Pikes Peak Test Prep

 

NEVER PAY RETAIL FOR COLLEGE:  Gaining Self-Awareness

by Beth V. Walker     posted: July 9, 2017

In my training for college funding, I learned about the importance of the expected family contribution and 529s and the use of financial aid and education tax credits.  Anything having to do with the student was the domain of the school counselor or an independent education consultant.  Now-more than a decade later - I understand that we must integrate the needs of the student (academic and social fit of the of the college) with the resources of the parent to provide a real-world solution for the family.  If we don’t take both factors into consideration, even the best collage-funding plan in the world will be derailed.  The student could change majors several times, transfer from one school to another (with lost credits not accepted by the receiving university that must be repeated), require extra years of increasingly expensive school, or, worst of all, fail to graduate at all.  

Anything we can do to help our students increase their self-awareness is worthwhile.  The same kinds of tests the military uses are critical for college and career planning.  For research and out of interest, I have tried every behavioral assessment under the sun: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Kolbe, DISC, StrengthsFinder, Holland Codes, and even handwriting analysis.  My go-to tool is the Birkman Method.  It identifies how we are hardwired, where we’re likely to thrive from a career perspective, and which majors support those career paths.  

Unless students understand who they are, what makes them tick, how we play to their strengths, and put themselves in an environment where they are likely to thrive, we are rolling the dice with our six-figure education investment.

Assessments are a terrific way to get started down the path of self-awareness and figuring out where an individual is heading.  Most importantly, it helps to answer critical life questions such as “Why am I going to college?“ and “What will I study when I get there?”