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Have you asked “Why” lately

Have you asked “Why” lately

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Published by Jeanmarie Keller
I had a conversation with a student and his mom the other day. It just came about in passing — they’re not clients of mine (they should be, but that’s for another time). While we were chit-catting while waiting in a very slow moving line…he mentioned he wanted to apply to Penn State — was absolutely in love with it.
I had a conversation with a student and his mom the other day. It just came about in passing — they’re not clients of mine (they should be, but that’s for another time). While we were chit-catting while waiting in a very slow moving line…he mentioned he wanted to apply to Penn State — was absolutely in love with it.

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Published by: Jeanmarie Keller on Jan 26, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Have you asked “Why?” lately?

I had a conversation with a student and his mom the other day. It just came about in passing — they’re not clients of mine (they should be, but that’s for another time). While we were chit-catting while waiting in a very slow moving line…he mentioned he wanted to apply to Penn State — was absolutely in love with it. So, I asked one simple question: “Why?” And he was rendered speechless. He couldn’t articulate ANYTHING significant about Penn State. He couldn’t describe what program was so attractive to him — he didn’t even have a major picked out yet. This illustrates an important, often-forgotten step when it comes to building a Smart Plan For College™ — you’ve got to ask “WHY?”! When you don’t ask this vital question, your college plan is in danger of failing before it even starts. Here’s why… Without getting real answers to the questions of why, you have no real foundation for your college plan. You need the answers to these questions and they have to be your (or your student’s) reasons. You (students, not parents) must assume responsibility for their choices and the consequences of those choices. It’s your life. It’s crucial for your development into a happy, successful adult. If your parents are always rescuing you, you’re not growing. At some point you need to succeed or fail on your own. Parents if you don’t allow your student to do this, you’re going to be a “helicopter parent” for a very long time, always “hovering” to rescue your child instead of letting them figure it out for themselves. This isn’t healthy. Do you really want to still be rescuing your child when he or she is 45 because you don’t let them learn these lessons now? Are there times when they need guidance? Absolutely. But taking over or just pretending all is okay will not help them. The solution? Let them take the initiative. If they don’t take initiative, you must let them feel the results of that. How you can help them is just by asking them “Why?” in a non-nagging way. Just ask a simple “Why are you having trouble getting this done?” Getting honest answers to “Why” questions will help your student take responsibility and take full advantage of the extraordinary gift and opportunity you’re willing to provide them with a college education. It’ll help you keep from paying too much for college, too. Your Smart Plan For College™ Assignment: Students, ask yourself “WHY?” questions throughout the entire college process. It’s so important and you don’t want to shy away from them and pretend all is “okay back at the ranch” — it’ll just make this all even harder.

Ask questions like:
• • •

Why do I really want to go to college? Why do I want to major in xyz? Why do I want to go to __________ college?

And really be honest with yourself and your parents! Parents, you need to encourage your student to ask these questions – and be willing to listen to and live with - the answers. If your student says he or she wants to study something like “Latin”, first ask “Why?” After hearing the reasons, if you still don’t want to pay for that, you can say that (and mean it). Which means then letting your student live with the decision and it’s consequences. If your student really wants to pursue Latin, he or she will find a way. If he or she doesn’t find a way to make it happen, you have to let them live with the choice(but not necessarily in your house.

Jeanmarie Keller has helped thousands of students get into colleges they love while making sure their parents save a fortune on the bill. Jeanmarie is the creator of the Smart Plan For College System which teaches her client-families how to get noticed in the admissions office, get in at the colleges right for them and how to get the money they need to help pay the bill. To receive Jean's weekly email newsletter and Jean's free CD: How To Find Cash For College, subscribe today at http://www.JeanKeller.com

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