Preparing for College
Preparing for College
This is a brief overview of what high school students can do to prepare for
college and ways that parents can help with that process.
- Discuss the value of a college education.
- Create a space and time for your child to establish good study habits
- Promote extended, well-paced study rather than short-term cramming.
- Encourage your student to take an appropriately demanding academic curriculum.
- Discuss the impact of grades and course selection on college admission.
- Check curriculum requirements for college entrance.
- Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities, volunteering, and internships or other work experiences.
- Plan for college expenses…explore your savings options.
- Start to network with your son or daughter’s teachers and counselors.
- Talk about his or her interests and career possibilities.
- Begin exploring appropriate college options with your student.
- Continue your support of extracurricular involvement and encourage participation in leadership roles.
- Keep college correspondence in a well-organized file.
- Attend information sessions and financial aid nights sponsored by the school.
- Assist your student in creating a list of personal interests, goals and activities which can then be used to narrow the college search.
- Attend college fairs held at local colleges.
- Register for and take the PSAT/NMSQT, then link scores to Khan Academy to established individualized study plans for the SAT.
- Consult with your son or daughter’s counselor for college search ideas and advice.
- Review all options: if a school seems too costly, find out what scholarships and other financial assistance may be available to you.
- Your student should prepare for the ACT/SAT exams. The SAT is given to all juniors in April as part of the mandatory state testing program.
- Find out if your student should take the Advanced Placement for SAT subject tests.
- Network with other parents.
Summer before Senior Year:
- Help your son or daughter sort through college mail as it arrives.
- Review ACT/SAT results and discuss whether your student should retest.
- Visit different types of schools: small and large, vocational and liberal arts, private and public.
- Develop a list of questions for colleges and take them with you on your visits.
- Students should ask teachers, coaches, community leaders, counselors, etc. to write letters of recommendation well in advance of application deadlines.
- Submit requests for transcripts in the guidance office at least two weeks before deadlines.
- Send in applications and be aware of deadlines.
- Follow-up to make sure that materials arrive at colleges.
- Make additional visits and encourage your student to spend the night and attend classes at the schools that spark his or her interest.
- Remain open-minded as the short list develops.
- Stay positive – the search for the right school can be exhausting and stressful at times.
- Meet deadlines when applying for merit-based scholarships and need-based assistance (for example, FAFSA).
- Collect all of your tax information and file for financial assistance in a timely fashion (and keep copies).
- Notify the chosen school of the final decision and send in the tuition deposit. It is also common courtesy to notify all other schools that granted acceptance.