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Can Prep School Provide Academic Motivation?

College/Career Expert Advice from Carol Carter

Q: I have a nephew who is very bright, social, and outgoing, but has floundered academically in school this year. There have been extenuating circumstances in his immediate family (illness) and he's been left to fend for himself. He is lost and doesn't really know what to do with his life. He just finished his junior year and needs to be thinking about his college choices, but seems unmotivated. I thought that perhaps prep school would be an alternative. Do you have any suggestions?

A: I have a couple of suggestions. One is to read my book, Majoring in the Rest of Your Life: Career Secrets for College Students. This is my own story of how I floundered and, with the advice of my brothers, ultimately found my way. It contains a lot of practical strategies for learning and college. Before you decide that you want to spend the money on a private prep school, you may want to invest in having your nephew work with a personal college coach who can help him identify his strengths, goals, and dreams -- and the steps he needs to take to get there. A personal coach can help students freely express themselves and sort out their issues without the pressures that can arise when students speak with family members.

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Carol Carter is the author of many books on college and career planning. She is the cofounder of Lifeskills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages high-school students to explore their goals, career options, and the real world through part-time work and internships. She also gives workshops around the country on career exploration and other issues directly related to helping students succeed in college, career, and life.

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