#12: Why School Is Preparing Your Child To Fail

The Danger Of Unmet Expectations



Are you counting on your child’s high school guidance counselor, teachers and school administration to set your child up for success?  The answer is YES if you are like most parents.  However, solely relying on the “school system” to prepare your child is a BIG MISTAKE.  Our current school system is grooming your child to think it is realistic to be able to reach 100% on every assignment or project he or she works on when learning something new.  In the “real world” your child is likely to receive 0 results when trying new things.  However, your child may expect to “see” some results that would be the equivalent to a solid C average like 75%.  (0 results is a HUGE difference compared to 75% or even the unheard of 45% which is low for the academic world but is usually considered high in the business world.)  Applying the academic scoring system thought process to many situations, simply does not work.  In the “real world” your child will NOT score 100% on everything.  No one does.  Not even top performers who are top of their class and looked up to and envied by their peers.  Unmet expectations happen when your child takes the academic grading scale mentality and applies it to the “real world”.  Ongoing unmet expectations over time cause heart ache.  Receiving no results consistently is heart breaking when your child is putting in “100% effort”.  Are you ready to discover a simple way to place things into perspective and reduce the amount of heart ache from unmet expectations?


Understand It’s A Numbers Game

No one scores 100% of the opportunities he or she goes after, but some people score a higher percentage than others.  For example, out of two students, Student A may apply to 10 scholarships and “win” 1 while Student B may apply to 10 scholarships and “win” 3.  What is the difference between Student A and B?  If you are like most people, you will assume the student who is most qualified will “win” the most scholarships.  However the reality is the student who “wins” the most, is probably better prepared.

Measuring how prepared your child is, is not easy.  It is not a simple grading scale like what is used in our current academic system.  Not knowing how to measure performance and progress can feel like “aiming for a fuzzy target” or “taking a shot in the dark”.  Not being able to track performance and progress can feel like no progress is being made, so it is easy to “give up”.  Rather than feeling “stuck” and helpless, it is time for a new concept.  It is time to learn about The Law Of Large Numbers.

 The Law Of Large Numbers is a mathematical principle about probability.  Given the frequency of ongoing events with the same likelihood of occurring over a period of time, a ratio will appear.  Let’s look at how The Law Of Large Numbers applies to scholarships.  Let’s say your child finds 10 scholarships and applies to all 10 and “wins” 1.  Your child’s friend applies to 10 scholarships and “wins” 3.  If this was someone besides a friend your child may assume he or she “won” more scholarships because he or she is better qualified.  However, your child knows this person.  Your child feels he or she is just as deserving (if not more so).  Your child wants to “win” 3 scholarships but does not want to do 3x the amount of work for the same results.

The power of understanding The Law Of Large Numbers becomes magnified when you “zoom out” and look at a sequence of events and examine the relationship between them.  For example, let’s say your child finds 200 scholarships, is eligible for 10, applies to all 10 and “wins” 1.  Your child’s friend finds 300 scholarships, is eligible for 30 and applies to the top 10 that are a best fit for him or her and wins 3 scholarships.  While both your child and your child’s friend applied to 10 scholarships, when looking at the sequence of events, it becomes apparent why your child’s friend had a better probability of “winning” more scholarships.


scholarship funnel


What is important is not purely about the numbers, it is about the relationship between the numbers.  It’s like the old saying “read in between the lines”.  In other words, understanding the ratios between points will help your family figure out ways to improve overall performance.  In the beginning your child may struggle to find scholarships that are a good fit for him or her.  In the beginning your child may find 200 scholarships and only 10 that he or she is eligible for.  In other words, your child is eligible for 5% of the scholarships he or she finds.  The ratio could be improved by finding a better way to find scholarships that are a good match for your child.

When you understand “the numbers” and the relationship between them, action can be taken to improve the relationship between any given points.  Ultimately the greater the relationship between the numbers, the more satisfying the results will be.  The Law Of Large Numbers provides your child another way to measure his or her progress and performance.  Applying to scholarships is a great way to help your child understand The Law Of Large Numbers.  This will be helpful when your child graduates and starts applying to jobs.  Your child will be in a position to more easily understand the process of gaining employment.

Out of the number of jobs listed on a “job board” your child will be eligible for a percentage.  Out of the jobs applied for only a percentage may contact your child for an interview.  Out of a certain number of interviews with different companies only a percentage of companies may offer your child a job.  Understanding the ratios between the different steps in the process of gaining employment will help your child measure progress and discover areas for improvement.  For example, your child may not like the ratio between the number of job listings he or she is looking through and the number of jobs he or she is eligible for.  Understanding the ratio may motivate your child to find a better way (or another source) to find job listings that are a better fit for him or her.


scholarship job funnel


(Side Note: the Law Of Large Numbers also applies to finding and enrolling clients if your child decides to take the self employment route.)

Our current education system is setting your child up for failure because there is only one grading mindset to measure progress and performance that does not apply to many areas of life outside of the academic arena.  Progress and performance in the “real world” is often difficult to measure and is not easily assigned a percentage (to the total outcome) like the traditional academic grading scale.  Therefore to help your child better understand what areas he or she can improve, it is beneficial for your child to understand The Law Of Large Numbers.  The Law Of Large Numbers can easily be learned when your child applies to scholarships.  Applying to scholarships helps your child understand you don’t “win” every opportunity you pursue.  Applying to scholarships teaches a mindset and life skills that will be beneficial when it is time to seek employment. 


Go share this blog post with your child so he or she begins to understand that he or she is going to need to learn things “outside” of school to contribute to his or her success.


winning a scholarship
“Winning scholarships is funnier then I thought it would be.” – Your Son


BONUS #1: Advice

“The scholarship process can be less painful and more fruitful when your child learns a better way to approach the subject.” – Crystal Olivarria, Career Coach


BONUS #2: Behind The Scenes UPDATE

A Master Class about Helping Your Child Select A Relevant Career And Afford College is coming soon… stay tuned…

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