The billion dollar reason to make sure your teen’s college is the right fitJanuary 14, 2015
You fantasize and agonize over your child’s first day of school. Will she be an enthusiastic learner or fade into the background like an academic wallflower? Will he find his tribe and make several lifelong friends or become a lonely misfit? Will she rule her new environment or wish the time away until she comes home?
No, it’s not the first day of kindergarten parental jitters, though the anxiety attack feels strangely familiar. Looking back, it’s easy to feel ridiculous about putting yourself, and your child, through such needless worry. Sure, he was shy for the first few days. But one plate of cookies shared with all of his new "friends” at recess made his social stock go up overnight. And somehow academics and playground politics fell into place, which is how your child arrived at this milestone of applying for college. So why stress now?
Because the stakes are higher this time. Much higher.
We’re talking writing-a-check-for-tens-of–thousands-of-dollars-and-she-may-boomerang-back-home-permanently-and-be-perpetually-unemployed-higher. It happens for a variety of reasons - some preventable and some unforeseen.
lClick the image to expand the infographic and see the full financial impact of dropping out, which can amount to billions of dollars in lost wages and subsequently, tax revenue.
After hyperventilating over that possibility, check out Admittedly. While high school seniors are anticipating responses from colleges and universities, high school juniors are revving up for an overwhelming college search. Even sophomores and freshman who enjoy the luxury of a little more time can benefit from early exploration of high learning.
Like finding the right mate, there are so many factors that go into ensuring the right “chemistry” between a school and its students.
With thousands of options, it’s impossible to visit every potential college or university. GPA, SAT or ACT test scores and extra-curricular activities like sports and the arts will narrow your options.
But how do you weigh student compatibility with the less tangible characteristics of a school? Does your son or daughter prefer a school that emphasizes Greek life? How do they feel about college sports dominating the campus culture? What if you send your liberal student to a conservative campus? Will it be a clash of values? Is your son or daughter at home at a faith-based school? Will he or she relish a school that emphasizes research participation and co-op programs over community service and social activism?
The founders of Admittedly, Jessica Brondo-Davidhoff and Emily Cole, with respective backgrounds in College Planning and Psychology, created a gamified, student/college matching algorithm. Admittedly’s task is just as ambitious as the over 100K college-bound students it serves. But it handles the challenge deftly, casually querying users about personal preferences like the weather, how they like to spend their free time, campus vibe, student body size and affiliations, and faculty engagement. Admittedly churns out a match list with feasibility rankings attached to each college or university, based on each student’s GPA and test scores.
From there, the real fun begins, as any high school senior (or their parents) will tell you. There’s an art to applying to multiple schools. A student applying to half a dozen or more colleges can easily have a to-do list of 25+ critical deadlines. It’s an overwhelming project, even for the most organized students and hands-on parents. That’s why private college consulting is a booming industry. Admittedly’s Application Manager takes the wheel and creates your student’s college app to-do list. Even for families working with a college consultant, having an interactive roadmap feels reassuring.
Grown-ups feast on algorithms, linear to-do lists and probability rankings. But again, what about the starry-eyed students who will be force-fed the real world in less than a year? Admittedly has something to relieve their anxiety attacks too – peers and mentors. Admittedly’s hyper-social users have fielded nearly 5M Q&A’s, with empathetic students doling out well-timed advice. College students also rank each school on multiple categories (dorms, food, weekend life…) and overall campus personality.
High school seniors will soon learn, like their wise and weathered parents, that there are no certainties in life. But good guidance can navigate some of the uncertainty, and help place you on the right path.
Try Admittedly for free and get your kids on the college track.
Amy von Kaenel is a highly enthusiastic Thrively Amabassador. She’s been a veteran of the tech industry for two decades, wearing dual hats in market intelligence and marketing strategy. Amy’s co-authored industry reports on Smartphone Enterprise and mHealth technology. Her organization, Tech Coast Consulting, has served Global 2000 and start-up organizations in both the tech and healthcare industries. Amy holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of California Irvine.