Building all the paths...

What Prospective Students Want to Know while College Planning

The three things that every prospective student wants to know when college planning during their first interaction with any admissions department:

1. What programs does this college offer?

2. What is the cost of attending this school?

3. What career outcomes can I look forward to after completing said programs?

The reason these questions are so vital to each student is that they are looking for a return on their investment. The investment of their time, talents, and financial resources. These encompass their most precious commodities. Prospective students and bill-payers don’t just want a plan: they need a plan.

  • a plan to get to college
  • a plan to get through college
  • a plan to turn a degree into livelihood success

A college degree is not easy to obtain. Many families plan together for years to assist young adults in their college ventures. Many times, industrious students wait, save, and dream, long before being ready to tackle the challenge of a post-secondary degree. No matter how one goes about it, college takes effort.

If students can definitively envision a future that they can be excited about, the work to build that future becomes much more appealing. As potential students come to realize that they have more control in shaping their future than they thought possible, the style of their engagement in the college and career-planning process transforms. They are empowered.

Admissions Teams Need to Learn More About Prospective Students

The questions these students raise are complex, and valuable responses need to be tailored to each student. Walking up to a college fair table, or sitting through an admissions presentation, will only answer these queries in part. To paint a complete picture, an admissions counselor needs to truly get to know each prospective student:

  • Out of the dizzying myriad of possible majors, minors, and combinations offered by your institution, what would pique the interest of this particular student?
  • What can this individual student handle in academic/program rigor?
  • How will this unique student feel satisfied and happy in a future career?

To give detailed, thoughtful, answers about programs, costs, and career outcomes, it seems as if an admissions counselor would have to spend a significant amount of time with each and every potential applicant. Between high school visits, college fairs, admissions reading, tours and presentations, interviews, and campus events, most admissions departments are stretched for time and workforce power as it is.

  • What if an admissions department could get to know a prospective student on a personal and focused level – in under 15 minutes?
  • What if you could gather all of the relevant data to not only encourage an application, but a connection that translates into enrollment, attendance, timely-graduation, and post-graduate satisfaction
  • What if a student could give you this information right from her phone?

With Awato, all of this is possible. In fact, we believe that it is the way of the future for college admissions. Awato Solutions allows prospective students to interact with a platform that is totally unique, branded, and customized for individual colleges. Our revolutionary process leads students through a simple, yet powerful, assessment; one that works much like a conversation with a friend. This allows us to learn about the student easily, yet, systematically.

Awato has combined complex, research-based, theories into an innovative progression, leading prospective students through targeted interest-analysis, but, we don’t stop there. Perhaps, the most ground-breaking aspect of Awato is that we connect students’ interest-based goals to a personalized path through an individual institution. These solutions layout, and display for students, how their potential career path can develop into landing their dream job, even if they don’t yet know what they want to be when they “grow up”.

Like a detailed roadmap, Awato can help a student understand where he is, where he can go, and how to get there. We plot the pathway that leads right through individualized college programs.

The True Value of a Custom Pathway

The last thing one wants in a roadmap is ambiguity. Have you ever tried to follow vague directions while driving? Directing students to simply imagine where they want to end up in life is as helpful as directing someone to take a left at the next tall tree. It’s just not clear enough. Students are investors, both in their selected colleges and in their own future destinations. That is more valuable than sentiment.

  • It must be concrete
  • It must be actionable

Students want to feel that they are in the driver’s seat and that they understand the road ahead. The most appealing guidance then is the kind that is

  • customized
  • student-centered
  • invites the student to co-create the experience

As prospective students engage with an individual college via Awato’s customized platform, they are literally co-creating the plan that is formed to display their path through this particular university to the success they ultimately desire. Prospective-students become planning-students, as they work through straightforward self-reflection, and design a college and career path that is completely unique. The resulting plan is not handed to them by a parent or guidance counselor, nor is it a carbon-copied pamphlet, produced for the masses: it is dynamic, and relevant because it is inspired and curated by their own mind.

As Liraz Margalit writes for TechCrunch.com,

When people imbue products with their own labor, their efforts increase the worth of the product.”

The unique input each student adds while plotting her own course raises her perceived value of the journey, not just the destination. Awato’s exclusive interest assessment gives students a rare opportunity for directed self-reflection. Giving students thousands of options to answer open-ended questions about their hobbies and interests, we cultivate a focus that goes beyond the obvious. As students delve deeper into contemplating specific preferences and motivators, they are learning about themselves and investing in the “product”- the plan that navigates them through a particular college into a particular job field. The effort the student puts forth to learn about themselves, and speculate on their future, raises the worth of the college experience they can envision to achieve that future.

And yes, this can be done in under fifteen minutes, from the student’s mobile device: how’s that for convenience?

Want to learn more?

Read Part 2 of Individualized College Planning for Prospective Students at your Fingertips here

Chat with Ray about career assessments at awato.org/ray-blog

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