There is a lot of talk about college with opinions ranging from hatred for higher education to those who believe that college equals the epitaph of civilized society. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. What I mean is that I don’t think that college is for everyone, but I do think it is for most people. Recently I was researching some statistics with the U.S. Department of Labor and these factoids were (also recently) re-presented to me, so I felt that the time was right to write about these in this blog. By the way, does anyone read this blog??
In 1950, 60% of the labor force jobs were unskilled, 20% were semi skilled and 20% were skilled jobs. In 2010, those same statistics are nearly inverted with 65% of all jobs available being for skilled laborers only, 20% requiring some skill set/education, and only 15% left for the unskilled labor force.
The above image reveals the unemployment and weekly earning stats for those with advanced education verses those with only an associate’s degree or less. Unemployment is above 15% for those without a high school diploma, but drops drastically to about 5% for those with a Bachelors degree. We have moved from an industrialized economy in the early 1900’s to a knowledge-based economy in the early 2000’s and unless we are prepared academically, we will not be able to compete on a global scale.
Okay so that’s all great but what’s it mean? It means that knowledge and positioning are important. We need a fresh wave of innovators to create new systems and programs and products that will drive our economy into the next 50 years. The baby boomers are slowly retiring and entering their twilight. You might be a baby boomer reading this blog because you want to help your teen get into college. You might be a 15 year old and saying to yourself that this is the most boring blog you’ve ever read! The key is that we both understand that your educational future is of critical importance! Living in your purpose and strengths and being trained in the area of your potential is sooooooooo important!
I am 29 years old. I have been meandering around the world (and web) for the past 15 years or so trying to “find myself”. What I found is that I wasted some valuable time trying to just ‘figure it out’. The advice of my parents was that with enough experiences and the right timing, I would just fall into what I am supposed to be doing with my time. But what I found was that they were wrong. While I do agree that no one can effectively tell you what you should be doing, as Socrates said, “know thyself”. It is your responsibility to know yourself and your goals; BUT HOW?! This is the million dollar question.
I have the answer. I know that is incredibly naïve and ignorant to say, but I really do know how to help you “find yourself” in a matter of a few hours. It will take many more months to develop and understand what ‘the answer’ means for you and your life; but it could save you years of meandering. Then instead of being a loafer in college because you don’t know what you want to do- you could go to college with purpose in mind, knowing that you were built to do that thing.
Again I ask, does anyone read this? If you want to know the answer, leave a comment. If you want to tell me that I am crazy- leave a comment. If you want to curse horrible obscenities because you think college is all that is wrong with the world- LEAVE A COMMENT. Let’s engage in a dialog about this concept, and the next generation, and how we will work to be creative, innovative, and competitive in a world economy.
Working at what this chart shows you have potential in‚ especially when accompanied by drive and passion means you are living your life’s purpose‚ doing what you are designed to do. There is great strength in living your purpose‚ and even greater potential can be realized when passion and drive accompany vocations where you show high potential.
This chart identifies what your relative potential in a particular job is. It does not identify your skills‚ it does not identify your passions‚ likes and dislikes for a particular vocation; you already know what you like and dislike and what you are skilled at. What you did not know is where you have the most potential and what you did not know in this case‚ is more important than what you did know.
Potential zero’s you in on where you will be a good fit. When you have identified a high potential vocation or career that you also have drive and passion for you then know you have a sustainable passion for that career.
Conversely‚ if you rank low in potential for an area‚ but have skills and knowledge in that area‚ generally speaking you will not be able to work in that field with the drive you would if you scored high in it. This does not mean that you would not be good at it‚ especially if you have a passion for it; it just means that you might excel more in a vocation that is a more natural fit.
For example; if you have a high potential score in accounting and administrative vocations but do not like that type of work‚ it would not be a good choice for you regardless of how high you scored in it. If you have a low potential score in sales‚ but you are highly successful and happy in what you do; a high potential score does not mean you should change; your passion may drive you to succeed.
Potential speaks of something much more valuable than skills‚ it identifies vocations and careers you can have a sustainable passion for‚ something you will naturally do well. Learning new skills‚ developing talents and exceeding in areas you both have potential and passion for will‚ generally speaking‚ be easier to achieve and provide you with sustainable drive and passion for the long term as well as significant chances for greater success.
17 Point Check List Before Submitting Your College Application
Before you click “SUBMIT”, consider the following check list and take the time to review your college application very carefully. Students often overlook avoidable errors when they rush to submit college applications.
As an educational consultant, I have caught numerous mistakes in college applications that were sent to me for “final review”. The advice and check list below can help you identify and correct potentially damaging mistakes.
- Proofread Your Application Out Loud. Read the entire application slowly and out loud starting with the very first line.
- Review Your Essay(s). Make sure you answered the question(s). If it’s a multi-part question, make sure you addressed each part. If you created your essay in Word (or another word processing program), copied it to the on-line application, and then edited it to make it fit, review it extra carefully!
- Check for Inconsistencies. For example: Is your desired major offered? Is your desired major or the activity you wrote about in your essay the same as the one list listed in another part of the application? Does your activity list indicate that you spent more time on activities and work than there were waking hours?
- Check for Omissions. Did you forget to include something important or relevant? Check your resume and/or inventory of experiences, activities, honors and list of descriptive adjectives.
- Review Activity List. Read over your resume (if you have one) and make sure your list of activities is accurate and you haven’t left out anything important. Colleges are particularly interested in leadership, special talents & achievements and commitment over time.
- Honors and Awards – Again, review your resume (if you have one) and make sure your list of honors is accurate and that you haven’t left out anything important. Don’t forget to include Honor Societies such as National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
- Recommendations – As applicable, list the name, position, relationship and contact information for those providing recommendations. Confirm with those writing recommendations that they will be (or have been) submitted in a timely manner.
- CDs / DVDs / Portfolios – If you are providing supplementary materials, make reference to them in the appropriate part of the application, and submit them in the proper manner and on a timely basis.
- Special Connections – If you are a student athlete being recruited, or are in touch with a coach, musical or art director, professor or other person of potential influence, keep that person posted on the progress of your application. And, when appropriate, reference him or her in your application.
- Transcript – Order your school transcript. Provide a stamped and properly addressed envelope, as necessary.
- Self Reported Test Scores & Dates – When applicable, report your SAT and ACT scores, and related test administration dates. Comply with the specific college and university reporting requirements.
- Mailing Address – Confirm the mailing address for recommendations, transcripts and supplemental materials. Many colleges and universities have a separate mailing address to their undergraduate admissions office.
- Standardized Test Scores – Make arrangements to send SAT and/or ACT test scores directly from CollegeBoard.com and ACT.org. Confirm that colleges will receive your test scores according to their application requirements.
- State Residency Requirement Form – Many state colleges and universities require a residency form for in-state candidates who wish to pay in-state tuition.
- Special Situations – Many applications ask if you have been dismissed from school, suspended, placed on probation or incurred serious disciplinary action. If so, answer the question honestly and look for an opportunity to explain your situation.
- Additional Information – Many applications allow an optional additional essay for candidates who think that additional information will provide a more comprehensive impression. Consider this option (when available) when there is something relevant to add.
Read more at inlikeme.com
- Read Directions and Sign Your Name – Many applications require some type of electronic signature. Make sure you read and follow all directions.
These are some great tips if you’re going away to college!
Before College Tips
Tips and Information a college freshman should know before college
Don’t Miss Orientation
Orientation will be your first chance to meet new people, and at some schools find a roommate. It will be your first experience to see the major parts of the school, and understand the rules. This is very important so you know what you have to do to stay in school.
Contact Your Roommate
Freshman typically are assigned roommates the first semester of college. It may not seem important at this time, but this is critical to get in touch with your roommate as soon as possible. Moving in (you will find out soon) is a very stressful and annoying time. By talking to your roommate ahead of time, you can find out what kind of person they are, what you have in common, and you can figure out who should bring what.
Figuring Out What To Bring
Make sure you contact your roommate before you start this step. Trying to figure out what to bring from your oversized room in your parents house to your new cramped dorm room will be tough. See our What freshman should bring to college page for more information.
Get In Shape
Now is your opportunity to get in the best shape of your life, and have one of the hottest body’s on campus. Try to eat right and work out regularly so you are in top shape for your first appearance at college. Note: if you are attending a school in a warmer climate, this goes double for you. Most schools have warm temperatures during at least the first few weeks of school. Girls will lay out in bikinis to get sun, guys will play basketball and volleyball (if available) and most people will be showing lots of skin. Being in shape will put you at an advantage for meeting people on warm sunny days.
Save your money
Did you get a lot of money for graduation? Save all of it for college. If you are going to spend any of the money, make sure its for college (clothes for college, etc.) Don’t spend it on anything that is not college related especially your car (see forget your car section below). A Freshman does not need a lot of money in college, but having it in the bank will definitely help. If you plan on joining a fraternity or sorority, or going on spring break, or going to the local mall, all of these things cost money, and you will be able to take advantage of more opportunities if you have some extra cash in the bank.
Forget your car
At most colleges and universities, your car means nothing. Most schools don’t allow a freshman to have cars on campus, and if they do, chances are no one in college cares what kind of car it is. All college kids care about in college is a form of transportation. So forget your chrome rims, your $2,000 stereo, your tinted windows, exhaust… all worth nothing at college. All these things were cool in high school, now you are in college, let it go, buy some nice clothes, and meet some people. You may not believe this now, but a few years from now you will realize this information was right on.
Sometimes there are questions that while we feel we ought to somehow already know the answer to, we just don’t. It happens all the time, it happens to me. The key to success isn’t so much with what you know, it is WHO you know. Having a college advisor at your finger tips can be a huge help to you as a student, to your parents, for your future. The main difference between your traditional college advisor and an independent college advisor is availability. When you need an answer about which classes to choose, which college to go to, which major to focus on, how to write a brag sheet, how to find the most financial aid… you need an independent college advisor.
Check out my website at: http://www.collegelifeplanning.com
If you’re going to college, no matter what stage of life you might be in, as a High School senior, or a 21 year old transfer student, or a 42 year old father of 3; I would love the opportunity to answer your college questions and help you chart a path for your future.
Here’s some basic information that doesn’t change much… for more help on college planning go to www.collegelifeplanning.com
Financial Aid 101
Financial aid is simply money that helps you pay for college. There are three kinds:
Grants, also called scholarships or gift aid, are the best kind of financial aid. They are free money that you don’t have to pay back. Generally, grants are awarded for one of three reasons:
Merit: The student is being rewarded for good grades, athletic skill, musical talent, etc.
Employment benefit: The student or the parent qualifies for tuition assistance through an employer. Many universities, for example, give employees’ children a break on tuition.
Loans are debts that you have to pay back and are obviously not as good grants. Some loans, such as federal Stafford and Perkins loans for students, are considered financial aid because taxpayers subsidize the rates so that students can borrow at a lower cost than they would get from a bank. A few charities and schools are even offering college loans at zero percent interest. The federal government calls its PLUS loans for parents financial aid. But many counselors note that some parents with good credit can borrow more cheaply from banks than from the PLUS program.
The federal government subsidizes some campus and nonprofit jobs for students. Generally, work-study jobs are awarded only to students who the college says are financially needy. The jobs typically don’t pay especially well. Students may find better-paying jobs off campus. But work-study jobs have advantages. Their earnings don’t reduce the student’s future financial aid awards. Their schedules coincide with the school’s. They are typically on campus, which reduces any commute hassle. And they are typically limited to fewer than 15 hours a week, so they jibe with studies showing that students who work between five and 15 hours a week actually get better grades than those who don’t work at all or work more hours.
Pay attention to this stuff, it may help save you thousands.
For more college planning help, go to www.collegelifeplanning.com
7 Ways to Cut College Costs
Does anybody else out there think it’s obscene that dozens of schools now charge more than $50,000 a year?
These price tags are frightening, but they are also largely meaningless. That’s because most families will not pay anywhere close to $50,000 for a school.
1. Don’t just look in your backyard. About one out of every three college students attends a school that’s no more than 50 miles away. And most of these schools are public institutions.
For some students, however, distant private colleges will cost less than public universities after financial aid and scholarships. My son’s best friend in San Diego, for example, will be attending Carleton College in the fall after receiving a large financial aid package from the liberal arts college in Northfield, Minn.
The price tag for Carleton College’s tuition and room and board is more than $52,000, but it will cost my son’s friend just $7,000 or $8,000 a year. That’s some deal.
2. Pay attention to graduation rates. Most families mistakenly assume that their children will graduate in four years. Fewer than 60 percent of college students graduate in six years! Always examine a school’s graduation rates and find out what it takes to get out in eight semesters. The U.S. News Best Colleges rankings and College Results Online are resources that can help you pinpoint grad rates.
3. Look for the schools with generous financial aid packages. A good place to evaluate the generosity of a school is to look at its financial aid statistics on the federal College Navigator site.
4. Obtain a preliminary EFC. Before you begin looking at schools, check what your family’s Expected Family Contribution will be. This will be the amount of money, at a minimum, that you will need to cough up for one year of college. In many cases, you will have to provide more than that figure. You can find online EFC calculators at FinAid.org and the College Board.
5. Apply for aid regardless of your income. Families that make $150,000 to $200,000 a year can sometimes qualify for significant need-based aid at pricey colleges. If you don’t file the FAFSA—and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE for some private schools—you won’t qualify for need-based help. Without completing the FAFSA, you also won’t have access to federal college loans.
6. Look for merit scholarships. At private schools, 82 percent of students receive merit aid. About two-thirds of students at public and private institutions combined receive some type of grant. An excellent resource for scholarships that colleges offer—the biggest source of college grants—is MeritAid.com.
7. Beware of reach schools. The danger of reach schools is that they often give little or no financial aid or scholarships to students who barely get in. Most schools reserve their best aid packages to the students they really covet.