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    Don't be Faked Out by Bad News

    Don't be Faked Out by Bad News

    "Why don't people do things when they are important? Because they are not yet urgent!"- Stephen Covey

    Let's get the things that appear bad out of the way.

    First of all, college costs continue to rise at an alarming rate. I think we'll see our first $100,000 per year college within two years, likely Columbia University. A few dozen colleges will quickly follow suit. The double whammy is that college financial packages are shrinking in terms of funds that are not paid back, such as Merit Scholarship and University Need-based Aid awards. Meanwhile, Parent Loans have taken their place, filling up financial-award packages and blowing up the financial plans of 75% of college families
    bad deal!

    Secondly, unemployment/ underemployment rates of recent college graduates are so much higher than people think...likely 75%. The reality is that this number is not tracked, nor is the "job placement" rate tracked by any college. When you hear a college representative boldly state that "our job placement rate is 90%", it's simply fake news made up to make the college seem worth it. Many parents fall for this when in reality, there's not a single college anywhere near it. Just ask them how they track it
    they don't!

    The rigors of college are much harder now on three-quarters (75%) of its underclassman students. Why? Because these are the students- who spent nearly two years waking up at noon having lost their daily structure, then studied online in their pajamas; who inflated their GPA's by manipulating online tests; who downgraded their academic status by blowing-off SAT's; and who did everything they could to get through the extreme challenges of COVID and its isolation. I'm not judging or blaming, rather, I'm just observing. These students have quickly found themselves in a hole as they face the real world of early morning classes, rigorous assignments, and monitored exams
    big challenge for many! 

    By the way, does anyone believe that "test-optional" is a policy favoring the student...hmmm
    Not I!

    But don't get faked out or discouraged by all that you hear. You can avoid the 75% trap. 

    The reality is that outcomes are predictable, both good and bad! It just depends on how you go about ityour approach.

    Undesired outcomes and the blame that's dished out accordingly tend to apply to people who leave important things to random chance or guesswork. They are predictable results of people who wait, and keep waiting until things become urgent or turn into a crisis.

    Good outcomes come to those who take substantive action while things are important, internalizing their needs and desires, owning their outcome, and are willing to do things now to create unique advantages later
    our approach! 

    Let's take a look.

    College costs? We don't control the prices colleges set. However, we have total control over the choices we make. If cost doesn't matter to you, then go ahead and chase the so-called elite colleges, the ones who brag about their single-digit acceptance rate as if its something to be proud of. Those colleges will cost $400,000 over the next four years, an extra $100,000 if the student changes their major a time or two. If college cost matters to you, then both you and your child have a lot to do with finding the right fit college, at the right price, and studying the right major. Students can do a far better job building their credentials. Parents can know much better about what they are about to buy

    College outcomes? Today's job opportunities have never been better for those who do it right, maybe 25%. This includes picking the right major for the right reason while building substance for your choice; volunteering in your department of study while connecting with the academic-community of the college; expanding your awareness and knowledge of the topic while mastering the subject content; actively pursuing intern/ job shadowing opportunities; building strong interpersonal skills and abilities while being able to express your passion and desire with meaning. But if that's not your purpose for college, so be it. Either way, your outcome is predictable

    Rigors of college? There's nothing to complain about here, rather, it's what's expected. As long as you build a reliable, repeatable personal foundation and daily routine consisting of internal structure, discipline, work ethic, responsibility, and accountability, you'll be ready for any and all challenges ahead of you. But for those who prefer to let the day happen randomly without much purpose, not only will college be difficult, so will adult life afterwards. It's all part of the predictable nature of ones success and satisfaction, or disappointment.

    I'm on the 25% side. I'm not faked out by woeful statistics, people's apathy, or the general lack of effort that's required to get desired outcomes, and nor should you. I know for sure that a pathway to college and life success results from practicing good habits and making good conscious decisions everyday. I'm equally certain that if you lead a meaningful life, driven by purpose, then you'll draw positive energy your way. Together, we can achieve desired outcomes
    predictably good!

    Exploring Your College Interests

    Exploring Your College Interests

    Exploration leads to self-discovery.
    Self-discovery leads to realizations.
    Realizations lead to good decisions!


    The real secret to college and young life success runs through your willingness to explore. I'm not talking about crossing the ocean in a wooden boat to explore uninhabited islands. Rather, I'm talking about spending time and energy over the next couple of years to explore your (if you're the student) deep internal interests, desires, abilities, and passion. 

    Exploring includes improving your awareness and understanding of things happening all over the world. This will expand your global mindset

    Exploring includes listening closely to other people's beliefs and feelings, without imposing judgment. This will expand your perspective.  

    Exploring includes participating in a variety of games, events, and activities; carefully scheduling your school electives and planning summer study programs; regularly reading interesting articles; working jobs or volunteering on projects. This will expand your knowledge.

    Combining it all, you will build upon your intelligence, better understand your belief system, properly identify your interests, and gain clarity on your path forward. This is self-discovery, a critical phase in a young person's development. It can't happen accidentally, rather, it can only happen by means of a thoughtful, conscious plan. 

    Through self-discovery, you will begin to realize all things that are important, relevant, and meaningful to you; what you stand for and what you can't stand; and most importantly, what you love to do. These are profound realizations, the kind that will lead to making good decisions, for the right reasons.

    This week, a great colleague of mine told me-

    "You can do what you love doing, and still fail. Or you can do what you don't like doing, and fail, but that's much worse!"

    A meaningful and enjoyable life, one driven by purpose, is created through the process of exploration, self-discovery, and realization. 

    It is the ultimate secret for defining a pathway to success and satisfaction. Without it, everything will be left to guesswork and random chance. 

    I know what I can't stand and that's leaving important matters to guesswork or random chance. If you'd like to get on a pathway to college and young adult success, let's talk.

    The Business of College Unveiled

    The Business of College Unveiled

    "Colleges are masters at molding their interests into the behaviors of society."- Marla Brady,

    I love that quote, it so applies!

    Here's the Business of College described in direct terms: a lower acceptance rate combined with a higher conversion rate of acceptances-to-enrollments drives the tuition costs higher and scholarships lower.

    Let that settle in as you come to realize that those two factors drive the college business model. All actions of the college, from tours to test-optional policies to ED Applications are designed to drive those numbers in their favor. None of it serves your interests.

    College tours? You hear what they want you to hear, see what they want you to see, and then send you home without visiting your intended department of study. It's their purest and cheapest form of marketing. How does that make sense for you?

    Test-optional policies? Do you really think those are in place because colleges don't value SAT's any longer? That would be a fallacy. Rather, they are in place to drive up the number of applicants by making it seem more likely of an acceptance, serving to lower their acceptance rate...rather brilliant of them. But how does that work for you? Ask me about MIT...

    ED Applications? Do you really think these are offered as a benefit to you? Please, ED Applications are the backbone of a direct-sales policy designed to intimidate student-families into feeling "obligated", obligated to enroll (driving the conversion rate higher) and obligated to pay full price. How does that feel? 

    Stop the Factory Line

    Stop the Factory Line

    My students have begun receiving admission acceptances while the rest of the country scrambles to submit last-minute applications. Outcomes are predictable, mine are predictably good. It's not by accident, rather, it's by our designed plan and approach.

    We stop the factory line...the factory line known in the industry as a line of digital applications coming across the computer of admission counselors. 

    Way back when in the days of paper applications, the counselors had to open the application and take a good look at it. It's no longer that way. In today's times, the counselor begins their day with a line-up of applications in their digital-queue. 

    They hit the start button and here they come. One at a time, they pass by like products rolling down a factory line for a quick inspection...maybe 1-2 minutes each. Thirty an hour at $60 per application fee yields an $1,800/ hour return...not bad!

    For whom is that good enough? Not me and not my students! Our job?

    Our job is to stop the factory line.

    We have to give valid reason for the counselor to disrupt their thirty-per-hour routine and stop on our application. Here are some secrets how that's done.

    • Applicants known personally are stopped for
    • Great Essays/ Supplemental Q's are stopped for
    • Excellent Test Scores are stopped for
    • A high enrollment-likelihood is stopped for

    Good is never good enough to get an admission counselor out of their routine. And especially not so when they have a couple thousand applications in their queue. Rather, we have to be great to get the right people to stop the factory line!

    Deadlines Approach Faster Than You Think

    Deadlines Approach Faster Than You Think

    "Deadlines are not finish lines."

    When it comes to creating quality options and seizing upon your opportunities, nobody wins by just barely beating a deadline. 

    Breaking News- life is a game of getting ahead early to improve the likelihood of winning in the end.

    In my racquetball games, the first points of the game are just as important as the last points. I can't wait until the end to make the effort that I needed to in the beginning if I expect to win.

    What happens when I get behind? Points become urgent and hard to come by then. Playing in a state of urgency is not a good platform for winning!

    That all makes common sense, but it's not practiced often enough. Rather, too many important things are left until they become urgent leading to predictable outcomes. 

    In the college process, now is the time of year when there are several important matters to take care of, such as writing application essays, planning college trips, building relations with admission counselors, preparing for SAT/ ACT's, and much more.

    For those who work on these items now, quality options await you ahead. For those who will put it all off until deadlines get near, undesired outcomes are predictable. It's just the way it works. 

    Let's be sure to get ahead early, stay ahead as the game goes on, and win in the end!

    Office # 203.470.3704