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Do you have a holy eye-roller at your house?
Is your kid invisible after school?
What size college does your kid wear?
Hire a college advisor-really?
Junior Year is Critical

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College Talk Blog

Do you have a holy eye-roller at your house?

Parents sometimes tell me "you have your work cut out for you" when they sign their teen up for college consulting. Often they suggest that I will be working with a difficult student. Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I see an eye-roll from the teen who is the subject of that parent observation.

I have rarely worked with a "difficult" student. Students I have had the pleasure of helping are very concerned about being successful in college. They are serious about finding the best fit major and college and candid about their current academic status.

Is your kid invisible after school?

Every year I meet a few students who have masked who they are by not being active in after school activities. They have not joined any clubs or organizations at their school. They also have no involvement in sports or service clubs. Their community footprint does not exist because they are not involved in any church or community organizations or volunteer activities. When they complete a college application, whole sections of the application are blank. 

Even with very good grades and test scores, students who choose not to be involved in their high school or community do suffer in the admission decision process.

What size college does your kid wear?

Working with a wide variety of types of students, I've noticed that each student seems to have a college size that fits best. Some are comfortable and energized at large universities while others feel lonely and invisible in a large school. Other students are more comfortable and academically successful at moderate or small-size colleges where everyone knows everyone on campus and classes are small enough to get to know instructors. By size, I am not referring to acreage but rather the size of the student body.

Hire a college advisor-really?

Sometimes when a dad calls me, he says "Seriously, why does my wife want to hire a college advisor? What do you people do? Why do we need you?" I explain to dads that they don't NEED me to apply to a college. I am a nice-to-have in the process with the goal of helping them get their teen into the college that fits them best at the best price.

What these dads remember is that they applied to a college or two and got in when they were teens twenty years ago. They wonder why their own kids ask for help completing what they remember to be a simple process.

Junior Year is Critical

All years of high school are important to preparing for college. Ninth and tenth grade are years when students jump-start both their GPA and their activity resume. Eleventh grade is the year that students ramp up college efforts with visits, essays and an ever increasing amount of rigor in their courses and leadership in their extra-curriculars. Twelfth grade is the year students continue to add rigor to their course schedule and more leadership to their activity resume.

Too often, both students and parents are unaware of the important role that each year of high school plays in preparing students for college.