Answers from the QuestBridge Educator Advisory Committee:
- For me, casual works best, so I make sure that once a student qualifies as a good QuestBridge candidate, I meet with the parents. These are very relaxed, casual meetings with lots of questions and answers. I try to paint verbal pictures of the student's future for the parents and encourage more discussion.
- It helps to present the economic benefits of a college degree, along with the reputation and opportunities available specifically at the college partners, including small class size, undergraduate research, graduate and professional school admissions records, and some of the specialized programs each offers. The financial aid offers at these colleges are also spectacular, highlighting these helps too.
- I think it goes back to involvement and allowing the parent to be active in the application process and aiding from day one....once involved in the process the parents will see first hand how QuestBridge can begin opening doors for their son or daughter. Many parents may not understand how the finances work since they have never been through the process and you may need to spend time with them reviewing the paperwork from the various schools and help them understand what is being offered and what is the next step in the process.
- As the counselor or educator this many be where you need to give more support, not just meeting deadlines or writing recommendations, but maybe emotional support for the decisions that are being made by student and parents alike.
- I have found that they often take very little convincing--so much data supports the power of an education at a great college...but most parents won't even need you to quote statistics or amounts before seeing the benefits.
- We explain the myriad opportunities that QuestBridge college partners offer the students. We also discuss how these opportunities translate into positive change and growth for generations to come. During the past twelve years, we have a Great Minds Panel come in and speak to the students. This panel is comprised of more than a dozen of our former graduates who attend colleges throughout the nation. It is a very popular panel! Let's face it; QuestBridge is a win-win situation. We are fortunate. Rarely do the parents of our first generation students refuse to allow their student to embrace such a wondrous opportunity.