For college-bound high school juniors and their parents, this is an exciting time — a time when they’re trying to find that educational environment that can provide that cornerstone to their future success.
When it comes to the college admissions process, much of the focus and concern lately, on the part of the families I’ve had the pleasure to meet with, has been primarily about the paying for college. College is essential, but it’s also expensive! In today’s economy, resources to pay the college bill – for parents as well as the colleges – have been shrinking due to losses on investments.
And, you have to consider that a lot of the states are also experiencing budget deficits. They are cutting the funding to the public colleges, including community colleges. That means you need to expect an increase in costs. For out-of-state students at public universities, the increases will likely be much higher for you as the schools try to keep expenses lower for in-state students.
In spite of these possibilities, many of parents I’m meeting are automatically jumping to the conclusion that the public universities or “state schools”, will be the cheapest options for their student. It might. But, what if your student doesn’t get IN?
With rising college costs, the misconception by many families has been that the public university is the cheapest option. Many popular public universities already have acceptance rates well below 50%, which means it’s a lot more difficult to get in these days then it was just three or four years ago.
Now, add the current economic crisis. Even more families are having that initial gut reaction that the public university will be cheaper so they won’t even look at or consider private colleges that might actually offer them more money to help pay the college bill. As more families apply to the public colleges, the competition to get IN will get tougher.
The days of the “I can always go to the community college” may even be coming to an end. Squeezed by budget cuts and shoestring budgets, community colleges may not be able to accommodate the onslaught of incoming students that may result if the economy goes through a long-term lag. There’s some speculation in come states that community colleges may have to start introducing certain standards and benchmarks for admission!
What is your student’s plan to stand out against the increased competition? Hundreds if not thousands of the students will have great grades and good SATs or ACTs. What, besides grades and activities will help your student stand out among all those other applicants to get one of those coveted spots in the freshman class?
Students need to present themselves in a clear, concise way to the colleges. A clear, concise message will help them stand out from the competition. Just knowing what you might want to do for a career is not enough. Why will a college want you on their campus? Why should they choose you over the other great students who also applied? Once you have a message, you need to systematically deliver that message. You need a marketing plan.
Your Assignment (Should You Choose To Accept It):
Get clear on what you offer a college besides good grades from high school. Begin to develop your plan to get the attention of the college admissions officer by gathering information on your career goals, how and why you are pursuing them. Then begin crafting YOUR MESSAGE to the schools.