Q & A
Question: Why do parents and grandparents seek help with the college process for their children and grandchildren?
Primary reasons that parents and grandparents ask for help include:
1) High schools are busier than ever meeting testing, accreditation and government mandates. That leaves less time for individual work with students. College planning activities increasingly include classes and group events. These are helpful but do not meet the needs of all students.
2) College admission is more competitive now than just a few years ago. The economy has forced families to be even more value driven in their decisions. Students who might have gone to private and ivy league colleges are now looking at lower cost options. That means higher competition at previously lower competition colleges.
3) College costs have risen exponentially and parents want to find support to reduce out of pocket costs.
4) Students don't always know what college major they prefer. Parents want to identify college major to avoid wasting college tuition.
5) Some students procrastinate and parents want someone to walk their child through the process.
6) Teens benefit from individual guidance and support in the college process.
7) Students with special needs benefit from both individual attention and advocacy in the college process.
8) College processes and scholarship processes are increasingly complex and families want help.
9) Grandparents see their children struggling with college decisions and processes with their grandchildren and want to get support for them.
Why don't high school students ask for help? Why is it more often parents or grandparents?
High school students usually don't realize they need help or where to get it. They also may feel pressure to complete the college decision-making process on their own because they are becoming adults. Add to that their motivation to go where they want to go rather than where they need to go.
Another issue for high school students is that their primary source of information is often each other, college recruitment promotions and the internet. So some of their information may not be fully accurate. Then there is the issue of some predatory for-profit schools seeking them out and making big promises.
Keep in mind that students are new to consumer choices. And that is exactly what a college decision is about. What school is best for you for the best value? Value may be the last thing on their minds. College cost exceeds their financial awareness skill level.
Students do not have the appreciation for their potential that their parents have. They need encouragement. They need support. But they are often unaware of that fact.
And finally, a four year degree costs more than twenty thousand dollars per year for four years or more. Students should not be left on their own to make what amounts to a one hundred thousand dollar decision. Rather, it should be a joint decision for students and their families to make.
Why is college so expensive?
As costs for everything from electricity to paper increase and college endowments and government funding do not, colleges have to pass along costs to consumers. An additional cost for them is the necessity that they stay current with their information system equipment and that they have to retrofit vintage buildings for IT. Another issue for colleges is unfunded mandates regarding financial aid, disability services, mental health, diversity and student success.
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