Talking to one’s children about college is stressful. Whenever I give talks in our Connecticut offices about the subject, heads nod when I say that line.
Parents don’t walk to talk about the subject because thoughts of their baby leaving the nest are sad. Children don’t want to talk about college because they know the subject often correlates with a lecture on what they need to do to gain admission.
Moreover, the college process is a bit mystifying to students. They do not fully understand how significant leaving home is in terms of their life story. Going to college is the most common child to adult transition for suburban America. Getting that step right is critical. Controlling college choice is the best way that students can ensure that they make a positive adult transition. SAT prep is likely the number one thing that students can do junior year to ensure that they are in control of their college choice.
Among the reasons our SAT class has been so successful is our ability to shift the motivation of our students. Emotional state is a significant predictor for how much effort the student puts into an activity. Shifting our students to a positive emotional state where they are excited – or at least interested – in doing well on the SAT has enabled our students to outperform all the national franchises that have set up shop in Connecticut. Through the years, countless students have reported to their parents that they finally understood why they should work hard on test prep after coming to our seminar.
While we can’t guarantee that talking about college will not be stressful after our SAT seminar, many parents have reported that it is much less so.