For Chinese and Indian students, 6 Components for College Success

A New Approach to College Preparation and Selection

High school students in China and India are riding on the tide of rising economic growth and prosperity. They have the opportunity to build on the foundation laid by their parents over the past three decades to lead their countries in the 21st century.  The same old strategies that worked for their parents will not produce the same results they enjoyed, however; today’s students need a different success strategy when making college decisions, one that includes these six components.

First: The parents’ understanding that things have changed.  The college decisions that brought parents success will unlikely bring the same degree of success for today’s students. Parents who do not realize this conundrum inadvertently limit their high school student’s opportunities for admission to outstanding colleges that are poised to teach leadership.

Second: An undergraduate field-of-study combination that empowers and invigorates the brain, enhances strategic thinking, and ultimately leads to innovation and visionary leadership.  Visionary leaders and those skilled at innovation are currently in high demand by the governments of China and India.

Third: An effective transition from high school to the best-fit college for the student. A successful transition requires decision-making far beyond simply choosing the kind of colleges that parents attended or considering only top-ranked colleges.  Both student and parents need to focus on the relevant facts rather than follow advice from the past that is passed down from friends or family.

Fourth: Openness. Students who are open engage in new activities, meet new people, face new challenges, and with practice over time, learn to overcome challenges.  Such involvement not only builds a resume, but also yields personal growth through life experience.

Fifth: A belief that change equals opportunity. Students who habitually roll with change as it happens are happier and typically have better grades to show for it.  They are also usually involved with their school and in their communities, and their active social life and community connections yield more success than for students who fear or avoid change. Students who learn to embrace change are recognized as excellent candidates for admission to the higher-quality, higher-ranked mentoring colleges.

Sixth: Willingness to stretch yourself. Over the past 20 years I have met many high school students who made choices based on fear of failure or of disappointing parents.  To avoid failure, they limited their participation in class or in school activities (e.g., in sports, arts, or technology); consequently, their learning as well as their opportunities were also limited.

A new economy in China and India calls for a new strategy when making education and college decisions, one embraced by students as well as their parents.  Including these six components will help position Chinese and Indian students to become tomorrow’s leaders.

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