Is Your Student Fully Prepared for College? If Not, the Consequences Can Be Costly

Updated: Apr 21


What does a student look like who is fully prepared for college or career school?

If my daughter were fully prepared, she would first have a good understanding of who she is. By that I mean she would be clear about what she brings to the table as a personality. She would be aware of her strengths and talents, her strong interests, core values and what it is that gives meaning and purpose to her life.

From this solid foundation of self-knowledge, she would have chosen a career direction, major and college, tech school or next steps that were right for her. She would also be clear about how financial aid works and how to get the scholarships she needed year after year to graduate with little or even no debt.


If she were NOT prepared, the results could be quite costly for her personally, spiritually and financially. Here are some of those consequences.


She would:

  • Arrive on campus with little self-knowledge, direction or the motivation to study and be more apt to party and waste valuable time and resources.

  • Have a 30% chance of dropping out freshman year and a 54% chance of dropping out of college after that.

  • Likely change majors the national average of 3 times and take 6 years to graduate.

  • Incur a cost for each additional year of college which averages conservatively between $25,000 and $48,000 a year.

  • Probably not have a job waiting for her in her career field, as only 14% (1 in 6) of the 2017 class actually had a job waiting for them in their field after graduation.


How, then, can students become well prepared?

They can talk to their guidance counselor. However, with the average student-to-counselor ratio in high schools being 457:1, they are usually not able to give students the one-on-one time they need to get fully prepared. Having been a counselor myself, I know that time is limited and that we usually do not have a step-by-step program nor the time needed to help students and their parents get fully prepared.

  1. They can go online and take different assessments that try and match them up with occupations that might be a good fit for them. They would then need to try and find the right sites that would give them the information they needed on each of these occupations.

  2. They could go through a college and career preparation course if it happens to be offered at their high school.

Dave Beswick, MA, lives in Maryville, TN with his wife, 2 children and 2 dogs. He is the founder of The Journeys Program, a pathfinding program with ample one-on-one mentoring to help students and adults discover who they are (their given personality, talents, enjoyments and purpose) as the foundation for discerning the career direction that's right for them. For more information, call Dave directly at 865-661-0537.

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