Best College Planning Tips for Gifted Students

Best College Planning Tips for Gifted Students


What Are Some Best College Planning Practices for Gifted Students?

Start early in planning college for gifted students. First, they need to be encouraged to study both traditional subjects like math and science along with non-traditional subjects like art, music, and dance.

If you live near a college, note that some institutions offer a special track for gifted students to take pre-college classes.  This may vary from specialized courses for a specific talent, like music or art, to general studies. Some secondary schools even allow gifted students to accelerate through grades or have advanced cohorts. With these opportunities for gifted children, schools often lead them to scholarships to help offset college tuition costs.

What is the Difference Between College Recruiting and College Planning?

College “recruiting” typically involves direct contact with a college representative.  This administrator has reached out to a scholar due to a high standard (test scores, talent, athletics, etc.).  A formal or informal invitation to apply may include anything: ranging from a college fair interview to filling out college applications.  It may also include submitting test scores, grades, and transcripts to colleges that have sent interest letters.

On the other hand, college “planning” involves;

  • The parent-scholar process of research and discovery
  • Choosing a career-focused education based on the aptitude, interests, and benefits of the scholar.
  • Matching the kind of education that is the best fit for the whole family with the career of the scholar in mind.

Parents and their scholars conduct the best research alongside a college planner or educational coach. Planners and coaches specialize in knowing what programs provide mutually beneficial options for parents, scholars, and colleges.

When Should We Start the College Process for a Gifted Student?

Studies have shown that Gifted Students need just as much support as all other students.  Unfortunately, they are often neglected due to the traditional emphasis on students who are at or below grade-level performance.

Due to these findings, it is best for parents to note that the college and career roadmap begins from the moment of a notable observation.  This means that the fuel is provided early. For example, identification begins when the child chooses reading or writing over another free-time activity.  Perhaps a scholar completes an entire math workbook months ahead of their peers.  The key is to look for clues regarding aptitude and attitude toward an interest.

Why is this important for college preparation?  Gifted students excel in one or more areas.  When a scholar shows independent interest in an area, parents should begin looking for supplemental mentorship programs.  A college or parent coach is best to help with this balance.  Otherwise, a parent may become more ambitious than the child and overload them with irrelevant activities.  In this case, the talent becomes something the child loathes instead of loves.

Adversely, the ambivalent parent may be tempted to allow the child to “figure it out” on their own.  This means that the scholar is not provided enough support to maximize opportunities.  This is not a good practice because the child is not yet able to conduct adult business or enter into contracts on their own.  Some life skills and social scenarios can be traumatic when introduced too early.

Either approach can cause burnout, sliding, or disengagement in the scholar.   A lot of scholar talent goes latent due to parent ambition or ambivalence.

Start with an academic evaluation at your local school.  Contact us to help you with customizing your College Ready Roadmap.

What are the Benefits of a College Planning Service?

If you are planning on attending college soon or have a gifted scholar of any age, a college planning service may be helpful. With a college planning service, you will get help finding programs- not just colleges and universities- that meet your academic needs and budget requirements. You may be able to simultaneously help your scholar and save money by choosing a school that provides meaningful support or one that offers financial aid.

How Do Busy Parents Include a College Planning Strategy for their Gifted Child?

Start with requesting an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Contrary to popular belief, this is not just for special needs children, but also for gifted scholars!

The timing may vary per individual circumstance, but most successful cases include the college planning strategy in their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) after two years if observed while school age (between the ages of 5-12, or grades 1-6).

The IEP is a written statement that includes specific goals and objectives, services, placement and modifications, and any other special needs that your child may need in school. Make sure that the IEP covers all aspects of your child’s education, social and cognitive abilities. Your child should also participate in regular counseling sessions to help him/her prepare for college and deal with the range of social structures they may encounter as a gifted student.

For more support regarding College Planning for Gifted Scholars, join our network and schedule a time to connect.


Gifted Children and Learning: Gaining Academic Support for Your Gifted Child

Gifted Children and Learning: Gaining Academic Support for Your Gifted Child

Getting the school system to recognize that your child needs unique learning support can be an obstacle.  However, gaining academic support for your gifted child does not have to be a hassle.

History of Gifted Learning Challenges

First, it is important to explore some of the historical facts.  Here are a few that challenge gaining academic support for your gifted child;

  • Traditional schools are equipped to accommodate age-banded academics and social-emotional learning.
  • Gifted children excel in competency-based learning environments, which poses new challenges for social matching in the learning process.
  • Education is still compulsory up to age 16, which yields a greater probability for younger gifted students to lose interest and fail in traditional settings.
  • States may offer gifted instruction, but few teachers are specialized in intellectually gifted teaching.
  • Many of the traditional schools do not have a gifted identification program, causing many gifted children to go unnoticed.
  • Since most gifted children are not identified at an early age, gifted programs are usually neglected.

Most teaching skills are developed around teaching large classes of typical students. This is not a criticism of this approach.   Our society depends on an excellent education for everybody. What this does indicate is that traditional schools just are not oriented towards offering specialized classes for gifted scholars.

Accelerated Classes are Inadequate as Gifted Programming

Many schools offer “accelerated” programs. This indicates the curriculum is tougher so the student engages in a more difficult workload.  However, most parents would attest that this approach is not truly a program for talented scholars. These are classes for students who are incredibly good at quick discovery.  Unfortunately, insights gained do not always highlight the value of the practical application or advanced critical thinking processes.

Truly gifted students often sink in these environments. When a child demonstrates a specific aptitude, the result is not “automatic gifting” in all academic subjects. For example, a scholar might be a brilliant musician, mathematician, chess player, or dancer.   However, in every other activity, they are barely above average in daily routine schoolwork.

The outcome of putting such students into talented programs is

  • (a) they miss having customized quality sessions (benchmark vs. skill development)
  • (b) they do inadequately in accelerated programs (focus on quantity)

These factors result in anxiety and poor self-confidence.  The domino effect results in bad report cards which camouflage the real genius of this child.

Opportunities with Private and Parent-Led Instruction

Have you considered these challenges with how traditional schools deal with gifted scholars?  They point to private, customized instruction that can take your child to the next level in their area of specialization.  This specialized focus helps them achieve in other academic subjects in ways that the child can excel in every undertaking at school.

This is why many parents incorporate some type of ongoing home education, home school, pre-college, talent identification, or private enrichment program.

Parent-directed education can provide a significant focus on a child’s particular needs without distractions. Essentially, this is due to the fact that homeschool is a type of non-public or “private” institution.  Parents do not have the burden of supplying educational opportunities for everybody.   However, they have the choice to determine the best methods available to their child.

The Role of Specialized Training in Gifted Development

Specialized training typically requires the services of specialized instructors. There is one good thing about specialized training in gifted development; the average parent is not trying to teach multiple learning styles or giftings at one time.  Even gifted siblings with different abilities require less focus than a classroom.

Parents are more successful when they incorporate tutors who specialize in an area.  This is a good strategy as opposed to finding one team of trained gifted instructors for general instruction.

Consider this example:  if a child is sensational in playing the violin, incorporate music instructors and professionals who can hold your child accountable to that one skill. This leads to long-term engagement for the scholar and the specialized trainer.

The private school setting can also tailor your child’s curriculum.  Some provide peer and instructor mentorship groups that act as an incubator for gifted students.  Unfortunately, this availability is based on geography and income.  Giftedness is not based on either one of these factors.   The challenge for the majority of gifted children remains.

Gifted instructors provide mentorship opportunities that show scholars their unique path.

The Economy of Gifted Scholar Development: Time and Engagement

These are engaging factors to discover the best setting.  Having an accountability partner or academic coach can help bring out the talent or gift in your talented scholar. It does not always have to take spending more money on “guinea pig programs”.

Gifted scholar development may be more time-consuming for a short period of time.  Investing in excellent education for your scholar indicates genuine potential development.   It is worth whatever it takes to make that happen.



Are Gifted Enrichment Programs Worth the Investment?

Are Gifted Enrichment Programs Worth the Investment?

When it comes to gifted children, there is a lot of discussion about whether or not they need enrichment programs.

No Universal Mandate of Gifted Assistance

On one hand, some people argue that gifted children are smart enough to thrive without any specialized assistance. On the other hand, others believe that gifted children require different and more challenging educational opportunities in order to reach their full potential.

So, what’s the truth? Are enrichment programs for gifted children worth the investment?

Science Points to Gifted Enrichment Programs

The answer to this question is yes!  Enrichment programs for gifted children are definitely worth the investment. The main reason for this is: gifted children experience trauma due to high intellect but low emotional experience.   Another reason stems from proof of academic sliding when they do not receive the customized assistance that they need. This can have a negative impact on their education, social development, and overall well-being.

Gifted Enrichment Addresses Unique Needs

Enrichment programs for gifted children can help to address some unique needs. They can provide gifted children with opportunities to learn in a more challenging and stimulating environment, which can help them to reach their full potential. In addition, enrichment programs can also help gifted children to build relationships with others who share their interests and passions, which can be very important for their social development.

So, if you are considering enrolling your gifted child in an enrichment program, rest assured that it is a wise investment. Do your research and participate if the program allows.  The benefits that your child will receive will be well worth the cost.