Every student needs to learn to discern what is important in his or her own opinion. Because becoming great at anything will require hard work, and they need to know that the work is worth the effort.
Here's the really cool part: colleges get excited about kids who actually know themselves pretty well. The exercise of knowing who you are today is critical to life. The process of engaging on a journey and actually learning will adjust who you are on a future today, but for now, you only need to be able to understand your today today. Because the college is about engaging and teaching your student today. And about being able to do that for four years of todays.
Colleges know themselves pretty well. You can see it on their mission page; on their list of Majors and Minors; on their descriptions of departments, activities, and relationships. They are trying to attract the students that they are equipped to develop, and we use their work to guide our college search.
Together, we discern who your student is, who they might like to become, and find the schools that are well equipped to move your student along that path. This creates a sense of confidence is what your student wants out of life and out of college. In turn, your student is able to understand which colleges are right for your student.
My students find that this work really pays off. Because colleges use your application for admission to also determine who to scholarship, applying to schools that are well-equipped to develop your student often results in generous scholarship offers. Schools that seemed too expensive become affordable, and we get to choose the best program for the next four years.
May your college selection journey be mindful and rewarding.
Shepherding our children to adulthood demands our love, our attention, and our acceptance of who they are.