Ever noticed that a lot of advisors, planners, and coaches answer questions with the phrase "Well, everyone is different...?"
I'll bet you're no exception - and neither am I.
From the very beginning of our college planning efforts, my son was concentrating on things that didn't make sense to me. And those things were constantly changing too. College planning, for us, was not a straight line.
At first he wanted to play on a club Water Polo team in college, and then he wanted it to be an NCAA team, and back and forth he went. He wanted a small school, and then a big school, and then a small school. He refused to go in-state, but then decided he would consider it.
Chances are, your student will go through this kind of back and forth - and that's ok. It's part of the reason CCPS is set up the way it is. We go through the decision process one step at a time and try to really get down to the bottom of what your student wants, what they need and what they can be flexible about. And then we build in flexibility to allow them to change their mind.
When it came down to building a school list, this is where he decided to apply and why -
Bucknell - He toured it and loved it, they have NCAA water polo, a good engineering program, it's in Pennsylvania, he can most likely get in, but he'll likely need private scholarships to pay for it.
Penn State - They have collegiate water polo, a good engineering program, it's in PA, he can get in, and he may not need as much in scholarships to go here.
MIT - They have the water polo, awesome engineering, and it's up north, but getting in is a long shot and he would definitely need private scholarships. If he were to get in, we may be able to use that information as leverage to appeal for more money at Bucknell or another private school.
The University of Florida - They have the best club water polo team in Florida, he could go for next to nothing (in-state), they have a great engineering program, and he wouldn't need to worry about private scholarships. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to get accepted and it has the worst trait of all (according to Parker) in that it is located in Florida.
Originally, that was the list. When going over it with a fine toothed comb - we decided to add a couple more options...
Florida State University - It has the 2nd best water polo club team in Florida and a pretty good engineering program, but it's much easier to get into.
Gannon University - It's also in PA, it has good engineering, he can get in, it will most likely be affordable, and it has a higher level NCAA water polo team than Penn State. The trick with this one will be whether or not he can make the water polo team.
Once we hear from all of these schools and get financial package information, he will be able to weigh the pros and cons against what he values the most at that time and how much effort he is willing to put into getting scholarships to make his final choice. He's already working on scholarships now in hopes that one of the schools up north will work out.
Your student's list will likely look a lot different, but the process is similar. CCPS is designed to make it easy and effective for you and your kid to build a list that reflects your wants, needs and values.
Let's do this!
Comment on this post me to find out how we can talk more about your unique needs.