I love March Madness. For the next two weeks, I will be glued to my television watching as much as I can of the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments. Yes, I am a sports fan to the fullest, but more than that, I get to learn about colleges I may be unfamiliar with or refresh my memory about certain schools and their academic programs.
Yes, while watching the game or as I fill in my bracket, I will think about all 68 teams and how they help students. I will think about their STEM programs, international business courses, and dining services. And of course, I will think about their respective admissions processes.
I strongly suggest that you try this with your son or daughter:
- Look at the brackets for both the men and the women and circle every school you have heard of.
- With a map of the United States next to you, locate each school by region and/or state. Once you have a cluster of schools in what you believe is a desired state(s) or region(s), list them on a piece of paper.
- Go to each of those school’s websites and explore the desired academic programs for your child. If you do not know what that might be, contact us and we can help you with a Strategy Session and assessment. Consider their core academic offering and, of course, review their admission requirements.
- Whittle down the list based on region, academic programs, and possible admissibility and do as much online research as possible. The Fiske Guide — which is accessible to all of our students via our Customized College Plan software — will highlight schools that are similar, of which you can research as well. If you think Baylor might be a good match for your child, maybe SMU is as well. If Notre Dame is the ideal, do not overlook Villanova and Boston College.
With college staring us in the face for the next two weeks, use this time as a way to introduce new schools or have conversations about preferences for location and campus culture. Many students want to go to a school that has a chance to win a national basketball title. Many do not. This is a way to ignite the conversation and get information and impressions out of your kid. Make it fun. Make March Madness!