What you will learn:
–What has changed with how scholarship committees review applicants
–How career guidance is a critical part of creating a competitive portfolio
–How delaying career guidance until after high school is unnecessary
–There is a career guidance method facilitating scholarship money access
It used to be that if you had a 4.0/4.0 GPA, did some community volunteer work, and were in a few high school clubs, you could earn significant college scholarship money. All you had to do was write a strong essay and talk about these accomplishments. Things have radically changed!
As I have been working very closely with scholarship and college admissions staff, here is what they tell me: all applicants have very high GPAs and resumes full of activities. Those elements are no longer distinguishers. Now, THE distinguisher is what major creative projects have you been involved in. Now, committees are looking for applicants who show drive, vision, and have some sort of intellectual product or independent project proving their uniqueness.
The applicants who make it into the final cut have all of the old success elements, but also have done something unique. This could involve a significant artistic and/or scientific product (e.g., developed a new marketable idea). Committees now are looking for signs of driven innovation vs. membership in clubs. The bar is much higher now. Committees want visionaries!!
There are a variety of reasons for this, including as follows: population growth=more competition, less scholarship money due to lower enrollment numbers, and higher prevalence of high achieving adolescents. And there is another key factor, and I will call it the “Shark Tank” effect; more adolescents are becoming entrepreneurs or at least leading a project. Adolescents have more tools and “business how to” videos available than ever before. There are more successful adolescent entrepreneurs now than any time in the history of the world! A middle aged parent just informed me that a nineteen-year-olds is running a major department at her technology company.
Adolescents have 24/7 access to 1,000’s of videos that can help them take their idea to market, or into the realm of Science or the Arts. That is why watching Shark Tank with your child is a great idea, as I talk about in my past blog on this topic. Creative Innovation is the new Golden Ticket to scholarship money.
For a deeper dive into truly innovative adolescents, read this article on 13 amazing youngsters who are each millionaires.
Career guidance as a critical pathway to High Dollar scholarship money
Amidst this reality of young folks doing more earlier on, you cannot realistically expect your adolescent to stand out because they are in the Debate Club in high school. The smartest parents I am working with get this New Reality. At least half of my career guidance clients are in high school, because human personality has solidified enough by high school that credible career guidance can occur. Solid social science research supports my perception.
In fact, Low et al (2005), in their peer reviewed article The Stability of Vocational Interests from Early Adolescence to Middle Adulthood: A Quantitative Review of Longitudinal Studies, found that vocational interests are highly stable in high school and remain so even after the college years. In other words, while changes to our biological age often mean humans have different mindsets at different stages, interests are relatively stable over time. In fact, there is substantial research indicating interests seem to be the most stable of all psychological constructs (Hansen, 2005). I will be discussing this further in my upcoming career guidance book to be released this winter.
The problem is adolescents have a myriad of interests, and you need to guide them to develop the “right” interest that will be part of their future, not just a “one off”. You want them to stand out for the scholarship committee, but also invest their time developing an idea that will crtically relate to their professional future.
How do you do that? You have them undergo a credible career guidance methodology that ensures all their interests are scrupulously scrubbed to ensure the student develops a clear sense of what kind of project would not only earn them scholarship money, but also give them a head start on figuring out what they are truly meant to do for a sustainable living.
Traditional career guidance is a superficial combination of personality assessment and casual self reflection exercises. Meanwhile there is a New Kid on the Block redefining career guidance for the next generation: Precisely Engineered Career Guidance (PECG)™. PECG is the kind of method that X-rays the full array of personality factors such that the individuals Fusion Sweet Spots are identified and channeled.
Bottom line: If you want to give your student the best chance of earning scholarship money, have them undergo career guidance in high school. That way, your student can display more than the basic scholarship credentials; they can show they have a firmly rooted sense of Vision, and in fact have already begun showing proof of their Vision through a creative innovation of some kind.
And by having your adolescent go through career guidance in high school, it is a win-win, because whether they get the scholarship money, you will avoid paying $930.00 per college credit hour (the cost here at the University of Arizona) and later have your adolescent tell you they are changing their major, which equals wasted economic dollars.
By the way, college students change their major anywhere from 2-6 times, on average.
By having your hgh schooler undergo credible career guidance, you are doing three wise things:
–maximizing scholarship potential
–ensuring college selection (or a certification training pathway) is based on deeply researched data, not educated guesses
–minimizing wasted educational dollar investment