College preparation doesn't have to be
stressful. It is a very exciting time and here are some
tips on how to help you child prepare for the college
If you have children and donít have a college plan in
place, you may want to start thinking about starting one
soon. Here are 4 ways to prepare for your kidís college
1. Start saving today. One thing is certain - you can
never save too much money or plan too far ahead for your
childís education. College expenses are soaring around
the country at all-time highs. Itís a good idea to
create a college saving plan and implement it a soon as
possible. Even saving a little each week is better than
no savings at all.
2. Plan ahead. Many parents think planning ahead only
means saving money. While this is true, there are other
things you should take into consideration well before
your child is ready for college. Colleges often require
an application fee when your child submits their
application for approval. If your child applies to
several colleges or universities, these fees alone can
add up very fast. Start checking into every aspect of
the application and college processes. Educate yourself
on these extra fees and expenses so that you can plan
for them accordingly.
3. Donít rely on school counselors alone. Be proactive
in your childís post-graduate education. School
counselors can be helpful, but often have a huge
workload. Stay in contact with your childís school
counselors, teachers and administrators. Ask how you can
help, or what extra measures you need to take as a
parent. Take an active part in learning what scholarship
and financial aid programs your child should apply for.
Your child may be able to apply for several types of
financial aid regardless of your income.
4. Involve your teens in the college preparation. While
you should take a hands-on approach to your kidís
college education, donít do all the work for them. Let
them fill out forms, pay application fees, and ask
questions. Help them create a financial plan for their
college years and even save up for some of the costs.
Other College Preparation Tips:
- It is advisable to begin researching colleges in
the beginning of your childís junior year in high
school. He or she needs to think about what his
interests are and if an out of state college is on
- Make an appointment with your Guidance Counselor
to go over your grades and high school transcript.
- Engage in as much extracurricular activities as
you can, as it does count a great deal when applying
for different colleges. Some of the activities can
include: Dancing, Singing, Volunteer work, writing
for, or editor of, school newspaper, Drama club,
Science club; and community involvement.
- Research colleges on the internet. You can find
a wealth of information as to their curriculum and
degrees. Talk to friends who attend different
colleges to ascertain how good the college and
professors are; the curriculum; campus; and area.
Network is much and as often as you can. The more
you know about the college, the better prepared you
- Decide early on if you want to go out of state,
or attend a local college. This makes the process of
choosing a college easier.
- Take an SAT course to help you do well on the
SATs. Colleges look at your SAT scores in Math and
English, as well as your grades and extracurricular
- If you do not do well on the SATs, you can take
- Start visiting colleges as early as you can.
Visit the lecture halls; dorms; Library; and engage
in conversation with students on campus. Ask many
questions such as: the workload, the professors, and
what activities are held on campus.
- Aim high, but apply to your local schools as
well. Write to or visit all of the campuses and
bring home brochures to peruse. Attend college fairs
in your area where you can talk one on one with
students and other members of the college.
- You can also obtain information on colleges at
your local bookstore. There are hundreds of books
available on US colleges, including their rank, and
- If your child has never been away, set up a trip
to a summer camp. Or set aside a few weeks during
the summer so they can take some courses for high
school students at a college in your area. This will
give them a sense of what college life is like; and
of course, what type of courses they may be taking.
Financial Aid Information Site: One-stop shop for anything about college financial aid. Lern how you can quickly and easily get more Financial Aid without
having to apply for thousands of scholarships!
Instant College Admission Essay Kit: Admission essay/personal statement writing kit with 33 downloadable templates that can save applicants hundreds of dollars.
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