As avid DIY'ers ourselves, we like to believe that we can do anything on our own. It helps us feel independent and autonomous, which are all great things, but what we've learned is that when it comes to getting that "ideal" college experience that everyone wants... you need an expert. So as you are mulling over how to approach the college application process, let us tell you our top 5 reasons why hiring a Strive to Learn college counselor makes that ROI something to consider.
1. We're Experts!
While redundant, being an expert means that not only do we know what we are doing, and how to juggle several complex and independent processes that oftentimes have overlapping deadlines and unique requirements, it means we're actually in the "know" about what admissions offices are looking for. We attend conferences, follow university twitter feeds, and hold private meetings with admissions officers around the country with the specific intent to identify keywords and hidden preferences that you won't find listed on any university's website.
Look, if your car broke down suddenly, you would take it to a mechanic right? Well, when it comes to college counseling, just call us Autozone.
2. Making College Cheap Again If you think about it, finding a college that fits your child's needs, interests and aptitude will pay dividends in the end. Why? Well, look at college drop out rates: according to a USA News Article, 30% of students will drop out of college and never obtain a degree. And while surveys show that 28% of students drop out because of academic disqualification (whether it is partying too hard or struggling in their classes), 13% drop out due to "Poor Social Fit." 13%! That's huge considering that parents are often spending upwards of $30,000 per year on college tuition (money that, by the way, can't be returned). Unfortunately, some families are still paying off their children's student loans, all the way into their 60s and 70s.
We not only guide students towards colleges that match their values, interests, academic purview, and social style, we also help families acquire as much financial aid acumen as possible. From merit-based scholarships to local outside scholarships, to FASFA, to appealing that financial aid award letter, we advocate heavily on your behalf. You can think of it as a good insurance policy, we think that it's good business.
3. We Got Resources, Time, and Manpower.
We're all living in a time period where we can access unprecedented amounts of information and resources, but we can all agree that finding which ones specifically apply to you and your needs takes time and manpower, right? If you were to guesstimate how many students you could help successfully apply to college in a year, what number would that be? 10, 30, 50? How about 360?
No? Well, that's the number that our local school counselors are working with. Our local Newport Harbor High School, for example, has a 360.8:1 ratio of students to a school counselor. We can all agree that's a little insane, right? No wonder they are so dang busy!
Thankfully, at Strive to Learn, we like our sanity and intentionally limit our student to counselor ratio. We have the resources and time to customize what we deliver so that our students feel that they are being seen as unique and analogous to the one-of-a-kind beings that they are. Is your child interested in horseback riding, STEM, and quidditch? We'll help find those exact opportunities where they can explore their interests and how that fits into their college goals.
4. 3rd Party Accountability. In a sense, working with us means you're delegating the most tedious and daunting aspects of the college search and application process to an expert in the field. We do the "dirty work" for you, which means fewer feelings of frustration for parents, or kids feeling "fed up" with parents who feel that they are pushing them. The counselor-student-parent triangle means less stress and more time for families have a more explorative, reflective, and informed college application process.
5. You Get a Tribe With Strive to Learn, you not only get a dedicated advocate (your college counselor) - you get the tribe as well. As an extremely collaborative organization, we know that 2 or 4 heads are better than one. While each student's information is held in the strictest confidence to each college counselor, we powwow with each other on how to provide the best resources. We know that each of us as an individual can't be an exhaustive encyclopedia for everything, which is why we collaborate. We pool together resources and knowledge to ensure that your child gets the best thing possible.