10 Ways to Successfully Prepare Your Child for College
If you have been asking yourself, What steps should I take next to help my child move forward?, here are 10 ways to successfully prepare your child for college:
- Community, Technical and Junior Colleges
- Four-year Colleges and Universities
2. Prepare for College Academically: While your child is still in junior high and high school, it's time to begin thinking about college and how they can prepare academically. There are numerous ways they can begin preparing early in their high school career and these include taking college-level courses and standardized tests as early as possible.
3. Selecting Colleges Successfully: The type of college your child chooses is a personal decision that is based on their individual needs and talents. When selecting colleges, it’s important that you and your child consider the following questions:
- Why do you want to go to college?
- What do you hope to achieve by going to college?
- Do you have an idea of a career you would like to prepare for?
- Do you want to stay near home, in the same state or move to a different state?
- Do you have a preference of environment, such as urban, suburban or rural?
- Would you be happier in a small college or large university?
- Other course expenses
6. Apply For Colleges Effectively: Once you all narrowed down the college or colleges that you are going to apply to, you need to begin gathering some information that they will require. Applying for college is easy if you fill out your forms correctly, turn them in on time and provide them with the necessary documentation. When you apply for college you'll need to send several items with your application, including:
- Official High School Transcript
- Application Fee
- College Admissions Test Scores
- AP Exam Scores
- Letters of Recommendation
- DVD player
- Refrigerator (small combo unit)
- Radio/iPod/MP3 player
- Cell phone
- Computer, preferably a laptop if possible with a printer
- 3 prong extension cords and power strips
- Desk lamp
- Alarm clock
- Laundry bag, basket, soap and some rolls of quarters
- Weather specific clothing.
- Umbrella, raincoat, jacket, shoes, etc.
- First aid kit with pain relievers
- Your health insurance information
- Iron and small ironing board
- Bike with a good bike lock
8. Financial Literacy: Teaching your child how to manage their money and set a budget early in high school is important. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get your child a checking account and teach them how to make smart financial decisions. Students should also be taught about credit card debt early. If your student must have a credit card, it is vitally important that you teach them to pay off the card each month and to only use it in emergency situations.
9. Register for College: Finally, the day has come! Your child selecting which courses they want to take at their new college. First and foremost, you all will most likely need to meet with a college advisor. They will be able to guide your child as to which courses they should begin with their freshmen year. Your first semester may also be a mix of the basics that everyone has to take as well as certain courses required for your degree.
10. Developing a Graduation Plan: The most important thing once your child enters college for the first time is to prepare a 4 year graduation plan. This will ensure that they remain on track to graduation within that 4 year time period. This graduation plan should include both their short and long term goals-for college and beyond graduation.
Following these simple steps, you will be able to prepare your child for college and set them up for success, not only financially but also teach them the life skills they will need for when they are on their own at college.
A graduate of Columbia College, Tanya also holds an MBA in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Education Leadership with a focus on retention.
Tanya’s diverse client list includes high school students, adult learners, school districts, colleges, universities and Fortune 500 corporations. Each and every client receives personalized services that draw on Tanya’s extensive experience working in the fields of education and human service for more than 10 years.
Tanya’s flagship organization, Tanya Knight International, maintains the web’s one-stop education resource center at www.theeducationcoach.com.