Stay On A Financial Timeline
In early spring, Lyle Wolberg, CFP, a wealth adviser and founding partners of Telemus in Southfield, Michigan, says its to get your financial plan in order. College decisions are due by May 1 but by now your child knows where they have been accepted, denied or deferred. Most scholarship money has also been granted for each school. This is the month where you really need to sit down with pen and paper and map out each of their choices. If they are going to have to take out a loan or work during school then tell them now, advises Wolberg. Most colleges have a good idea of all tuition, living, book and entertainment costs for students attending, he says. Take advantage of friends and relatives that have kids at the schools your child is thinking of attending to get a real life example of all the costs you can expect.
Dont Wait To Get Your Child Help With Study Skills
Your child will need time-management, organizational and study skills to succeed in high school and college. Its easier to address these issues now than it will be when the work gets more challenging. Make sure your child has a quiet place to do homework and the necessary paper, pens and other materials close by. Help him get into a regular routine and monitor the results. If you need to, talk to your childs counselor about how to get extra help after school, at a community center or in a tutoring program. Take a look at GreatSchools resources on study skills for more tips.
Be Prepared For The College Hook
Even if youve had previous conversations with your child about the importance of practicing safe sex, dont send them off to college without a solid refresher. Considering the fact that many kids first become sexually active when theyre in college, now is the time to have an open and candid conversation with your child about the college hook-up culture and the importance of practicing safe sex to avoid unintended outcomes such as pregnancy, HIV or STDs, which by the way, are spiking on college campuses.
In fact, the CDC recently reported a sharp rise in STDs with more than 1.5 million new cases of chlamydia, about 395,000 new cases of gonorrhea, and nearly 24,000 cases of syphilis. .
Read Also: When Does The Next Semester Of College Start
How To Prepare Your Child For College: Your Essential Guide
Sooner than many parents prefer, youll be hugging your child goodbye in the doorway of their brand new dorm. Youll drive back home while your college freshman finishes unpacking their last-minute essentials, knowing youve done all you could to prepare your child for college.
Now you may be wondering, How exactly do I prepare my child for college life before this moment comes? Weve got you covered. Our guide on preparing your child for college will teach you all the strategies you need to know to ensure your student is successful and ready to tackle higher education.
Talk About Eating And Fitness Goals
The Freshman 15 is a real struggle. Convenient foods are rarely healthy, and college students are all about quick and easy solutions! Plus, not everyone knows how toread their bodys hunger cues. If you havent already, spend some time showing your teen how to prep quick healthy food options. Consider sending them care packages with nutritious snacks!
Recommended Reading: Does The Air Force Pay For College Loans
Encourage Your Child To Read Read Read
Its simply the best preparation for the SAT, ACT or college reading assignments that your child can have.
While youre at it, why not make vocabulary building a family game by learning a word a day? There are lots of free subscription services that will email a word of the day, like this one from Dictionary.com. Your child can teach the daily word to the rest of the family at dinner and quiz you at the end of the week.
Things To Do To Get Ready For College: High School Students
As mentioned above, there are a number of ways parents could help their children prepare for college. However, there are plenty of things that students should do themselves while performing their own college planning, some of which are listed below. Keep these in mind and give your child a friendly nudge when necessary to help move them forward.
Don’t Miss: How Do College Coaches Recruit Players
Teach Your Child How To Handle School Work
The last thing you want is for your high schooler to never have had experienced doing school work independently before going off to college. Use the time now to teach him how to handle school work, being less involved the older he gets.
In kindergarten, youll want to sit down with him as he does his work. As he gets older, youll be in the same room to help as needed but arent looking over his shoulder. Eventually, hell own his work completely and be accountable.
Other Tips For Parents
- Celebrate this transition as your young adult starts to move toward mature adulthood. Be prepared to change habits of care and control that youve cultivated over the last 18 years your relationship with your child will change as he or she grows up and becomes an individualized adult.
- Pray your young adult through her university experience. Shell be challenged academically, relationally, emotionally, spiritually its all a part of the process of becoming an adult.
- Release your child. Trust God, yourself and your child enough to know that your teen made the right choice to pursue higher education and will make their own responsible choices.
Lindsay Hawkes was an in-house writer with Focus on the Family Canada at the time of publication.
If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below.
Consult An Academic Advisor
Academic advisors are experts on all things related to preparing your child for higher education. They can help students select the right courses to put them on their intended career path, connect them with college alumni, and keep college applications organized. At Stuart Hall, our college counselors bring a wide range of college admission representatives to campus, help coordinate college campus visits, and help with the entire college application process. Academic advisors are invested in the personal and academic development of each student, so dont be afraid to reach out and request their help.
Tips To Help Prepare For College
As more people discover the programs available to students with ID, the more likely it is that the competition for these classroom seats will get greater and greater. Western Carolina University has put together 10 tips to best prepare your child for college.
1. The family is the key to success: Families have to realize the potential of their son or daughter from early in life and promote their full participation in life so that they can achieve as much independence as possible.
2. Know that the role of parents must change during the childs life: Even though the mental development of your child may not be the same as that of others, your development as a parent must progress so that your child can progress as much as possible.
3. Be future focused: Make sure your son or daughter is fully involved in family activities, community organizations, and is taught in inclusive schools and classrooms. He or she should have chores and responsibilities, should learn that work is part of life, and should think about career options.
4. Have high expectations: Everyone can go to school, have interests, find a career and have a happy life in a happy home. The only thing that can get in the way is if there is not an expectation for this to happen.
6. Allow voice and choice: Individuals need to learn how to make their own decisions, have a say in their life activities, and know that risks and rewards can be a part of every decision.
You May Like: When Is The College Softball World Series
The Importance Of Choosing Friends Wisely In College
From the moment college freshmen hit campus, theres an underlying pressure to make friends and socialize. But, its important they choose their friends wisely.
If your child cant keep up with the heavy party scene or late nights its better to keep looking for a new group of friends, even if it takes a while. Having solid social connections with like-minded friends who have similar interests is often a strong predictor of success in college.
Make College A Given Expectation
One way to make college feel normal is to talk about it as if its a given, not a rarity. Talk about when your child will attend college, not if. Phrase college as the next step after high school, a stage that shell eventually experience.
As Lance A. Millis wrote in an article on collegeprep101.com:
ake college a part of their life, one of your expectations, and something they learn about, talk about and hear about throughout their young life. When its summer they will go swimming, when its Halloween they will go trick-or-treating, and when theyre finished with high school they will go to college. As the parent, you can make it that way.
Recommended Reading: What Are Good Colleges For Computer Science
Tip : Check If They Need Insurance
If your child will be driving, check that your car insurance covers your student. If living on campus, only their personal possessions and their liability need to be insured and they may be covered by your homeowners/renters policy. Check with your insurance company to be sure. Living off campus? Look into renters or tenants insurance.
Evaluate Your Financial Aid Award Letter
Colleges typically send out financial aid award letters in March or early April. Financial aid award letters can be confusing and difficult to decipher. Make sure you and your child understand the key elements of a financial aid award letter, including the differences between free and borrowed money and the cost of attendance versus net price.
Read Also: What Every College Freshman Needs
Ease Worries By Planning
Along with distance and empty nest syndrome, lack of preparation also plays a compounding role in ratcheting up parent worries and anxiety. Often parents and students can become so wrapped up in the steps of college applications, scholarships, and financial aid that they don’t think about the upcoming lifestyle changes and how to prepare for the transition beyond the paperwork.
The key to calm parenting is to feel your student is prepared.
“The more you work with them in high school and know they can handle the things that can come along, the better, such as how to make a doctor’s appointment, fill a prescription, how to talk to a professor,” says Nelson. “What makes it worse is thinking about all the daily things I have handled for my child. Will he know how to do this?”
Keep in mind, becoming comfortable watching your child leave looks differently for different parents, and some concrete steps can help ease worries. For example, if students have health issues, parents can preregister them with an appropriate doctor in the college town, transfer prescriptions to the local pharmacy, and create a thorough dorm room medical kit.
If parenting concerns focus on campus safety or culture, they can attend a campus tour, ask questions, and take note of resources. If concerns focus on the student’s transition to dorm life, parents can meet roommates and the resident assistant.
College Prep Guide: 15 Ways To Plan Financially For Your Childs College Education
Paying for college shouldnt mean that parents dip into their retirement fundsor that students graduate deeply in debt.
Make school supply list shopping easy! Find your childs exact list and in one-click purchase every item and have it delivered right to your front door.
Its exciting to dream with your child about which college shell attend. But figuring out how to pay for that college education can take the excitement out of the process.
So how much does a college education cost today? On average, in 2010 a four-year public college cost $15,014 for tuition and fees for in-state students, including room and board. A private college, on the other hand, had an average sticker price of $32,790 per year for students who lived on campus, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Textbooks, supplies, transportation, and personal items will add another $4,000 a year on average to a public or private college education, according to the College Board.
Loans are an option for many parents and students, but are students themselves getting saddled with too much debt when they graduate? The average 2010 college graduate owed $25,250, according to the Project on Student Debt.
To pay for your childs college education, youll most likely need to draw from a combination of sources to cover the costs, like many parents will. In addition to contributions that you and your child will make, sources include student and parent loans, scholarships, and need-based aid.
Read Also: How To Watch College Football For Free
The Importance Of Stepping Out Of Their Comfort Zone
One of the more challenging aspects of college that few people talk about is that it requires freshmen to step out of their comfort zone a lot. Everything from navigating the campus, finding classes, learning how to balance their social lives with studying, making new friends, and generally learning the ropes nearly every day for the first several months is filled with never-ending learning curves.
Most college kids will admit its stressful and exhausting. While theres no simple way to prepare your child for the immense change theyre about to face, the more you talk about it in advance, the more likely they are to feel normal if and when they feel overwhelmed during the first several months.
Get Savvy About College Costs
Experts emphasize that there are lots of ways to finance a college education, but you have to do your homework. Researching the way the system works, saving options such as 529 plans, and creative financing ideas will keep you from the last-minute panic that leads families to take out high-interest loans.
You can find money for college, says Fabiszak. It takes work and you need to start early.
There are also other cost-cutting measures youll uncover: Your child can get college credits by taking Advanced Placement classes in high school or in summer classes at your local community college. That can save you a years tuition but your child must be academically prepared to take advantage of these options.
Recommended Reading: What Colleges Accept Spring Transfers
Explore Careers And Majors
One of the most important steps to helping prepare for college is understanding what your child wants from his or her postsecondary degree. There are plenty of resources available both online and in print about industries that are expected to grow over the next ten to fifteen years and what majors those industries are seeking.
This may be a great way to help guide your child to a major that will not only challenge them, but also provide valuable skills and knowledge that may help them after graduation. Plus, it may provide you with useful information to help support your childs long term goals.
Look Ahead To High School
High school is the launch pad to college. How does yours measure up? Does the school offer AP or honors courses? These classes put students at an advantage when applying for college. Will your child have access to them? Can anyone take them or do the students have to have a certain grade-point average or be selected by their teachers? Are there electives and extracurricular activities that will motivate and engage your child? If not, do you have other school options? Or do you need to find community resources music groups, sports clubs, tutors to supplement what the school offers? Research your childs future high school now, contact the parent group and visit classes to help insure a successful high school experience for your child.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Summer Courses At Community College
Hire An Independent College Consultant/coach
Being in college is stressful, but what about getting into college? Its common to feel confusion, fear, and anxiety for both you the parent, and your child during the college admission process.
Where do you start? What questions do you ask?Hiring an independent consultant takes those feelings of uncertainty away and can be a huge help to prepare your child for college. Plus, teenagers are often more willing to listen to someone who isnt their parent! Teens receive valuable advice and instruction from a college coach, while parents can have a peace of mind knowing someone is advocating for their child.
Have The Difficult Discussions
While most parents will engage in some difficult discussions with their children, it is important to have those conversations again before they leave. Everything from peer pressure to alcohol and other drug consumption to consent and safe sex will be essential topics that you need to cover. While this may make you and your children indescribably uncomfortable, it is better that you discuss this than have them discover this without any context on their own. Even if it is hard, it is worth discussing.
When it comes to college, these are brand-new experiences for both you and your child. While it can be exhilarating, it can also be scary. These seven strategies can assure you that you have set your child up for success in the best way that you know how.
Don’t Miss: What Colleges Are Good For Accounting