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4 Key Strategies to Help You Prepare for College

Parents of 9th and 10th Graders:  Ensure your student has a plan to succeed in academics and a tactical strategy that aligns with the 4 pillars of National Honor Society, because whether your student applies to NHS, these 4 pillars (Academics, Character, Service, Leadership) set the stage for opportunities and scholarships for college.

Parents of 11th Graders: 

Formally begin college planning.  With the impact of the college decision and its cost, working with a professional can save your family $30000-50000 or more.  College planning is no less important than family financial planning and sometimes even more is at stake.  Students only know what they know and the value of helping them learn about very specific career paths, college offerings, and outcomes is crucial. 

Have the Talk.  While the FAFSA indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), most families fall far short of the resources to meet their end of the EFC.  Be transparent with your student about how much you will contribute and how much they will need to contribute. Be realistic about borrowing.  Students do well when they can limit borrowing over four years to the anticipated amount they will earn their first year out of college.  In the image here, the average income of an accountant is $60000 so the total borrowing per year during college should be no more than $15000. 

Conduct Strategic Visits.  When you work with My 4-Year Plan, you will have a plan customized for your individual student.  You will know which colleges to visit and the specific ways your student can combine 2 or majors, or play sports, or be in a marching band.  Armed with that information, go deeper on your college visit to arrange a meeting with a certain professor who shares interest and expertise in your student’s field.  Visit career services and ask for a list of companies who recruited business students at their fall career fair.  The fit, the campus, the food, these are all important because a student will be there for 4 years, but not overlooking the details helps go beyond kicking the tires.

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