Choosing College: How You Can Help Your Child

Parents want what’s best for their children. We always think about how we are going to lead them to the right choices in life so that they will have the best future. One of the most important decisions that we have to help them is about their college life because we know that it will have a large impact on their future. Therefore, college preparation should be a top priority.

In terms of preparing our child for college, it is important to remember that you should not control their plans and decisions for the future. We are afraid that there will be lots of challenges in their lives that they will have to face because we’ve been in their situation. But in order for them to grow as a person, you have to let them control their own life. Let them explore their choices, and if ever they fail or choose the wrong decision, the most important thing for you to do as a parent is to lend them a helping hand when they need it. If you think that they are having a dilemma, let them feel that you will support and guide them whenever they need your advice.

College Finances

Before your child begins college application, it is important that you and your child talk about your family’s financial situation. Make sure that s/he understands your capability to contribute to their college expenses. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t apply to the school that they wanted. Encourage them to apply for scholarships and grants.

  • Be honest

Talk about your expectations from them and the difficulties that they may face during the application process. You can tell them about your own experiences to let them know that you fully understand their situation. Let them feel your support.

  • Scholarship, grants, and financial aids

If you were not able to have a college plan for your children, the other option is to help them apply for scholarships and grants. You can research which program can accommodate your children’s application. FAFSA is also important and should be applied immediately. The earlier you apply the more chances that your children will be accepted in the program.

College Research

Your children may want to search and apply for their college independently, but it is still important that you know what they are going through. There will be changes in college applications since you’ve graduated, thus it is important that you also make your own research about the whole college application. Do research about your children’s choices of colleges.

  • Check the college application processes.

From the time that you have graduated, there are several things that changed regarding the process for applying.

  • List the essential requirements.

Since your children will be busy with their school works, extracurricular activities, and the whole college application you have to be there to remind them of several things. Therefore, you should also be aware of the essential documents that they need to prepare and submit. There are also documents that a parent like you should be the one to file.

  • Note the college admission offices’ numbers.

You should also try and coordinate with admission officers. In behalf of your children, inquire about campus visits and information sessions.

  • Take down important dates for the submission of requirements.

Meeting deadlines is a crucial part of the college application. You can use a large calendar that you can put in your kitchen or living room so both you and your children will be reminded of these important dates. Don’t let your children miss an important chance of their future.

Standardized Tests

  • Talk to your children’s guidance counselor

Know your children’s class ranking and current standings in each of their subjects. Therefore, you will know if they need assistance in their academic performance. You can also ask them about the requirements for admissions.

  • Prep courses and prep books

If you think that your children still need support based on their academic performance, enrolling them in prep courses for standardized tests like SAT and ACT may help them significantly. Another alternative is buying prep books, where they can practice the tests.

  • Test day preparation

This is a very stressful day for your children and the thing that you can do is support them. Making a snack during their study time can help them. Before the test, prepare a healthy snack that will boost their energy. And after they take the test, you can reward them by simply going out to the mall or eating in restaurants. Let them relax after a stressful day.

Choosing the right college can be very stressful for your children. It is important that you are there to support them. You should also start reading up about colleges so you can answer any of their questions. It can also be a precious bonding experience for your family. It will lessen the stress that they will feel, and will be more fun and enjoyable experience.

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