“Man, I wish they had this when I was in high school.”


One of the things we hear most often, whether we’re giving a talk at a high school, or meeting people during coffee and conversation at our Bexley office is, or even, mid-dental visit is, “Man, I wish this was available when I was in high school.”

Typically uttered by a parent, we occasionally hear it from a teacher or dental hygienist or other mentor. The reality is, there really wasn’t this kind of attention to detail in regard to college planning back in the olden days.

So often, we were left to figure it out, which means that although most of us landed on our feet, there’s plenty we feel we didn’t really know about college, or career, or college readiness back when we registered for our first SAT.

My parents would be the first to tell you that they let me sort things out on my own. They weren’t disinterested, just perhaps, unprepared for what would come next. This both engendered confidence and left me terrified. Since they assumed I was capable, shouldn’t I just continue on as if I were?

Lucky for me, I had a number of people in my corner, especially my terrific guidance counselor. Understanding my family’s invisible contribution to my education, I was kindly but firmly encouraged to seek more affordable options.

With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that I might’ve benefited from more targeted career development. I ‘knew’ what I planned to do, but it would’ve been nice to see my plan to study psychology morph into public health or play therapy or any number of fields I was suited to.
To my knowledge, no one ever asked if I had what it takes to complete 8 years of school (and honestly, at 16? I’m not sure what my answer might’ve been).

It’s what I like so much at IN College Planning. We take any interest your student expresses and really explore what it might mean in the larger world. In addition to the advisor (who really does have your back) we work as a collaborative, with weekly team meetings dedicated to finding great fit options for kids who are working hard to find their place. There’s also IN’s Slack, which is typically buzzing with new info and clarifications about changes to programming, or new built-to-suit ideas for kids who know what they want, they just don’t know where to find it.

When I lead our Common App essay camps, I devote the first 20 minutes or so to refining our brand. So much of what we offer in an essay is a rare glimpse of who we actually are. This quick set of questions, (What are you passionate about?/Name your greatest attributes/What do you know more about than the people around you?/and How are you unique/different?) is designed to remind kids that they are SO much more than their grades and test scores. You can be 4.2/33 Julia, who loves a good accordion solo, or 3.7/1290 Miguel, who finds his moment of zen behind a lawnmower. If we allow these seniors to explore, they find their place at the forefront of astrobiology, geobotany, or maybe, like me, as the educational consultant for The Children’s Television Workshop.

At IN College Planning, we don’t limit, we magnify so the limitless options available are on display. If, like me, you too wish you had this when you were in high school…call us! We’d love to help your student plan an amazing future in Boston, Burundi, or even…on the street.



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