College & Organization

Dear Parent,

We would like to wish a Happy New Year to you and your family… we hope that this coming year of 2019 is one of great success and happiness, and that there are many opportunities for you to take great strides toward accomplishing the academic dreams of your college-bound high school student. 

Of course, each new year brings your child closer and closer to the day
when he or she will graduate from high school and head off to an exciting new
life as a college or university freshman… and time certainly does not seem to
be slowing down at this stage of the process! 
If anything, as we work with tomorrow’s college students, it seems that
things are speeding up exponentially as we do so.

One of the things that we have noticed over our years in this field of
college preparation is that the students and families that tend to see the most
success are often the students and families who grasp the importance of
organization as they approach high school performance, college application,
college financial preparation, and nearly every other element of the higher
education process.

Now, rest assured, we are fully aware that some people just seem to have
an “organizational gene” and they thrive on having everything “just so…” and
other people are more challenged in that regard.  Honestly, it is our experience that this sort
of predisposition can be a benefit, but in the long run it really does not
matter –  as long as students and
families can follow instructions and have a desire to make the right steps,
organizational skills CAN be taught… and learned!  We see it each and every year.

Along those lines, we have a series of tools in place to help with the
organizational elements of college preparation and application, and we are definitely
the experts in helping families with the management of these important tasks as
well as preparing financially for the college years.  But why do we bother?

We bother because it matters to us. 
The future success of your college-bound student, as well as the ability
of your family to be able to make these dreams happen financially, are
precisely the things that make the difference in everything that we do as
college funding advisors.  It is what we
do.

Bearing that in mind, this month’s newsletter will focus specifically on
the importance of organization in college preparation at all levels, both
academic and with applications, as well as introducing some of the things that
we make available to help families of all types to be optimally prepared for
the coming realities of college application and college financial
preparation.  We hope that this will be a
key in either cementing your resolve to organize the process, or to spark your
interest in making it a reality for your family and your student.

1.
Organizational Skills In High School

 Ideally, tomorrow’s college students should start developing some excellent organizational skills during the high school years.  Now, we know that some parents (OK… many parents) will take a look at the state of their child’s bedroom and shrink away in despair at that idea, but let us remind you that it is a PROCESS, and developing these organizational skills takes some time for many young people.  The most important thing is that it happens, and this can be a huge benefit academically and in their future college career.

For most students, seeing a modicum of increased success by planning a project well helps to instill a desire to continue in that vein… even if it is not always consistent at the outset.  A series of rewards and assistance in the process can make a big difference early on, and the results will begin to speak for themselves.  Once a college-bound student – who is usually interested in his or her Grade Point Average – can see what organizing a project does for the end result, it can serve as a huge motivating factor.

There is no one correct way to organize high school academics.  Some people swear by technology and smart phones.  Others prefer to use a more old-school method of writing in a notebook or planner.  It really does not matter which way works best for your child, as long as the process is in place.  Regardless, the main thing is that the overall process gets started, and that the positive results instill a desire for increased organization. 

Remember that most students who can slide by with decent
(or even very good) grades in high school while procrastinating often find that
such actions have a rather dire effect on their academic performance at the
next level of their education… so help your student to start now, the earlier
the better.

2.
Organizing The College Application Process

This is an organizational effort that far too many families
do not think about until they are knee deep in the process, and trying to dig
themselves out of a confusing mess! 
Going into the college application season without an organizational plan
can be frustrating, yes, but it can also actually be disastrous. 

All it takes is one missed deadline at a dream school to
actually submarine a student’s acceptance or financial aid offer, and we are
sorry to report that this literally happens each and every year.  Imagine a student working so hard and
diligently for four years of high school, and then having a dream crash and
burn because of something as silly as a missed deadline!  For this reason, as well as several others,
we seriously recommend having a separate application calendar for the
management of the entire college application process – and it should be one of
those large-sized wall calendars, ideally. 

It is also important for students to have an organized
application strategy, so that he or she is applying to the best schools for his
or her interests, background, goals, and personality.  All of these types of details are available
to students, but they can only be optimally managed in advance when you work
with an expert who knows the process, the specifics about each school that
interests your child, and their admissions statistics.  Obviously, as professionals in this area, we
are uniquely well-equipped in this regard and are happy to assist with the
organizational elements of college application.

Having a well-managed application process can actually lead
to more acceptances, and it can help families to obtain the very best financial
aid offers, as well.  It really does make
a difference.

3. Successfully
Managing The Money Side Of Things

The bulk of the financial preparation for higher education
naturally usually falls to the parents, since very few high school kids are
able to fund a college education on their own and most forward-thinking parents
want to help their children to stay out of student debt as much as
possible.  With this reality in mind, it
is absolutely vital for parents to start their organization of finances with an
eye toward college costs as early as possible.

Some parents (or grandparents, for that matter) will start
a college funding account for a child at a very young age, and some families
even manage to save some money in that account over the years leading up to
high school.  Many, alas, do not.  But regardless, this is NOT the kind of
organization that we are talking about when we discuss college funding
organization.  The subject is far too
detailed and multi-faceted (not to mention, too expensive) to be effectively
managed with a simple savings account!

We keep our fingers on the pulse of the ever-changing
college funding scene and are uniquely qualified to help families manage their
fiscal decisions in the years leading up to college to optimize their efforts.  And yes, ideally, we mean in the years
(plural) leading up to college.  While we
are able to help families from almost any circumstance, even later in the game,
our hands are definitely somewhat tied when parents do not decide to plan until
the last year of high school.  By that
point, many of the tried-and-true options available to families are no longer
available.  So yes, in this case, the
early bird gets the worm… or at least, access to more worms. 

With that in mind, we can detail the best options available
to parents, and help them to organize these efforts to maximum effect as the
college years approach.  An organized and
knowledgeable strategy is the most effective way for a family to prepare for
the college years, and we are able to detail each step of the process so that
there is no need to feel overwhelmed. 
Simply contact us at your convenience and we can show you how.

If parents and students are willing to take the steps necessary to organize themselves in preparation for the future college and university experience, they will often find that they are much more successful in their endeavors than those people who did not do so.  As students approach their application process, we have a number of services available to help them select schools for which they are ideally suited, as well as assisting them in organizing and managing the entire process from application to admission letter.

For parents, we are likewise well-prepared.  As a part of our long-standing educational effort, we offer live College Funding Workshops for the parents of tomorrow’s college students.  These detailed programs are presented in-person by some of the very best college funding professionals, and help address the needs of parents who are preparing themselves for future higher education costs.  To fit your schedule, we schedule these workshops at the times which tend to work best for parents, including evenings and weekends due to work conflicts. We never charge an admission fee to the workshops, but space limitations and presentation quality dictate that we must require an advance reservation.

For details about the upcoming College Funding Workshops in your area, simply talk with someone from our workshop team at 614-934-1515.  We have all of the schedule updates, answers to any questions about future locations, and assistance with more information about the workshops themselves.  Our friendly staff will also be happy to assist you in making a reservation for any one of the workshops scheduled in your area.

We have also published an outstanding written report about the financial elements of funding a future college or university education.  This report has been specifically created for parents and discusses a number of important details about the college funding maze.  We are quite pleased with this report, which is called “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College.” This report, like the workshop, is also available free of any cost or obligation.  It offers some great insights into the financial preparation required before the college or university years, as well as covering facts about the financial aid process. 

Simply email info@midwestcollegeplanning.com to request the report.

            Until next month,


study