People are incredibly interesting to me, especially when I look at their thought process and decision-making skills. I hear people clearly state their desired outcome and then completely contradict themselves later with their decisions or actions. Parents clearly want their kids to be successful and better off than themselves. We want our children to make better decisions about life, especially around finances. It saddens me I see a parent clearly admit they know very little or are completely overwhelmed with the college planning and selection process, and yet refuse professional guidance. , In the past, I spent time examining our process here at CPI to see if we were actually failing to instill trust in these parents by not demonstrating our ability, experience, and capability to support them efficiently. What I discovered is that it’s often a simple case of being “penny wise and pound foolish.”
This is becoming even more apparent as we become an increasingly busier society. Our time is under greater demand and there is simply not enough time to go around. So, we often turn away good advice due to lack of time or settle for bad advice because it was easy to come by.
One of the worst habits we can develop as individuals is the drive to do everything, all the time, by ourselves. Often times, when we undertake doing everything without help, we end up making a decision based upon information that we believe to be accurate but is actually wrong or false. Unfortunately, I see this happen on a regular basis with college planning and selection. For example, over 73% of the freshman class entering colleges nationwide fail to even complete the FAFSA. Or if the FAFSA is actually submitted, it is submitted inaccurately. This one single mistake can cost families thousands of dollars annually.
So the question is why do so many families make mistakes on their FAFSA? There are many reasons ranging from “I don’t where to turn for guidance” to “I don’t need help.”
Why do the vast majority of families I speak with think the above statistic doesn’t apply to them, and therefore they shouldn’t seek help?
I believe many families feel that “needing help” might mean weakness or, more importantly, is admitting lack of understanding or control. But, the reality is we all need help or support in different areas of life. There simply isn’t enough time in life to know it all and do it all. This is why building a “support team” and drawing from the synergy the team provides is so important. This is especially true in the college planning and selection process. There are simply too many facets and balls to juggle to go at it alone.
”So then how do I successfully build a team that works for me?” This is a great question and one I will address entirely in another blog post.
In the meantime, I can tell you that you definitely need a team to help you navigate the college planning and selection process successfully and it would be wise to take the first steps to building your team now. I created an incredible resource for you to use in building your college planning and selection dream team. It can be downloaded here. Remember, we are here to support your success, so give us a call anytime – even if it’s just to ask a simple question.