As we approach Page 217’s two-year anniversary, let’s discuss new ideas.
When I began this blog in 2011, I introduced readers to the 5Is and 4Cs. The 5Is ask you to consider who you are and what’s important to you. In an environment with many demands and opportunities—the 5Is ask you to step back and assess yourself. Be honest, realistic, and kind with this work. The 4Cs ask you to consider universities, to understand each college campus, and to dive into distinguishing characteristics.
As I continued to talk to high school students, parents, Penn students, colleagues, and community leaders, the framework has developed organically with an added framework to define Attributes critical for the college experience a student wants to experience and Alignment of those qualities through the process.
How can we utilize Attributes and Alignment and how does this dimension add to the existing framework?
Attributes are up to five key characteristics that you have identified as priorities for your college experience. Define those variables that strongly resonate with your goals, needs, and ideal college experience.
Attributes do not form a static list but rather make up a dynamic strategy. Allow your priorities to change and grow throughout your high school experience. Yet, at the end of the day, do not be afraid to let these considerations drive your college search process. Attributes represent the natural conversation between the 5Is and 4Cs. How can you utilize mindfulness to combine your assessment of yourself and colleges and ultimately derive your priorities?
Alignment considers admissions criteria, aid policies, university needs, and overall strategy. If you are a senior who applied through an early admissions program, you may have personally experienced how integral alignment is to the college process. Alignment is the interface between realism and risk. Alignment also takes place between students and parents in the conversations of shared values and possibly opposing interests. Insight into alignment allows for greater control in the college search process.
Attributes and Alignment form a natural triangulation with your Identity and College Assessments. Utilizing critical analysis, strategy, and mindfulness, allows this addition to the 5Is and 4Cs to play an integral role in your path forward. To learn more about this framework, please see my piece in the Huffington Post.
Thank you for a great two years. Let’s continue this important work together.