College preparation in… Kindergarten?

You read that right, folks. As college admissions trends show that college prep has hit the playground set.

Here’s the thing: I am in complete agreement that college conversation is and should be starting earlier than ever before. Does that mean we should be quizzing our 6 year-olds on SAT vocab words? No. What is does mean is that we have to live college conscience.

So many families wait until their children are late in their high school years to begin analyzing college lists, and this carries a tremendous cost. If you have not been really building your child up towards an ultimate career, a goal… then how do you expect them to figure out their lifelong journey in just one year?

I was speaking with a college counselor who works at quite the accomplished local school recently, and she gave me this tip. She said that Harvard is looking for passion. They don’t want to see an application from a high school student who decided she wanted to be a veterinarian in 10th grade and traveled to India to save an elephant in 11th grade. They want to see the 6 year old who fell in love with animals at the zoo, volunteered at a local animal shelter in junior high, researched a project on elephants in 10th grade, and went to India in 11th grade. Selective colleges in this country aren’t looking for a pre-packaged set of requirements to gain access. There is no checklist to get into an elite school: they are looking for unique drives and lifelong interest.

I encourage you, parent with young students, to start thinking now. How can you mold your child to find his/her dream? Do what Kelli Rigo’s class at Johnsonville Elementary School in rural Harnett County, N.C. does and start to research schools. Draw their mascots. Color in pictures of their grassy quads. Take a field trip to see a big, bad college campus. When you ignite the fire at a young age and give your child the power and ability to imagine themselves in college studying for a specific career, if only helps.

Believe it or not, College Planning Experts is already working with some 5th and 6th graders. If you want more information on how we can start to spark the college interest in your child, call us (661)295-9946.

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