Prepare your kids to be on track for success in a tough economy.
In these times, people have been affected negatively or know someone that has been affected negatively by the current economy with high unemployment and more people than jobs. Many are questioning what will be left for the next generation. There are many kids graduating from college to find no jobs in their field of study and end up taking jobs in other fields just to make money often to payback their student loans. This is creating an even more competitive climate for students to get into the more well known and established colleges and universities that are typically held in high regard by potential employers. Typically, the thinking is to attend a college that has a strong track record with Career Services such as, Internship programs, Co-op programs and Post Graduate employment. Understandably, most colleges and universities with established Career Services programs prominently display that information on their websites to help to answer one of the most important questions many parent’s ask which is “how quickly will I see a return on the investment (ROI) with a college degree from your institution”.
Athletic Scholarships are not guaranteed to everyone.
Not all kids are going to get a athletic scholarship to college and many that have the physical talent often find out the hard way that they cannot get into Division 1 or Division 2 schools because of academic reasons or test scores. For some parents this fact may be hard to accept, but it needs to be said so there you go. Academics should be a student athlete’s primary focus because when twelfth grade comes along parents and students want to have options that do not depend on the success of a H.S. or AAU coach in getting them scholarship to college.
Plan early and/or get help early if necessary.
Contrary to popular thought college planning should begin before your son or daughter goes to high school. It's critical that parents and their children understand that establishing good study habits in middle school will go a long way to help them with time and project management in high school and in college. In addition, all involved in the process should understand that from Ninth grade to Twelfth grade every grade counts and is kept as a part of each student’s academic record. In addition to High School grades, Colleges also review Scholastic Aptitude (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) scores. For more info go to the College Board website: http://www.collegeboard.org/
SAT/ACT Study Programs (YES or NO??)
The answer is a definite YES unless your child is exceptionally bright and has a track record of excellence on standardized tests. Most children can use help with test strategies in preparation for test day. Yet, not all SAT/ACT prep courses are created equal and I would advise you Stay Away from fraudulent SAT study programs that claim to prepare your child for the SAT/ACT at cut rate prices.
"Caveat Emptor" or “let the buyer beware”
The market for test preparation services in general, has ballooned to more than $4 billion, according to Eduventures Inc., a Boston-based market research firm. There are many legitimate test prep programs available today. However, because of the demand and the amount of money being made in this industry you also get at least a handful of fraudulent programs. When my oldest son was preparing for college we found a program that claimed to offer SAT prep classes. During a closer observation of this particular organization’s website I noticed they copied language describing their SAT course directly from a well known SAT learning center and forgot to take the name of that learning center out of the text they plagiarized for their own use. We of course did not use that organization, but who knows how many parent/student victims did not notice the plagiarized language and were left wondering if they should have used a more established learning center after the SAT test.
Pay Now and Potentially Save Later
The average cost for a SAT/ACT test prep course is in the $400 – 600 range. Unfortunately, preparation for these test do not come cheap. However, I would suggest you go on a few college visits during your child’s Sophomore and Junior years and inquire what type of merit scholarships are offered at their colleges of interest. We visited several Universities that mentioned an SAT score of 1750 and above will usually result in some type of merit award and we found that to be true. The bottom line if you are going to spend your money you want a reasonable expectation there will be some positive results.
NCAA Eligibility Center
NCAA Rules Compliance (Eligibility)
NCAA Rules Compliance (Enforcement)
Hard Hit By Higher Education Costs
College Search Process/ Newly Sophisticated High School Juniors and Seniors
Hiring a Tutor
The Community College Pipeline
Another Ranking for Colleges