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College Preparation for Students:

Students planning for college

It’s an exciting time! Thinking about a new school, new friends … but it can also be a bit overwhelming for many as this is most probably the biggest decision you have made in your life thus far!

Without a doubt, where you go to college will have a major impact on your life. What you learn while there, the experiences you have, as well as the many new friends you make will most likely play a significant part in the rest of your life.

You want to make sure you make the best choice possibly and get accepted in the ‘perfect’ college for you. You may already have read some books, talked to some friends, and even spoken to you High School counselor. All of these can be good resources but you need more. You need a coach, a partner, that is there with you all the way to not only offer answers to your current questions but help you though the questions you have yet to ask. Finding the right college can be a lot of fun, especially when you have someone to guide you through the maze!

Here at Project-College we realize how important these decisions are to you and are committed to helping in your success. In order to do so, you should view this as both a learning process and a partnership, as both are most definitely necessary for success.

The first, and the most important step is to ‘get to know’ you THE STUDENT! Your motivations, passions, concerns, objectives (both short and long term), career aspirations, as well as many other characteristics must be identified, understood, and confirmed. Next, we will spend time with your parents to better understand their thoughts and expectations. Often the two ‘sets of expectations’ are not aligned initially and it is very important at the beginning of our partnership to make sure they are, or at least ‘complimentary’.

All of that information will help lay the foundation to what will later be a customized Plan that will maximize your chances of success. In addition, we will review various questions with you to help refine the results of our final recommendations.

Below are just some of the questions that will be posed in these processes, depending on which services you have chosen. These examples are offered here to provide you a better understanding of the step-by-step methodology that we employ.

Why are you going to college? This may seem like a very simple question, but it rarely is. We make sure that we address this question from all directions and include all relevant viewpoints, as the final answer can be critical in determining all the steps that will follow....READ MORE

What are you expecting from a college? Here we attempt to uncover all viewpoints, as expectations can often be very personal. We also try to answer this question from three aspects… What are you expecting from the college before you attend, while you are attending, and once you graduate?

How will you choose and get accepted to the best college(s) for you? There are a lot of schools out there and even more students trying to get into those schools! To succeed here we focus on ‘choice’ and ‘acceptance’. For ‘choice’ we need to determine what colleges are the best fit for you. For ‘acceptance’, now that we know what colleges are targeted, we need to create a comprehensive Plan that will maximize your chances of being accepted into each and every college on their list. (It always easier for you to say ‘No’ than the college).

For those reasons, this question is all about planning and preparation. The more time you have, the better your chances of success. This is why we suggest the student beginning their ‘College Preparation’ process in their freshman year in High School.

How will you best pay for that college? First we try to better understand your financial situation and goals, now and at the time you will enter college. Next we try to clear up the many misconceptions that exist (such as ‘Private Schools are always more expensive’, ‘Financial aid is never available to me’, ‘You have to be an ‘A’ student or ‘Sports Hero’ to get a scholarship’ … and so on) Next, we work with you and your parents to identify all the possible alternatives available to meet your financial goals. Finally, we will narrow down the set of ‘possible alternatives’ to a set of realistic recommendation, which will also include all the steps necessary to obtain those recommendations. ...READ MORE

How will you succeed in college? Congratulations, you’re in college! Now what? Here we try to better prepare you for the new challenges that you will encounter once you start college.

One of the most important things for any college student is to fully understanding what resources are available at the college: This may be the campus health center, the counseling center, academic support services, the financial aid office, your residence hall staff, the dean of students office, your professor(s), or anywhere else on campus that offers student support services. Regardless of your situation, however, there is undoubtedly somewhere on campus who can help connect you to the support you need.

Other questions that may come up are: What do I do now that I am living on campus away from home? How to handle difficult college courses? My roommate is impossible, what do I do? How do I handle my money? Should I join any clubs? How do I handle my schedule? …I want to go home!

Your understanding your ‘support network’ and being better prepared so that you can solve your problems as they come up (and they most definitely will come up) can be as important as all the effort you have made up to this stage to get them accepted in that college!

At Project-College, our processes maximize the number of options you will have and thereby results in a more successful outcome. In short, we help you to remove much of the uncertainty about ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ and instill a sense of confidence and calm as you move from the selection to acceptance to college success!

We look forward to working with you

Stephen Murray, PMP, CPM, MBA

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