Staying Student-Centered in the College Search


Believe me when I say this day came entirely too fast, I cannot believe that it is almost time for me to send my child off to college.  I remember when my child was just five years old, now the kid is about to enter college.

Along the way, we have let our child be in control of the process, just providing guidance, some pointers and maybe a few tips.  We have been challenging her to really think through why she makes the choices she makes about choosing a school.  We want it to be her choice totally.  When it is all said and done we want her to be able to look back and say to herself – “I made this decision.”  It’s time for her to make her own way in life.

On his website / blog – ‘The Admission Game (TAG) College Planning Blog“, Peter Van Buskirk, has a terrific post about how our children have failed to fully assess their own needs and interests, when it comes to college planning.

So often they are focused, if not obsessed, on the place—the destination and not the overall process.  Excerpts of the post are below:

A student-centered approach to college planning begins with a fundamental question: “Why do you want to go to college?

The correct answer is not: “Isn’t that what you do after high school?” Or “My parents told me I have to go.” Or “I don’t know what else to do.” Regardless of your circumstance, going to college should never be the default answer! There is too much time and money at stake for you to follow a whim. That doesn’t mean you have to have the rest of your life mapped out before you can consider college, but it does mean that going to college needs hold some sense of purpose for you.”

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