For those of you, your friends, neighbors, coworkers and relatives that will have high school juniors this coming fall NOW is the time to start their college planning! The key to successful college planning is better and earlier planning and the beginning of the Junior year is critical!
With smaller in-state public universities averaging $20,000 a year and the larger “flagship” universities (like the U of MN-Twin Cities) at $28,000 a year, many families are finding out too late in the process that they can’t afford the schools on their students “target list”. Knowing the best schools academically and financially for their student is key and it simply has to be done before any college fairs and campus tours/visits!
Unfortunately, these are the latest nationwide statistics:
- 10% of first semester students don’t return to school for the second semester
- 34% don’t return for their second year of college
- 21% transfer to a different school
- 13% completely drop out of school completely!
I’m convinced it’s a “financial decision” for most families caused by the lack of informed planning up front, and not knowing the financial aid options available to them based on their particular financial and academic profile! All of this is avoidable with advanced planning that starts going into their junior year of high school!
With the Lutheran College Fair, the National College Fair, the Christian College Fair, and the Performing & Visual Arts College Fair touring 19 US cities starting this September and October, students have a great deal of work to do to get ready, and we can help if they start right away. This is what needs to happen in the next 30-60 days to be prepared ahead of this October’s college fairs coming to the Twin Cities:
- The Kuder Navigator Career Guidance and Information System will help them work through their Interests, Skills, and Work-Place preferences to determine the “suggested career areas” with the highest probability of success for them based on statistical data from 5 separate sources.
- From there, the Kuder Navigator Program will give them in-depth information on what each career area is, the educational requirements, the starting, medium, and high incomes, career growth potential, the common likes/dislikes for each career, and all websites available for further career exploration.
- From the “Suggested Occupations” areas, the student will select their “favorite occupations” and the resulting “target majors” to determine which schools have all of their “target majors”.
- Once we know their “target schools” and the family’s “financial situation”, we can determine which schools make financial and academic sense to consider going into the college fairs. There is no sense in connecting with schools that you can’t afford!
- While attending the College Fairs this fall, the student and family can get the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the Admissions Coordinators for each of the colleges so you can start a dialog with each of them to schedule “campus tours” and “admissions visits” during the fall and winter seasons!
While this may seem overly involved so early in the high school experience, it is exactly what will be required for most students and families to make a college education financially viable for the student and parents. Anything less and the odds of getting accepted into a 4-year college and managing the costs are greatly diminished!
With the time and effort required for getting accepted into college over the next 3 years, a family cannot use the “outdated” timelines of even 3 years ago. Most high school guidance personnel are not current with the “new timelines” for acceptance!
While we have the tools and expertise to help, it takes time to go through the process correctly! NOW is the time to get going! We have many families coming to us at the end of the junior year of high school thinking they are “early” in the process, but not realizing those timelines are about 3 years old given the number of college applicants in today’s world!
Use the “contact us” or call our office at (952) 997-3366, to schedule a FREE initial consultation for your upcoming high school junior this fall (consultation’s are held via phone, Skype or Face Time in order to work within everyone’s busy schedules).