The female student on the other end of the phone line said, “I’ll just shoot for the best school I can get into.”
She had already explained how successful she was at her high school. She would be graduating in May 2013 in the top 10% of her class. She was playing a varsity sport, and was earning a well-deserved athletic reputation.
Her parents sent her my way, ironically because she was too sure of what she wanted to do in college.
When I asked her about her initial plans, she said: ‘I’m going to go to Harvard and I’m going to be a doctor!’ Now there’s a powerful one-two punch. Case closed! No anxiety here.
I wasn’t fooled by her quick answer, and deep down she wasn’t either. As we talked over the course of weeks, she expressed her anxiety and uncertainty about the upcoming college choosing season. She had created a story about her life goals, but was completely uncertain about how she would get there.
Fact: In the ‘real world’ – that place out there after college – people get ahead fastest, are most successful, and are happiest when they know clearly how to state what their highest and best contribution can be. The key ingredient in knowing how you can contribute is self-knowledge.
The point: If a student’s only goal is to get into the most prestigious university (or that slight variant – the college that Dad went to) the student is overlooking the most important piece of the puzzle: herself.
Students rarely find out about themselves from taking a college course. They learn how successful they are at mastering the course material, but not necessarily about who they are.
Return on Investment
Families spend a lot of time calculating and saving for the outlay of money that college requires. Few parents realize how little it can cost to “figure out” your college major, or to discover how your talents and personality can match your career goals.
In the following article, when one considers tuition and fees by themselves, the average class at a public college is costing: $721 for a 3-unit course. At the average private college, that same course would be $2,421.
That money is wasted if a student is unaware of himself or herself. A complete assessment of personality, interests, and the Highlands Ability Battery costs a bit more than one class at the average state college: just $800.
For peace of mind about your college tuition bill, pay attention to your return on investment.