18 Jan The Seven Pillars of Student Success

by Shannon Cross – Student Connections, a USA Funds company

The choices students make about college create effects that extend well beyond their time in school. That’s not surprising, as we expect higher education to provide access to a lifetime of improved opportunities. But the challenges students face in fulfilling these aspirations don’t end with graduation. For many, they are just beginning. Loans enter repayment. Career searches begin.

And in the months and years before enrollment, students also confront many hurdles and complex decisions about college. These challenges span the classroom-to-career journey. Providing students resources every step of the way is foundational to the empowering ability of a student success program to realize a full return on the college investment.

These seven insight pillars for overcoming nonacademic barriers begin with college and career planning and continue through job hunting and student debt management:

  1. Choosing a pathway: Making good choices about careers and areas of study to pursue.
  2. Funding College: Applying for financial aid and managing loans while in school.
  3. Applying for College: Choosing a school and navigating the application process.
  4. Managing personal finances: Setting budgets, maximizing savings, and debt management.
  5. Boosting productivity: Goal setting, time and stress management, and organizational skills.
  6. Getting hired: Interview preparation, job hunting, and evaluating benefits and other compensation.
  7. Repaying education loans: Successfully repaying loans and overcoming repayment issues.

When implementing a student success program to educate students and former students on the nonacademic skills they need for success, make sure the content addresses these categories.