and sustained effort that goes into getting a young high school student through to graduation and accepted into a good college or university… and that is only the beginning of the story.  Once arriving on campus at his or her dream institution, college freshmen soon learn that they are facing a whole new set of exciting challenges at the next level of their education!

One of the most important things that we do as College Funding Advisors is help families and students to optimize their efforts – both during high school AND during college – to make sure that they are prepared for the next steps on their journey to an excellent education and a rewarding career of their choosing.  Yes, a huge chunk of this preparation is financial, but we are also extremely well-versed in how to make the college experience a successful one.

You see, getting through high school and into college is a great accomplishment, but it does not mean very much in the long run if the student becomes one of the roughly 41% of college freshmen who do not graduate with a four-year bachelor’s degree within six (!) years.  That is a statistic that, unfortunately, is not going away.

Equally important, however, is the sad fact that even many students who do graduate are quite poorly prepared to seek jobs in their fields of interest.  Yes, many students have dutifully checked all of the boxes for graduation and receiving a diploma, which is great, but they have not focused on optimizing their college degree to help them afterward in the real world work environment.

With this sobering reality in mind, we have chosen to focus this month’s newsletter on some important steps that students can plan to take to make their college years truly preparation for entering the workforce.  Young people who are able to prepare themselves well for their future careers will usually be able to avoid many of the frustrations that new graduates often face – having a diploma in hand, but not being able to find a rewarding job is an ever-increasing and disturbing reality!

 

After your review of this month’s newsletter, should you have any particular questions or concerns about how you’re your student can best prepare for the college years (and thereafter), please so feel free to contact us at your convenience.  We are also able to assist with all of the financial elements involved with preparing for these college years, and the information we offer can boost your family’s preparations for all aspects related to the upcoming years of your child’s higher education.      

1) Begin With The End In Mind    

While some college students enter their higher education experience with a clear idea of what they want to pursue as a career, there are many more who finish high school and enter into the next level without any particular direction in mind.  Neither path is necessarily better than the other, but those who enter with more of an “open slate” should endeavor to take advantage of some of the important opportunities to increase their academic performance early on as well as their marketability for later.

For example, starting college with a full slate of required courses can be a great way to buy some time and to free up the later years of university for more specialized academic work (which can also be helpful when internships and other opportunities arise).  It is also a good way to get one’s feet wet at the college level, while gaining experience in learning how one can best manage the academic rigors that will define their GPA and other credentials – this can be managed best on a personal level, because what works for one student may NOT have the same effect for another student.

Of course, new college students who are beginning college with a pretty good idea of their future career already will also be required to take this barrage of mandatory coursework that is needed for graduation.  These students will often also do well to take these classes in a planned manner that will best mesh with their degree requirements.  In fact, some students may find that courses which mesh well with their major can also fit into some of the predetermined general requirements, so consultation with a good academic advisor can make a huge difference in planning their courses.

2) Work With GOOD Academic Advisors

 Let’s focus on an important adjective from the last sentence of the previous paragraph.  A GOOD academic advisor is worth his or her weight in gold, with platinum lining.  Now, what actually defines a good academic advisor can vary depending on the person with whom you are speaking.  We tend to define a good academic advisor as someone – whether working directly for a college or university, or not – who offers the best and most accurate advice to budding students in a particular field.

Many universities and colleges will have someone assigned to students almost at random (or, more accurately, often by the first initial of the last name).  Now, while these individuals will definitely be able to offer a full spectrum of insights into which classes will meet which graduation requirements (and this is a very important detail, to be sure!), they may NOT be the best people to speak with about entering a particular career field after graduation has come and gone – or have knowledge about details for those entering a particular professional training track, such as medicine, law, or business school.

Be aware that most schools will have specific offices to help serve the particular needs of students who are entering these highly competitive fields, and a good advisor in these areas is an enormous help in the challenging process of application, interviewing, and admission to professional schools after college.  It can also be a good idea to seek out advice from someone who is working directly in a student’s field of interest, to get insights and recommendations for the academic path.  The most important thing is to gain accurate and timely information, regardless of the source!

3) Do Not Ignore “Minor” Things

While most students will be focused on selecting their college major (or even, for the extremely motivated, a double major!), it is often overlooked that students can also choose a related – or even completely unrelated – subject for a minor area of study.  These are areas of academic emphasis that will require fewer classes than a second major, but are still then part of their academic credentials upon graduation.

Some students (and parents) will tend to look down on minor emphases as something “unworthy” of effort, but they can be extremely valuable in many cases.  For example, one can complete a minor by simply taking a steady regimen of a favorite foreign language, or a secondary subject of interest, or even by completing course prerequisites for professional schools!  (For example, pre-med students often find that they qualify for a minor in Chemistry simply by completing the pre-medical chemistry and organic chemistry requirements, and perhaps one or two other related classes over the course of four years).  Minors can be completed in almost any field of interest, and can add to the college experience and to the credentials of any graduate later on in his or her life.

One thing that a minor offers is an opportunity to show that a student has broad interests and abilities, and if their minor is in something that can provide practical experience as well (such as speaking Spanish, French, or Russian… or computer programming… or anything else), then that looks great on a resume later.

4) Diversify Your Options

 One of the things that we are quick to recommend to students is that they work hard toward their goals, while also diversifying their goals to a reasonable degree.  This means planning and working toward a specific graduate school or career, for example, but also being able to seek alternate pathways to their goals.

In general, success does not come along a straight line, and many students will find divergent pathways to their goals, or even new goals that emerge completely unexpectedly over time during and after their college years.  The more open students are to exploring and finding out what options exist for them in their lives, both academically and professionally, the more they are likely to discover enriching and exciting opportunities that they might not have even known about earlier in their lives.

For this reason, we urge students to make exciting plans, aim high, and always keep their eyes open for the opportunities that tend to arise over time – but are only seen if one is actually willing to be looking for them.

 

We hope that you will be able to use the information from this month’s newsletter to help your future college student make the most of his or her higher education experience, and the career efforts that come thereafter.  It is our job to help as much as possible in making these plans a reality while we help with the details of college application, admission, and monetary preparation.  After all, we are the experts in these tasks, and we manage them effectively for families in a variety of ways.

One of the most popular ways that we are able to help the parents of tomorrow’s college students, especially with regard to the financial preparations for higher education, is by presenting our live College Funding Workshops.  These face-to-face presentations are given by the finest college funding professionals in the area, and they serve as a wonderful (FREE) service to parents who are interested in learning more details about adequate preparation for the financial side of their student’s upcoming years of higher education.  The information provided at these workshops is always up-to-date and accurate, and we have seen that it makes a significant difference for parents who attend.

College Funding Workshops are offered for free to all interested parents, but because there are seating limits we must require all attendees to place a reservation in advance.  This also guarantees that we can maintain an excellent teaching environment.  Should you like more information about any of the College Funding Workshops for your area, please call our workshop staffers at 614-934-1515.  They will be pleased to assist with questions regarding times, dates, locations, etc.  Of course, they are also the right people to speak with about a reservation, for any parents who have already decided to attend.

Aside from the workshops, we also publish a special report prepared for parents who are looking for important information with regard to planning for higher education costs.  We have created this report specifically for the parents of college-bound high school students, and it is called “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College.” Just like the workshops, we are proud to offer this report to families without any attendant cost or obligation.  To receive your very own copy of “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College,” simply ring our staff at 614-934-1515 and they will be more than happy to send one out to you right away.

Until next month,

 

 

Ways to save Money on College

                                                        

                                                                                    June 2017          

“The Best Ways To Save Time (And Money) By Shortening Your Child’s Stay In College

Dear Parent,

We are approaching the end of another school year, as hard at that may be to believe, and for about a quarter of our readers the tale of high school has reached its end… at least, for one student.  This means, however, that about ¾ of our readership – not to mention those with incoming high school students for the first time – still have a year or more to prepare for graduation and college.  What a relief that can be!

The sooner students start thinking about and preparing for their efforts in higher education, the easier it can be to plan for success.  This is true not only when it comes to academics, but also (and especially) when it comes to the financial side of things.  Preparing for college or university studies is a process that ideally starts long before the first day of college on an autumn day (usually) at the age of eighteen.  In fact, the best-prepared students have often found intelligent ways to prepare and affect their college experience even several years in advance.  We think that this is highly advisable, because it can positively boost the student’s academic experience as well as saving their family a significant amount of money over the long run!

How is that possible?  Well, by seeking out ways to shorten their required stay in college or university, a student can shave of a semester (or even more) of tuition, fees, and living expenses from the overall college bill.  This can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in many cases!  This year, there are some motivated students who are graduating from high school and heading off to college… where they will begin as college students with advanced standing, when based on their accumulated college credits.

For this month’s newsletter, we are providing parents and students with some practical and important thoughts and suggestions on how to shorten the amount of time spent (and paid for) in college, but leading to the same degree for which other students will have to work longer… and yes, other students will wind up paying more tuition for the same piece of paper at graduation.  Please remember that as college funding professionals – with expert insights into the entire process of higher education – we are especially qualified to offer this type of important information for the benefit of your college preparation and planning.  Your child’s circumstances can certainly benefit from an individual analysis.

Completing AP Courses

When your child is in high school, s/he can already begin to make headway in college. If you are child qualifies or is able to choose to take Advanced Placement classes, this is a great way to begin to earn college credit while still attending high school.  Many colleges and universities will allow AP credit to take the place of required “core” classes during freshman year.  In this case, a bit of extra effort during the high school years can have a big payoff later!

Another way that students may sometimes earn college credit is to take International Baccalaureate classes, if available in your area.  Completing college credit in this manner, and doing so in advance, can also provide some flexibility when it comes time for a student to choose a major. AP and IB classes are high-level high school courses, and they also give your child a taste of what to expect in college or university classes.

There is no guarantee that AP or IB coursework will be accepted at the next level, so it is always important to review individual school policies on these types of classes.  However, there can be no question than the increased level of academic rigor pays dividends when college days begin in earnest.

Community College Credit

There are some community colleges that will allow high school students to take their college-level courses.  If this is available for your student, and the community college credits are accepted at a university, it can save a ton of time and money. Many core classes can be taken at a community college and they will almost always be much less expensive than university classes. It may be a good option if your child is unsure about which direction to go during college. Taking some core classes in community college would buy additional time in college for determining a major course of study and/or a career for the future.

Usually community college credit is accepted as transfer credit at public universities within the same state or region, which can be a tremendous benefit for students who are interested in these schools.  Some highly motivated students have actually graduated high school with an Associate’s degree in hand, meaning that in the right circumstances they can theoretically start university with junior status!  Talk about saving time and money over the long run…

Take Core/Elective Classes Strategically

OK, so it is clear that not every student is able to make a firm decision regarding a major right away. That is just fine. One way to combat the threat of losing time due to indecision is for freshmen to focus on completing any remaining “core curriculum” classes during the freshman year in order to stay on track and make sure the basic requirements for graduation are being met.

Remember also that students can use electives to “test out” different fields of specific interest that could become a major.  Even if he or she decides to go in a different direction, the elective then still fills the space of a course for graduation later.

Proper Consultation

One way to be able to assist your child in getting through college quickly and smoothly is for your child to meet regularly with his or her college academic advisor.  Each school will have its own requirements for graduation, and the academic advisor can often offer valuable insights into the best way forward – therefore, it is important that they develop a plan together. Your child specifically should let the advisor know that it is very important to him or her to graduate within four years (or less, if possible).

Of course, as mentioned above, many students enter college unsure of which major to choose. That is ok, but meeting with an advisor early on to prepare and develop a plan is helpful to turn that undecided time into productive time. An advisor can offer guidance on what courses to take that will help to point your child in the right direction. They will know which courses are appropriate to consider to and take that will help to develop their passions. They can also connect them with other older students or faculty members will be able to offer additional guidance and understanding that might be helpful coming from a peer.

Not all academic advisors are helpful, but many are, so this is an important resource to investigate during the early college stages.  Also, many schools will have specific advisors for particular careers, such as pre-law, pre-medicine, or pre-business studies.  Students who are interested in these professions should always seek input from the experts so they do not miss any requirements for their professional schools!

Thorough Research

Having realistic expectations is important when your child goes to a college or university. It is also important to know if the university or college that your child will be attending is committed to his or her success. If you and your child visit colleges, it may not be a bad idea to go to the admissions office – or even faculty in a field of your child’s interest – and seek out a chat with one of the staff. You can ask them directly what their rates of graduation within 4 years are and if they are unwilling or unclear about it then that might give you some pause.

It does not necessarily mean that it is not a good institution, but it may deserve additional research. Most colleges do not post these rates so in order to uncover graduation rates and related information, parents often need to ask directly. Having a low rate of graduation within 4 years could mean a variety of things. If there are a great number of students who only go to school on a part-time basis, then this might be a red flag.  This is a great time for us to remind you that your college funding advisor can also provide loads of valuable information regarding these details, which can be enormously valuable in selecting which school to attend.

Express Interest

Another way to help your child to stay on track is to express your interest in their education. Parents who express their desire for their child to have a meaningful college experience are more likely to have children who are also vested in their college experience, as well. It is important not to become extreme “helicopter parents,” which serves no positive purpose in the educational process, and no parents should insert themselves into tasks that students are fully capable of doing for themselves.  However, parents can communicate their interest and their wishes for a helpful and meaningful college education to their child. Educators have noticed that the students who have the best outcomes are ones who come from households where the parents are vested in their college experience and want them to succeed.

Bear in mind that it may not be possible for every student to implement every suggestion listed above – some students may not have a firm grasp on exactly what they want to study as early as others, for example, and other students may not have access to college credit courses in the area where they attend high school.  However, we make it our goal to assist our students in finding the best options for their speedy success in higher education.  If even a couple of the suggestions listed above can be implemented – and there are others, as well – then the chances are good that a student will begin to cut down the amount of time (and money) spent on completing a college degree.

There are also ways that parents can become involved in the process, of course, and the sooner this happens, the better.  One of the top ways that we assist the parents of future college students in learning more about the financial elements of college and university studies is with our live College Funding Workshops.  These workshops feature the finest college funding professionals in the area and offer unparalleled access to information with an in-person setting.  The presentations offer a wonderful service to many parents who are focused on finding the best way to manage the fiscal details of their child’s forthcoming years spent in their college or university studies.

We do not require admission fees for attendance at these workshops, but due to space requirements and our desire to keep a positive and effective learning environment, we have determined that we need to require advance reservations for those who wish to attend.  To receive more information on upcoming College Funding Workshops in the area, you can get details directly from our workshop staff at 614-934-1515.  These professionals are able to assist with any of your questions with regard to schedules, workshop locations, and other presentation-related specifics.  They will also be more than willing to assist with a reservation, should you desire to attend.

We also publish a special report that is of interest to many parents who are on the lookout for more information about how to deal with college costs.  Our report was prepared specifically with the parents of current high school students in mind, and is titled “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College.” Like our workshops, the report is happily provided without any requiring any cost or obligation.  To receive your very own copy of “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College,” simply place a call to our team at 614-934-1515 and we will place it in the mail right away.

Until next month,

 

 

 

Is College Simply Worth It Any Longer? Find out some of the lesser known benefits.

“The Lesser-Known

Benefits Of Higher Education:

Why It Still Matters!

This is an interesting time in our modern world, and we live in a period when many people are questioning the “prevailing wisdom” on a number of topics.  College is no exception.  There are a great many things that we tend to hear time and again, especially as we College Funding Professionals keep our ear to the ground and our eyes on the horizon of higher education.  One of these recent ideas includes some occasional grumblings that for modern young people, a college or university education is simply not worth it any more… that higher education will only offer someone an expensive piece of paper to hang on a wall, and that it is no longer the key to a brighter future.

Now obviously, WE don’t believe this – not for a nanosecond – but we hear it.  And we are secure enough to also freely acknowledge that there are some very real reasons that certain groups of misinformed (or even embittered) people might start to buy into it.

With that in mind, let’s be frank… young people today who attend college or university without properly planning for their educations can often end up in circumstances that are less than ideal – as do their parents, who are usually on the hook for the bill.  There is no doubt about that.  Very few people go through the effort and expense of college hoping to land a really lousy, dead-end job, or even no job at all.  Tragically, it happens.  However, that sad reality usually has a heck of a lot more to do with a family’s overall lack of advanced planning (academically, professionally, and financially) before college even began, than it does with the inherent value of college and university training itself.

For a variety of excellent reasons, we remain firmly convinced that there is a great and ever increasing need for well-planned, organized, higher education in this modern world – and this reality is one of the things that keeps us so excited and motivated to help families achieve their goals for the education of their children.

This month’s newsletter, then, is focused on outlining the reasons that support the value of college and university studies in today’s environment.  Some of these ideas will be extremely practical, others will be more philosophical, but all of them will clearly demonstrate that a well thought-out, properly-planned, and intelligently-organized college education is one of the best investments that we can make – for ourselves, yes, but also for our communities, our nation, and our world at large.

Sometimes It’s A Requirement!

America is a country where much value is placed on a college education. It’s often associated with part of the American Dream and it becomes an expectation of many parents. There are, however, some exceptions out there.  We find that many of these exceptions are mentioned by people who have become disenchanted with the concept of higher education. Some famous, very wealthy people did not end up getting a college degree for one reason or another, including Steve Jobs, Dave Thomas, and Michael Dell, just to name a few.

 

While there are some rare possibilities for some highly motivated and highly intelligent folks out there who want to have a go at in the entrepreneurial realm, it is also important to look at the (much longer) list of people who succeeded with a college degree (or several) in hand!

 

Remember also that there are many professions that absolutely require the successful completion of formal education and training in order to be considered for employment.  People who enter these are often among the most respected and successful professionals in our society.  Just some of these fields include:

 

  • Medicine – Physicians (and other professionals) in the medical realm cannot simply ‘skip school and work hard’ and then expect to find a job in the field of health care. There are stringent requirements in order to receive a license, and in order to be considered employable… and that’s a very good thing for the populace! One can easily imagine that a prospective patient might get pretty nervous if the biography for his or her physician read something like this: “Dr. So-and-so skipped out on college and medical school, and sort of just tinkered around in his garage until he figured it out.”

 

  • Engineering – Back in the day, one could parlay experience in the field (usually through the military if it was civil engineering) into a job in the private sector. Those days are gone. One now needs a solid, bona-fide engineering degree in order to be taken seriously in the field of engineering, and these programs are competitive.

 

  • Law – There is no other pathway to bar certification and a rewarding career in law, besides completing an undergraduate degree and then graduating from law school… and then passing the bar exam for the state in which one wishes to practice, of course. That is the only option!

 

  • Finance – While not all jobs in the financial realm require a college education, many do. If one wants to go into the investment arena, a college education is almost always a must. This sector enjoys a lot of growth opportunities, but for leadership roles an advanced degree in business (like an MBA) can make a huge difference, as well.

 

Achieve More Work Satisfaction

 

A study done by The College Board online resource showed that college graduates are more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their jobs. In fact, the study shows that college graduates are 9% happier in their jobs than counterparts who had completed a lesser amount of formal education.

 

It might seem taboo to talk about these days, but it is also possible that college graduates tend to move “up the ladder” socially in life more easily and more quickly that those who do not have any formal education.  College teaches social skills in addition to bringing academic knowledge, and it can also foster social, professional, and mentoring relationships that bring dividends for a lifetime.

 

Confidence Booster

 

Let’s face it… the very process of learning makes you smarter. It, also, apparently makes you more confident, as well. Studies have shown that those who have gone through college and came out the other end with a degree tend to have more confidence than those who did not finish or never went to college at all.

 

It is not an easy thing to finish a college degree. This comes with a sense of accomplishment and it should! Setting a goal and seeing it to the end can be incredibly rewarding. The study showed that college degree holders were more likely to handle mental challenges, and they are even shown to have a deeper level of satisfaction while in the process of doing it.

 

Healthier Choices

 

While having a college degree will often give one a feeling of self-confidence, apparently it helps to make one healthier, as well.  Many studies show that college graduates tend to be healthier than those who do not have a degree. Higher socio-economic status, which is often linked to higher education, has been shown worldwide to be connected with increased health, wellness and a longer life expectancy.

 

College graduates also may make healthier food choices. This could be a result of the information learned while in college, or just an openness or willingness to seek out accurate and important information related to health in general. Having completed a college degree is often correlated to making better choices as it relates to health habits. This includes eating, exercise, and other matters related to public health. Finally, people with a higher level of education are more likely to exercise and less likely to engage in smoking or other risky health behaviors.

 

Positive Family Traditions

 

It’s always nice when generations of children can follow in positive footsteps. That is another terrific and lesser-known benefit of going on to college and getting a degree. Children of parents who attended college are far more likely to go to college than children who have parents without a college degree. Studies have also shown that children of college graduates tend to have a better quality of life and also go on to get college degrees.  Children of college graduates often tend to do better in school, as well. Some studies show that their test scores can trend higher and they may also have better grades. It is possible that these students may be generally more motivated because of their own parents’ academic backgrounds and successes.

 

They also tend to get into college easier because the parents are able to guide them through the process and emphasize the importance of education along the way.  Most importantly, however, regardless of whether or not a parent ever attended college him/herself – it is never too late to start a positive new academic family tradition!

 

**********

 

We spend a lot of time on higher education issues, as you might expect from college funding advisors, and we are pleased to say that our work is not going away any time soon.  While some elements of the process are always changing, there is no question that the overall level of importance of college in the lives and futures of young people remains strong. We focus our efforts on helping parents and college students understand and prepare for the process, so that they can forge excellent and successful experiences in higher education.

One of the best ways that we help the parents of college-bound teens to glean more information regarding financial planning for higher education comes through our in-person College Funding Workshops.   We present these live meetings with some of the finest college funding professionals in the field, proffering tremendous and timely information to those parents who wish to truly grasp all of the most important fiscal elements of their student’s impending years of study at the college or university level.

We do not charge for admission to these special presentations, but because of planning and room requirements, as well as our insistence on maintaining a proper learning environment, we do find it necessary to require a reservation in advance for parents who want to attend.  If you would like to know more about upcoming College Funding Workshops in your area, you can simply call our workshop staffers at 614-934-1515.  They can provide information about the locations, dates, times, and other details.  They can also assist you in making a reservation, too, for the presentations with seats still available.

In addition to the presentations, we also offer an excellent special report for parents who would like to read some additional information on dealing with forthcoming college expenditures.  We published this report especially for parents of college-bound, and it is has been given the title “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College.” As is the case with our workshops, this report is also free of obligation or cost.  For a personal copy of “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College,” please ring our associates at 614-934-1515 we will send one to you right away.

Until next month,

Staying True to your Financial Plan

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By now many of our clients have figured out how to pay for college and in some cases have created a financial plan so that by the time the student graduates, 75% or more of the expenses have been paid.  How about you? Are you sticking with your plan?  Follow thru and accountability are essential for success.  Part of our service is to be that voice of reason to keep you on track.

When was the last time we reviewed your budget?  Time has a way of getting away and it is easy to procrastinate.  We are here to help. We will go over your numbers, check in on your retirement plans and in general catch up. Our goal is to develop a long-term relationship because as you know, clients are like family.  We want to see you succeed.

To schedule a budget review, policy update or in general catch up, email Lisa to schedule an appointment.

 

A Must Read for College-bound Athletes

I ran across this article and feel it is not only relevant but enlightening.

Dear Prospective Student-Athlete,

I received your introductory two-line email and read through it. I must say your first sentence was painfully familiar as you introduced yourself by first name only. I assumed if you were trying to make an impression that you would have paid more attention to punctuation, but my assumption appears incorrect. While your opening email failed to identify your last name, what year in school you are, where you are from, or what position you play, you managed to include your most pressing question as to whether our team is “giving out scholarships”.

A week later, I received a second email with full color resume attachment including your action photos, and a variety of links to related newspaper articles. Each of these items were compiled in an orderly fashion and sent out directly from both your parents’ emails.

While it took a bit to thumb through the long list of your impressive extracurricular activities, please thank your parents for putting this packet together and understand that it would have been far more beneficial for our staff to speak to you personally by way of an old school phone call. As my staff sent correspondence to your personal email, we have received only a return from your parents apologizing and explaining that you are simply “too busy to answer”.

As a word of advice, while many college coaches support parental enthusiasm, initiative taken by the athlete is crucial if you are serious about connecting with a quality program. Our staff explained to your parents that we would prefer to connect with you directly, but they continue to respond on your behalf. This will be a red flag for any coach, so please be aware of this feedback being a possibility from any of your other options.

When you visited the campus with your parents, the first thing I noticed is that they did most of the talking for you. However, when you did speak, you were openly correcting and verbally scolding them when you deemed their information sharing inaccurate. As a coach, an athlete who displays disrespect, especially to their parents, is a red flag in the recruiting game of analysis and observation.

As we toured the campus I took copious mental notes including a short ponder on how you were too busy for a returned phone call or email to our staff yet, your email-ready smartphone was all but attached to your hand the entire unofficial visit.

Upon your departure, our staff reviewed your stats, strength numbers and transcripts. All are impressive, but of course we had to see you compete. Unfortunately, the highlight film you left us with that was edited to perfection to omit mistakes, was unhelpful.

Despite my reservations, I made the trip to watch your game live so I could determine if your resume matched your talent. After observing only a few minutes of the team warm-up, I noted that you were clearly the most gifted on your squad. However, your talent was unfortunately overshadowed by the lack of energy and effort you displayed.

At halftime, the team huddled up and as always when observing recruits, I honed in carefully on your demeanor and body language. I watched you walk in the opposite direction of your teammates and take a seat on the bench away from the group. You did not return to the team circle until prompted by your assistant coach. As the head coach spoke, I observed you break off into a private conversation with another teammate, rather than offering the coach your attention.

In the second half, when you scored I noticed you waited for the other players to huddle around you and celebrate. In contrast, when a teammate scored, you retreated to your position without acknowledging or congratulating them.

You added much depth in the scoring category with some impressive runs but when you made mistakes you became vocal and eager to point out where your teammates needed to improve. You had moments of greatness but they were followed by sporadic lulls of half-hearted effort.

As you are the team captain, I found it disappointing that you did not contribute to the post game team discussion. I watched as your mother brought over snacks and saw that you made no effort to assist her in bringing those large containers of cupcakes from the bleachers out to your 40 other teammates. Last, as the rest of the team broke the field down and put equipment away, you found a quiet spot on the empty bench to text on your phone.

Perhaps as a high school-age athlete, these are behaviors you are simply unaware of. In a world where you are being taught the X’s and O’s of mastering a sport, so much practice and dialogue in character building is diminishing. I realize that you have been told repeatedly by many of your previous coaches that you are amazing in your sport. However, players like you, with similar demeanor are a dime a dozen.

Since you have been a star in your sport for quite a while with coaches and parents who have clearly allowed these details to slip through the cracks also, you are not entirely to blame. However, please bear in mind, none of this makes you a bad person only potentially, a bad teammate. The attributes I am judging you on happen to be far more important than any of your trophies, all-star selections or travel team accolades.

There is no doubt you are talented. However, from my experience, here are the 10 things I know about athletes like you.

1. Your incredible talent is the same talent that in your sophomore year of college will suddenly suffer an ego blow when a new freshman arrives with equal or greater talent. Battling your feeling of ownership over your position and feeling threatened is inevitable.

2. Rather than working hard to better your game, you are more likely to be the athlete that is constantly comparing your success to others rather than focusing on growth for yourself. This will become a tedious and exhausting process for your coaches and team to constantly have to reassure you of your self worth and value.

3. As those around you put in the work, rather than be grateful to be surrounded by a committed group of individuals who share common goals, you are more likely to resent them and seek out allies to split the team support in half and create locker room chatter.

4. In the event you see time on the bench you may not be emotionally prepared, willing to engage or support the teammate who is starting over you. Also, it is likely you will find it challenging to support the success your team obtains when they win without you on the field.

5. When you become unhappy with your own performance you are more likely to blame your coach, teammates or anyone other than yourself.

6. Since your previous coaches and adult guidance have fallen short in emphasizing the importance of accountability, you will likely be that much more of a challenge for our staff and program to work with.

7. Aside from your time in college, the end goal of being a student-athlete is to get a degree while playing a sport you love. If your goal as an athlete-student is to get a starting position while earning a degree you tolerate, your goals will be out of alignment with the program from the start.

8. Athletes who truly work for their program become stronger people who work well with others and are able to admit their weaknesses in order to improve. If I am forced to spend your first two years of college trying to catch you up on late lessons of being accountable and respectful, it is probable you will spend your second two years resenting me which ultimately leads to an ambush of bad senior exit interview feedback.

9. Athletes are treasured in the workforce and therefore, you are likely to land a job after you graduate. However, if you fail to get along with those in our program you are prone to carrying this over into your professional life. If you are unhappy with your boss or coworker you will be more likely to find yourself unequipped to work through your problem without soliciting complaining or quitting.

10. By choosing not to recruit you, I am saving my team culture. On the bright side, perhaps if you are rejected this will be your first opportunity to face adversity and grow from it.

I recognize that it is possible you could change with guidance by coming to our program. However, the investment on my end presents high risk to the health of team morale, my livelihood and sanity. In my younger coaching years I believed far too often that many like you were capable of transformation. Over time, without consistent support from the powers that be, I have lost my fair share of those battles and have watched colleagues lose their jobs when athletes like you are unsatisfied. I am a great coach who takes so much of my success and failure home with me at night and am actively making the choice to choose ethics and attitude over talent.

Today I crossed you off my list as a potential recruit despite your obvious talent. Over the thousands of hours I have spent away from my family recruiting, answering emails, calls, official visits, watching game film and logging contacts and evaluations, I have learned from my mistakes. As a result, although the athlete playing right next to you has half the stats and three quarters of your speed, they are supportive, determined and selfless. This kind of athlete, will be our next signee.

Please take these words and advice into consideration and I wish you all the best.

Coach

Source: Fearless Coaching, An Open Letter May 16, 2016.