December 2011 E-NEWSLETTER

posted Dec 10, 2011, 4:31 PM by Glenda Durano   [ updated Dec 10, 2011, 4:33 PM ]


    The college application process is a normally a time of stress.  In my view, however, it should be a time of positive stress related to excitement and expectation rather than negative stress related to fear and frenzy.  Certainly, trusting the Lord and knowing that He is working on your behalf is absolutely the best way to accomplish a stress-reduced college planning process.  Strangely, however, many Christians find this to be very difficult.  Why do I say “strangely?”  Because Christians trust God for eternity, yet we have a hard time trusting Him with our immediate future.  It just doesn’t make sense.  However, we all know that when we are under stress, nothing makes sense.  We tend to be guided by our emotions when we are under stress rather than what we know to be true.  With that in mind, here are some “practical tips” for navigating the college planning process a little more easily and hopefully, in a little more relaxed manner. 

1.     Have a positive perspective.  Every time you feel like thinking or saying, “I’m so overwhelmed,” instead, say, “This is so exciting.  I’m glad I know God has a plan for me!” (Go ahead and say it aloud!)

2.     Get organized.  A huge part of college planning is staying organized.  Utilize calendars and forms.  Keep a separate folder for each college. 

3.     Practice time management and get started early.  Take small bites—a little at a time.  It’s better to spend an hour a week intermittently throughout your junior year than to be spending 15 hours a week during your senior year selecting and applying for college.

4.     Finish your standardized testing by the end of your junior year.  Period.

5.     Eliminate colleges.  The college search is a comparative process.  Certainly, initially evaluate each school on its own merits, but remember, you can only attend one.  If you find something in the profile of a school that doesn’t meet your needs, eliminate it from your list.  You have 3500 schools from which to choose.  If you are diligent in your search, you will find several “good fits” where you can apply.

6.     Don’t talk a lot about your college search to people other than your family and your counselor.  Everyone has an opinion.  The only opinions that really count are God’s, the student’s, and the parents’.  It’s important not to “muddy the water” with too many opinions.

7.     The most competitive school is not always the best choice.  Just because a school is highly ranked or “great,” doesn’t mean it’s the right school for you.  Choose your school based on a “good fit.”  Does it meet your needs?

8.     On the other hand, don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.  You never know what will happen if you never try.  At the same time, however, never apply to a school just to “see if you can get in.”  That is a waste of time and money. 

9.     Parents, remember, “we” are not going to school.  Your student is.  Let him be proactive in the search.  Your job is to offer wise counsel and support.

10. If your student is having a problem with fear, procrastination, confusion, or stress in the college planning process, hire an independent education consultant.  Sure, this is a blatant plug for utilizing my services, but if you can spend under $2000, save well over 200 hours (the minimum time that a well-done college search takes), get expert advice, possibly save thousands in tuition through an excellent and targeted application, and help your student succeed, it’s money well spent.  

    The college planning process should not be a time of stress and anxiety.   By following these tips, hopefully you and your student will enjoy the process a little more, looking forward to the future instead of dreading it.

    As always, please forward this newsletter to other friends who might be interested in college planning information.  Do remember to check out the “upcoming deadlines” section of the website for a monthly calendar of what you should be doing this month to stay on track with the college planning process. 

    Additionally, you can “like” my FACEBOOK page (College Advising and Planning) where I post interesting articles and videos about college planning.

    For more information about College Advising and Planning Services or to inquire about our individual college planning services, please check out our website or call us at (505) 918-7669.