Today there is keen competition among colleges and universities to attract the very best students to reach their goal for incoming classes. All institutions, public and private, must have a full class without lowering standards. Students are competing as well. There are only so many dollars available at each school for financial assistance and when the account is empty, no more will be given out. It is still true that the students most desired by the school will receive the best financial aid packages.
Recipents or Purchasers
Most students and their families have grown up with the understanding that a college education is a privilege and they should be grateful for the opportunities it provides. But we must change our thinking. Parents, your son or daughter is a valuable commodity to a college. There should be competition among schools so students can make the choice that suits them best. Understand that parents and students are purchasers of higher education and that entitles them to shop around and look for the best education for the best possible price.
Difficulty in comparison shopping
At least 80 percent of the 4-year colleges and universities in the USA are actively seeking students. The others are overwhelmed with applicants – you know who many of them are – and they can be very selective about who they admit and how much financial aid they offer. But 8 out of 10 need students! Still, finding a match with the right school is no easy task. Searching online is a place to start but the amount of information to sift through is enormous! Where do you begin?
Because of limited experience with colleges many families don’t know what’s out there. They know one or two major state schools in their region, some top private schools here and there, and the major schools featured on television. In between there are many outstanding locations for higher learning. Don’t restrict your vision.
No one to help
The high school guidance personnel are often given hundreds of students as their responsibility. Some receive attention because of negative behavior; some receive special attention for positive reasons but it is unusual for a Guidance Counselor to be able to help a student research and select a school, let alone prepare a professional profile for the student.
No way for a student to be presented
Students are not accustomed to marketing themselves. A letter of introduction or inquiry and an essay is the best many can do. Sending a professionally prepared profile to Admissions officers nationwide is not practical for most students.