Don’t you just love February? Seriously, a whole month dedicated to expressing your love to that special someone. Ok, I kid, but really – what was once a single day dedicated to love has now turned into a month-long super-sized celebration of Amore. We’ve now got Valentine’s week, Propose Day, Promise Day – it never ends.

As higher ed peeps, we’d like to encourage you to put this love-fest to good use and consider how you might show some love to your favorite School Counselor and/or College Admissions Rep.

Here’s why.

In what is looking like another record year for LOW college acceptance rates, a little love could go a long way. Today, the average college application gets 8 minutes – yup, you’ll get about 8 minutes to make an impression. So, as quite a few schools, our alma mater among them, beat their chests over the inflated number of applications they’ve received, declaring your love could help move the needle from a maybe to a ‘yes.’

We’ll be talking m ore about how to do that later, but first a brief explanation of what’s
fueling the application inflation madness.

There are, of course, the usual suspects: multi-school, tech-enabled application options, social media induced peer pressure, sophisticated and targeted marketing campaigns reaching kids as early as 8th grade… and then there’s this trend: a continued lack of access to college/career guidance in many of our schools.

School administrators and counselors are under huge external pressure to see their students pursue higher education, yet they aren’t given the resources to make that happen. In fact, school counselors are being asked to do far more with a lot less (hence the need to show them a little love during the month of love).

Nowadays, there are anywhere from 491 to 1000 students to every 1 school counselor. The average public school student will receive just 38 minutes of college/career planning assistance from their school (across all 4 years)!

So when it comes to college/career planning, most students (and by proxy, their parents) aren’t getting sufficient guidance. And unfortunately those who are insufficiently guided can easily stumble into making some really poor and very costly postsecondary decisions that can have life-long implications.

Despite all of the challenges, there remains one constant in the college/career planning and funding process. Ultimately, all of the decisions (whether made in 8 minutes or 38 minutes) are still made by people. We’ve been saying this for more than a decade.

And herein lies your opportunity (or your pitfall).

In the coming months, you’ll have ample time to learn how to craft and act upon a plan that positively influences someone’s decision about you.

Among them, Spring College Fairs, Spring Break (listen to what we’ve said about what happens when what happens here winds up on your social media), Spring trips to visit college campuses and Spring meetings with your school counselor to determine next year’s classes (which we covered last month).

In this month’s lesson, guide and coaching call, we’ll be laying out a practical plan for engaging stakeholders — from the members of the admissions committee to members of your school community — to help you help your child achieve postsecondary success…and we’ll be sharing ACTUAL tales from our students who have done so successfully this year and in previous years.

For starters, you’ll find your guide to maximizing a campus visit (How to Make the Most of a College Campus Tour ) and your personal link to register for our live monthly coaching call where we’ll be discussing all of these issues on your YCC membership site. All of the information is on your Charter Club dashboard.

You’ll also get this month’s members’ guide and a training video on how to properly “demonstrate interest” in an interview, on campus or at a College Fair, without looking like a stalker.

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