Depending on when you applied to college, the college application process may have changed. I can say this in all honesty because when I was 18 my application consisted of filling out a paper application then selecting one college to send it to. If you were not accepted to that college you sent another paper application to the next college. Times have changed and with the introduction of the Common Application, it has made applying to more than one college easier. Although applying to more colleges is easier now, actually getting into some colleges have become a lot more competitive. Colleges look for leaders and students that stand out from their peers. Not only that but they are also very specific in what they want to see in the college essay. It’s a whole new world. So picking the ‘right colleges’ is important, what does that look like and what is the ‘right’ college for your student?

The latest news regarding the college scandal has proven that some people are influenced by what they hear within their community and because of this which college your child is attending becomes a barometer of how good a parent you have been. Your student is also hearing from their peers about the best colleges and they sometimes are influenced by this allowing their sense of self-worth to be intertwined with the name of a college. This can end in allowing the motivation of selecting colleges to be more like a race to get into the best school possible, becoming more about prestige, ego and bragging rights, and not about the student’s future career prospects.

Today’s student has so many options for planning for college including how to apply, ACT/SAT test prep, essay coaches, personal coaches, college planning coaches, teachers and counselors, and sometimes athletic coaches. Is it all necessary? The answer depends on the student’s goals and the colleges that they are interested in. A few points higher on their GPA and their SAT test can qualify them for merit aid (free money) from colleges. It’s our job to look at the big picture and to guide students to achieve their goals.

Hiring a college consultant

For those parents willing to pay for a more personalized approach to directing their child through the college admissions process, a college consultant just may be the route. This is the area of our expertise and we strive to stay current and knowledgeable about all aspects of college planning. We are proud that we have been working with families for over 15 years and take pride in our college results.

“We guide students — primarily starting in early high school — through the college admissions process. We begin with discussing what extracurricular activities a student is interested in and how to get more involved, we look at the student’s curriculum and what changes may need to be made to reach the student’s goals and we help the students create a resume to illustrate high school involvement and identify holes that may need to be filled,” Lisa Schmidt, Licensed Counselor for Parros College Planning. No matter when the student starts with us, we design a tailored program for them and their families.

As college planners, we see all types of students, some have an idea of what they want to study in college and others really don’t know. While it might seem like it’s easier to work with students who know what they want to do, both cases are equally challenging. Knowing what you want to study also includes finding the right college and getting into it. While not knowing what you want to study involves finding the right college that will allow the student to find their passion.

School selection is more than just a name

Students and their parents should not base their decision to apply to a college upon a school’s name and reputation. Instead, the goal is to make sure the school is a good fit for the student in addition to academics. They should consider how comfortable they feel on campus, and if there are any communities, extracurricular or cultural activities that they would fit into. The goal is for the student to thrive while they are school.

Why should you hire a college consultant?

Just like changing the oil in your own car, or doing your own tax returns every year, you can absolutely apply to college by yourself. But the actual application is not the whole story there is so much more to the process.

“It’s a very competitive process and the great news is that independent college counselors aren’t just for the rich anymore. Our price structure is very affordable and if the goal is to have your child attend college, be happy and successful, we can help to identify the best-fit colleges for your child. We have been helping 1,000’s of families and have the knowledge about colleges and what they are looking for in a student,” stressed Tim Parros.

You don’t have to do this on your own, because we are here to help make the process less stressful. What if you can’t afford the college price tag? We educate you on the best ways to find the money that you need without altering your lifestyle or taking away from your retirement plan. We generate a clear picture of what you and your students can expect and exactly what the student can do to increase the odds of getting into the right school. What are you waiting for, this is the perfect time to get started with Parros College Planning!

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