Most college preparation is focused on grades, standardized tests and applications. And while those are important, it does nothing to solve a big problem: only 59 percent of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree graduate within six years (U.S. Department of Education).
We are preparing our students to get into college, not graduate. And even more importantly, we are not preparing them for a successful life. They need to do two things to dramatically increase their chances of success:
1) Gain Self-Awareness
As I talk about in chapter 4 of Never Pay Retail for College, we need to help our college-bound students figure out their talents and interests. Consciously focusing on what they like (not what we want them to like) and where their natural talents lie, is a great start.
This helps them choose a major and career that is a good fit, know what they need to be successful, and gain the self-confidence necessary to succeed in college. I talk about this in more detail in the book and in the blog post: Help Your Student Avoid College Major Regret
2) Get the Right Mindset
The first thing to remember is that getting into college is not the goal. What we really want is for our child is a great education so he or she can have a productive, satisfying future. In chapter 5 of the book, I talk about the different specific mindsets to work on. However, the key is to remember that your student needs to take ownership for his or her education, both in the classroom and in life.
When students are self-aware and bring the right mindset, the likelihood that they will complete their undergraduate degree on time and on budget increases dramatically. And, it should help prepare them for a productive, satisfying life.