CASH FOR COLLEGE NEWSLETTER College Bound Cash Box 45484 Westlake, OH 44145 Phone: 440-263-1575 Toll Free: 888-799-4410 www.collegeboundcash.com
“Resources For Academic Assistance: How To Help Your Student Improve And/Or Maintain Performance” Dear Parent, Midwinter is upon us, and this can be a tough time of year for students wherever you live – even if the weather is nice! This might be because the middle of the term or semester, especially after the holidays, can really start to seem to last forever… and it is not uncommon for students to start to have some struggles at this time of year. Of course, academic challenges can strike at any time of the school year, depending on each individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. Because scholastic achievement is so important to the college bound high school student, it becomes incredibly important for parents and students alike to understand the things that they can do to keep that Grade Point Average high, or increase it if things have been going a bit rougher at some point. Remember that the college admissions committees often look very highly on students who have shown the ability to trend upward in their academic performance, which means that many students may start out slower, with lower scores, but end up doing just great and getting accepted to a fantastic college or university! The difference maker for these students was almost invariably the things that they did to improve their learning and academic performance during the high school years, and they may vary from student to student. There are several options available that can be utilized by students of all stripes to maintain or improve academic performance. It is important to bear in mind that these resources can help students who start off poorly and want to get better to boost their opportunities for college application and admissions… but they can also be used by high academic achievers to maintain and even increase performance.
********** With that in mind, we are pleased now to present some of the important different resources that your child can take advantage of during high school. The good thing about these resources is that they can often be of some help regardless of whether your child is currently struggling or not… remember that improved learning is a goal for all students, and not only those who are having some academic difficulties at some point along the road. Creating Effective Study Groups If you think back to your own studies, it isn’t that hard to recall that constantly studying on your own can be frustrating sometimes. If you have a question about something, it can sometimes be difficult to find the answer by yourself. That is why studying with others in a group can be quite rewarding, assuming that the group is a good one! There are several benefits to working with other students and joining in a strong study group. Some of these will include the following: 1) Quizzing each other – When students are working together in a group, there is opportunity to ask each other questions that would be impossible to do when students are working solo. They can also quiz each other on questions and bounce ideas off of each other, not to mention keeping things interesting for each other. This can be an enlightening and invigorating way to learn material. Suddenly, the work comes to life and there can be stimulating discussions that can develop as a result. Students are often surprised by how much information they have actually retained from the classroom after they have joined in a study group. This demonstrates the situation where it is nearly impossible to find out how much is remembered from class until someone asks you about it! 2) New learning ideas - Another benefit is that your child can learn from discovering other students’ learning ideas. Your child may observe how other students learn and their ideas and it may help to boost his or her own study habits and learning ideas. A good study group also can offer some positive peer pressure for learning and performing well at school. (However, note that excessively competitive study groups are often counter-productive for students and should be avoided.) 3) Stronger support – If your child gets involved with the right type of study group, they may also benefit from the students supporting and encouraging each other through the process. Students can help and complement each other in areas where some are stronger and others are weaker. The moment that your child sees that he or she is able to play a role in helping others to understand a concept, there is a joy developed in learning that cannot easily be matched. 4) Better grades – Your child may find the biggest benefit to joining with other students to study is that his or her grades improve. The stronger learning environment helps students to remember the material better. And in addition, this will only help your child’s chances of getting in the college that s/he wants to attend. Working With Academic Tutors 2
There is a lot of academic ground to cover in high school. Some classes are harder than others, and when your child needs an extra boost in one area it should not be considered a permanent liability. There are plenty of resources out there that are designed to help your child in whichever area is needed in order to increase understanding and help to make the grade. A good tutor can make all the difference in that regard. Effective academic tutors are terrific allies for your child, whether they are fellow high school students, college-age students, or even adult professionals. These tutors can help to support and offer guidance in areas that have traditionally proven to be a bit more difficult for your child. Before you decide to find a tutor, of course, you should first evaluate which areas might need assistance. Sometimes a lack of motivation is a determining factor, as opposed to actual understanding of the material, so it could be worth having a chat with a teacher if there are some concerns noted early on. However, ideally your first indication of a challenge will come from your child. If s/he tells you that there are difficulties in certain classes, or if they show up on the report card unexpectedly, then it is time to intervene at some level. If then it is determined that there are some academic hardships for your child then it is time to seriously consider finding someone to help bolster your child’s learning efforts. You can also have a discussion with your child’s teacher for suggestions on how to better relay the material. Some excellent teachers will take an interest in helping a motivated student, and there are some who are willing to spend some extra time outside of class to assist your child. Note that this can be the case both for students who need some additional help, and for those who are showing exceptional abilities in a subject, by the way. In addition to teachers, there are different types of tutors that may be available to help your child. You can find a tutor that can work one on one with your child in your home or at school, or you may even find tutors that are available to work online. Again, tutors come in all age groups, and some students will respond better to an older tutor than to a peer who is gifted in an academic discipline… and some students see better results the other way around! The key is to find the right match for your child’s situation. If you are wondering where to find quality tutors, you can begin by asking your child’s teacher or teachers. They may be the most reliable source for finding someone that can help your child. If you belong to a church, synagogue, or social community, there may also be resources there that are able to provide some insight on who can help tutor your child. Finding Academic Learning Companies There is also a complete professional industry that is related to helping students of all ages in increasing their academic performances, both for their grades in the classroom and also focusing on standardized testing (SAT and ACT exams, especially). Yes, these companies can cost money… but if the funds are available to be invested you will find many of them offer outstanding training tailored to the needs of the student. However, it is absolutely vital that parents (and students) complete due diligence in finding the best options for their money and effort. 3
Take the time to speak with guidance counselors, teachers, other parents, and learning company staffers to seek out the best options for your student’s needs. There is no question that these options can help, but if you decide to make the investment then be sure that it is a solid one that will lead to the results you seek. ********** Remember that the middle of winter, which falls in mid-term, is no time for academic hibernation for the college-bound high school student! We urge you to remain aware of the signs of academic burnout, and be prepared to use whatever resources mentioned above will make the most sense for your student. We are here to help with suggestions if needed on the academic front, but every bit as importantly, we are also here for parents as you prepare for the financial aspects of college preparation for the parents. Just as we urge you to remain involved in the scholastic achievements of your college-bound student, consider taking a look at our no-obligation, informational free report chock full of details about how to most effectively handle the ever-increasing financial aspects of universities and colleges. This is especially important in times of economic uncertainty, because the costs of higher education are not decreasing! This free report has been written specifically for the parents of college-bound students and covers a wide variety of important topics. With the many challenges that are inherent to this process, you will find that the information provides a series of excellent points for consideration as you look at the task of paying for college. For your own free copy of this report, please don’t hesitate to call our toll free 24-hour line at 888-799-4410. In addition to the written word, however, we are also proud to be a hands-on provider of information and advice as the time approaches for specific college funding information. According to recent attendees, one of the most valuable resources for families who are sending kids to college is our College Funding Workshop. This is a no-obligation, reserved-seating seminar that provides parents with an opportunity to process and understand the information needed to optimize college funding opportunities. Again, however, seating is reserved because of the kind of workshop that this is, and seats are limited for every presentation. We are able to provide excellent insights in this forum, and much more information is available than we can pack into a brochure. If you would like information about upcoming locations, meeting times, and other particulars, or to reserve a seat in the next College Funding Workshop, call our reservation line today at 440-263-1575. We look forward to meeting you! Until next month…
James E. Eastwood, CIS, CFP®
Informational college newsletter about college financial planning.