Are you ready to have a conversation about college? Talking about college with other parents or friends is simple, it is talking to your kids or spouse that may be tough. This month, we want to break down those conversations on college into more manageable bits. Students and parents (and hopefully, advisors) participate in the conversations. Let’s divide the conversations by audience.
For parents, the conversation started when that little bundle of joy arrived. We all had the smartest baby, the one destined for greatness. We dreamt of seeing that little one graduate from medical school, hit a home run in the World Series, and win a Nobel Peace Prize. However after a few rounds of colic and teething, our goal became simple, we wanted a healthy child and perhaps a good night’s sleep once in awhile. Now that little one is in high school, it is time to start having realistic conversations on college.
- How much have you saved?
- How much is college?
- Where do we even start?
At Midwest College Planning, we love having these conversations. From the workshops to the free consultations, we talk college. We work with parents on budgets. We address your savings and if you need to up those savings, we have suggestions. When it comes to the price of school, be prepared for sticker shock. Annual pricing for public schools are coming in at around 25K while an Ivy League is over 75K. Now, multiply those numbers by the number of children in your family. Do you need oxygen? That’s where we come in to help.
For students, the idea of college may have started back in first grade when they dreamt of becoming a teacher or perhaps it came along gradually based on course selection or interest. Our goal is to work with kids to help them navigate the process. Ideally we begin working with students early in high school, but we do work with rising seniors and in some cases those seniors who procrastinated and are panicked in September. With students we stress the importance of grades, test scores and research. Our conversations on college start with the basics:
- What are your grades?
- What are your thoughts on location of college? Distance and Environment
- What do you want to do?
- What do you do for fun?
Midwest College Planning has been helping families for over ten years. there’s not much we haven’t heard. We find ourselves playing mediator between the students and parents. Whether it is reminding a student to send in an application or reminding parents of their budget.
The news is full of stories about scholarships and ‘free rides’. There are many schools that offer great scholarships to the top students. The scholarships are often awarded to kids with what we call a ‘wild card.’
- Creative Talent
- Community Service
We will be honest with you, those free rides are few and far between. Competition is tough at top schools, admission rates may be in the single digits. Our goal is to have your family succeed. We work with students on applying to schools that fit them academically, environmentally and socially. We evaluate the financial aid packages and help students and parents find the school that works financially.
This month, we are asking you to have those conversations and to remind you we do offer a free workshop where you can learn more about how we help families.