What is your window of opportunity

February 4, 2011

College Window of Opportunity

by J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick)

As I write this in February, families with high school juniors need to act right now as the window of opportunity is closing quickly.

The entire myth that it is difficult to get into college is exactly that, a myth. A search for a client came up with 312 4-year colleges (not community colleges) across the US that have a 100% acceptance ratio. This means, if a kid graduates high school regardless of grades and applies to one of these colleges they will get in.

Now getting aid at one of these colleges is a different matter all together.  I am talking about students who barely graduate high school and have a 2.0 GPA or less. There is a college out there for them.

For students who have a 3.0 to 4.0+ GPA, these students have greater options. Identifying colleges early on in the game (as early as the freshman year) and getting on a college’s radar early is a critical move in the college game and one step closer to getting financial aid.

As a high school junior, there is limited time to mold the student’s extracurricular and school activities so they attract the attention of colleges and universities, not to get into college but to get aid. (Of course this is an easier task with high school freshman and sophomores as there is more time to invest in these activities.)

One sure fire way to annoy College Admission Directors is to have too many activities or sporadic activities that don’t boost your overall high school resume. Many kids have joined clubs or activities for the singular purpose to impress College Admission Directors.

Frankly, these students are not the first ones who have attempted this strategy. In fact, College Admission Directors see literally hundreds of students attempt this façade. In some cases College Admission Directors have refused admittance to their institution as they see this as a character flaw.

College Admission Directors look for students with passion, leadership, someone who will overall help to build the character of the incoming college freshman class. And if they identify you early on in the process and decide you are the perfect fit for their student body, they will do whatever they can to recruit you. A college can and does entice a student to attend their institution with scholarships.

A student can be molded into a great college candidate, a candidate that colleges love to recruit. When colleges compete over recruiting a student, wonderful and magical things happen. This is why some colleges hand out huge scholarship packages to some students and nothing to others.

For families with high school freshman and sophomores, it is equally important to develop a game plan and systematizing the college process. The process can be fun and made into a game.  

As I look at my own children, it seems that only a short while ago when my daughter was 3 years old, we were getting kicked out of Toys R Us for driving the Pink Barbie Jeeps up and down the aisles. This year at age 18, in a few short months she will be heading off to college in Seattle. 

Do you want to discover the secrets to unlocking aid and playing the college game to win? Then you must attend one of my workshops. workshops

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