Does NOT have to be Overwhelming 

Investing is your child’s future with a 529 College Savings Plan or Roth IRA can be helpful tools in off-setting the cost of college. If junior does not attend college, the investment returns to the parents. That being said, not everyone has the means and foresight to invest in such a fund.

That’s okay. The federal (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and our state government (OSAC) have plenty of resources to help families pay for the cost of college including the Oregon Promise Grant for students attending community college in Oregon for 2 years to obtain a certificate, degree or to transfer to a 4-year university.

Help with the College Application Process

Yes, there is much information; it can be daunting and overwhelming. By hiring a professional IEC (Independent Educational Consultant) and/or CEP (Certified Educational Planner), it can help the student and family navigate the college admissions process. The IEC/CEP will present the information in a comprehensive, straight forward way. By hiring an IEC, it may greatly reduce the stress and anxiety that families and students endure before, during, and after the college admissions process. An IEC may help the student and family to determine what path to take and which institutions would best meet their needs, if any.

The recent college admissions scandal continues to instill fear and anxiety in the college admissions process. The focus need be one of positivity and excitement and acceptance need be based on merit! All of the questions parents and students have can be answered. There is no secret formula or mystery to be solved. The process does have many moving parts, but like anything, knowledge is power and learning about how to address these questions is the first step in facing the truth about the college admissions process and how to approach it.

Hire a Professional

Just as one would hire a lawyer or an accountant to assist with legal issues or taxes, so can an independent educational consultant help a student and family through the college application process. Here’s the kicker, at least for this IEC: the student must be actively involved in this process. Although the parents are the clients paying for the services, it is the responsibility of the student to do the work and the support of an IEC to advise and get them through the process.

I’m not dismissing the question of cost or financial planning regarding the college process, it is an important piece and something that need be taken into consideration. Why not begin from a place of positivity and spin the fear into excitement? Anxiety into enthusiasm? Stress into relief? And, knowing that by having a plan and making the effort, the mountain of details associated with college admissions is not a scary monster or a boogey man lurking in the closet.

Students and parents—like most people—want simple solutions, straightforward answers, and a clear path on the road to college admissions. It can be achieved; I’ll bring my flashlight!