Getting into college is a long and complicated process. There are applications, and tests, and prep classes for those tests, and essays, and more applications. All of this is after you’ve attended college fairs and collected information about potential schools. After you’ve gone on visits to see which colleges you want to apply for.
This is a lot for a kid to take on by themselves. It is great when a parent can get involved and help their student navigate the process.
Here are some things a parent can do to help their your student out.
Start a savings account.
As soon as your student starts talking about college, set aside some money. The overall process of applications and visits will end up being expensive. Get ahead and be prepared by starting a savings account specifically for helping your student find the right college.
Be prepared to pay for test prep.
Standardized tests are something a student needs to prepare for. Taking a SAT or ACT prep course can help bring their scores up. The only downside is that these courses do cost money.
Be prepared to pay for admissions applications.
If you have a student who wants to apply to more than one school, it could get costly. Offer to help pay for the applications.
Attend college fairs.
College fairs contain a wealth of information about the admissions process and different universities across this country. This is a great way to help get both you and your student informed.
Along with attending college fairs, do your research online. Make sure you are on top of when applications are due, the cost of different things, and anything else that might help make the process easier. University Visitors Network is a great resource for parents and college bound students.
Encourage your student to explore their options.
Not every student wants to attend the big school or the ivy league school. There are so many options from small schools, liberal arts colleges, large schools and even community college.
Be a good support system.
Don’t put pressure or expectations on their decisions and encourage them to choose what’s right for them. Offering advice is okay, but always let them know that you will support whatever they decide, even if it’s not what you want.
Take your student on college visits.
They best way to find out what a college is like is to visit it. Take advantage of school breaks and check out the different campuses and programs that your student is interested in.
Help research scholarship and financial aid options.
There are so many scholarships out there. Help your student find and apply to as many scholarships as possible. You can also help them stay on top of any financial aid and FAFSA applications once they get accepted.
A rejection is not always the worst thing. Stay positive. Finding the right college is possible.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our Tips on Writing Your College Admissions Essay