College-Bound Students Can Still Find Silver Lining during COVID Crisis

PARK CITY, Utah, July 24, 2020 — “It’s tough enough to graduate from high school, get torpedoed into adulthood, choose a college, decide on a major and move away from home, all before the ink is dry on the diploma.  This year, however, makes those things look like a piece of cake, as COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines, virtually erasing the traditional celebratory graduation rites of passage for 18-year-olds everywhere as these young people are forced to adjust to social distancing, online coursework and that incessant drip-drip-drip of uncertainty.  But there is a silver lining, if you know where to look for it.”  So says William Keator, former higher education program director for a foundation supporting colleges and universities throughout the U.S., and author of a new book entitled When Eagles Launch: Find Your Best College and Make It a Foundational Life Experience.; Available on Amazon.

William Keator
William Keator

The oft-used expression “iron sharpens iron” has never been more on target than it is today, Keator explains. The adversity students face — nothing less than a global pandemic—should forge the most resilient, gritty, and emotionally-grounded generation of young adults this country has seen in decades.  

According to Keator, the high school and college years are critical to adult development, and today’s students are getting a crash course in perspective—the most important life skill anyone can develop. Perspective is a gateway to happiness, resilience, grit, emotional control, and almost every positive human attribute. With proper guidance, this generation of students will launch into early adulthood with the largest dose of perspective we have seen in decades.

“While college-bound students have faced unhealthy pressure from our cultural obsession with big-name colleges and universities, misguided conventional wisdom, spiraling costs, and crippling student debt, traditional college guidebooks have taken a relatively narrow approach to helping students,” Keator says. “After reaching a point where the recent college admissions scandal was unfortunate but predictable, it is clear that everyone needs to think a little differently about colleges, decisions, and life.”

That’s why When Eagles Launch takes a unique approach as it dives deeply into what matters the most: a healthy, holistic way for students to find their best college—a place where they can excel— while also preparing for a foundational life experience in their college years. Students can build confidencepurpose, and a strong sense of self as they learn to 1) find the best colleges to meet their needs —personal, professional and financial; 2) avoid needless stress; and 3) improve the mental habits and transferable skills they will need in college and beyond. The author’s words of wisdom on college life are sprinkled throughout this invaluable book which builds a step-by-step approach to finding the right college for the right reasons, with questionnaires and worksheets that help provide context and understanding to what can be an excruciating and confusing time in a student’s life.

In short, When Eagles Launch isn’t a book you just read, it’s a book you do

William Keator is the former Vice President for Programs at the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, where he spent 17 years directing the foundations’ Higher Education and Secondary Education programs which awarded nearly 500 grants totaling over $95 million. Previously, Keator was the first program officer for NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.  A former teacher and coach, Keator holds a master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.