Anything without a plan is left to guesswork and random chance.
When parents think high school counselors will take care of the college process for them, then a random college choice is what to expect.
When parents think travel team coaches will take care of their recruiting for them, then a random chance is what to expect.
When parents think the college will show them how to save on college costs, then overpaying for college is what to expect.
In all three situations, each is a matter of reactive behavior resulting in typical, undesired outcomes. That might be ok for buying a pair of shoes, but not for buying a college education!
If better outcomes result from being knowledgeable, aware, and involved in the college process long in advance of submitting applications and settling on college costs, then why don't more parents do it?
- It's not convenient
- They don't know how
- They don't know when
- They are too consumed with other matters
- It's easier and less expensive to rely on others
That's a prescription for choosing wrong colleges, studying wrong majors, staying in college too long, overpaying for college, and for athletes, sitting on the bench.
Learn all about this and much more in our new book-
For saving college costs, here's our Strategy # 5- Have a plan to submit early applications
Most people randomly submit applications to a handful of colleges without having a strategic plan. They hope to get accepted into a few of them, then make a college choice leaving the worry of costs and possible majors until later. Not us. Rather, we have a defined plan to win preferred acceptances and maximize scholarships.
Our client-families submit their applications prior to the start-up of their senior year. Why so early? There are two reasons. One, the senior year begins very busy for the students with no letup in site. Submitting applications after it begins becomes an after-thought with other more pressing situations to attend to until its late. And when it’s late, college applications become the pressing situation. That’s neither a strategy nor a plan. It’s ineffective and can only lead to predictably disappointing results.
Secondly, late submitted applications typically compromise acceptance rates and scholarship awards. It’s just the way it works. We don't like to be late to anything, much less college.
Your reward for being early? You will likely be given preferred treatment by the admissions office for an acceptance and scholarship for two primary reasons. Early applications reflect serious intent of the student. And admission counselors generally appreciate early applicants giving them a chance to review the application before they get swamped with late applications. This strategy often leads to higher acceptance rates and larger scholarships. It makes good college-logical sense to me!