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Cat WaylandEducation Exchange

Hosted by Catherine Wayland








College Bound Project

Sample Answers

Dear IF readers,

Back in February 2008, we gave you a peek at our College Bound Project that we conducted with a group of senior high school students.  We asked questions which we have reprinted below that queried the students about their expectations for college.  What had motivated this project was watching a couple generations of twenty-year olds graduate from college lost and in search of a viable life and career. 

Now some may say, that is what your twenties is all about – the journey to find self.  And I would agree to an extent.  But some mistakes that our young adults make are based on ignorance that we would hope that $150,000 plus higher education would assist with. 

“Trying Out Careers”

Some young adults graduate college and spend a decade “trying out” career choices only to find their fit as they turn thirty plus.  This begs the questions, how much of college should be vocationally focused?  Should our young adults lose a decade of consecutively advancing salaries while they “try out” different careers that start at base pay salaries?

“Trying Out Life”

Some young adults make some pretty serious mistakes in their teens and twenties.  Youth is a time for curiosity and experimentation.  But some of our young adults have minor and major brushes with the law.  Does high school and college walk the student through the law and the consequences of misdemeanor and felony charges for costs, permanent records, and future employment?  Some students get a credit card and charge themselves into debt and bad credit that could effect house buying for their family in their twenties.  Otherwise there are basic bookkeeping and investment skills that are necessary for tax filing and 401k contributions relevant to compounding and long range planning.  When we are teaching our students geometry, physics and other more abstract mathematical problem solving have we made sure they have mastered personal finances?

So, these are the questions we put together for this group of seniors heading to higher education learning institutions with premium costs.  The questions here are mostly geared to a vocational focus which one would believe should be the major outcome of college, an advanced, highly skilled, higher paying, supremely networked career than what non-college or votech students can obtain in the four years following high school?

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The Questions and the Sample Answers (to qualify these answers, these four plus students are attending a private school outside of New York City)

College Bound Project
Survey Questions

1. If the college process was reversed and you were able to ask a representative from the college of your choice to write an essay answering a question from you, what question would that be?

Answers: 

How will you guarantee me that I will achieve everything I hope to achieve?

Why are students often asked to write about very abstract and unimportant topics?

How do admissions officers make decisions between very similar applicants?  What gives one applicant an advantage over another?

What do people dislike/would like to change about the school?

What do you think separates said university from all the others?

What advantages will I gain, and opportunities will I encounter if I come to this school?

 

2) What is the one thing you wish you had learned in your schooling that you were
never taught?

Answers:

How to use an excel sheet, payment methods for banking, investing.

How to take good notes on lectures and from books.

Random trivia.

How to cook.

Controversial things, banned books, philosophy of Nietzsche, Revolutionaries.


3. Have you ever taken a Briggs-Meyer Personality Test that helps match personality to skills and career choices? If yes, what was the result?

Answers:

No.

No.

No.

No.


4. Have you ever read a career advice book, i.e. “What Color is Your Parachute?”

Answers:

No.

No.

No.

No.


5. Have you ever spoken to a career counselor or job coach outside of your school?

Answers:

No.

No.

No.

No.


6. Are you going into college with a declared major? Which one?

Answers:

Undecided

Undecided

Undecided

Business/Art


7. What do you hope to get from college? Be honest as you can be with this question, i.e. Fun, Independence? A Job?

Answers:

Friends. Networking. Happiness.

Independence.  I also want to learn more with people who are serious about a specific subject. 

Good education. Interesting people.  New Experiences.  Performance opportunities.  Preparation for the real world.

Fun, independence.  Learn to live on your on your own, meet new people, get a good job. 

An overall understanding of my life in the grand scheme of things.  What my purpose is in life and how to achieve it.


8. Give the three criteria of your top 3 college picks.  City? Suburban? Rural? Small? Large? Far or close to home?  Offer a certain program?  Etc.

Answers:

In or near a city.  Medium size.  Close enough to home not to fly.  Needs good internships, and jobs.

Small school.  Strong theatre program.  Reputation for excellent academics.

Medium sized or small.  Excellent education.  Strong Arts program.

Near a city.  Middle or Large size. Pretty campus.

Medium sized with a campus.  Diverse student body with a desire for living.

Strong medical school placement.


9. If you could skip college and go right to the perfect job, what would it be?  How long would your hours be a day? How long would your commute be?  How much vacation? How much pay? Would you manage people or be an individual contributor?  Would you work for a company or start your own?

Answers:

I would probably be a famous actress or philanthropist who people respected and listened to.  I’d work for myself, but have many influential people guiding me to keep me on track.

I’d like to work for the FBI.  I would not have a preference for how much I work, but I would like to be within 30 minutes from work.  I would want major holidays off, and maybe a month or so off during the summer.  I would be in charge of several people but work for the government.

No idea what job.  I would work for 8-9 hours a day.  Short commute.  Decent amount of vacation-maybe equivalent to that of a teacher.  Work with people.  I don’t know if I want to work for someone or myself.

I would be the CEO of Chanel, work 9 hours a day 10-7 p.m., commute preferably no longer than an hour.  Vacation whenever I want, work for myself.



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