College Admission Process: Guide for Parents, and Books for Parents of College-Bound Students (page 2)
As a parent, you want the best for your child’s future. Planning should begin as early as middle school. If you wait until the junior or senior year of high school, you’ve waited too long. This brochure will help you and your child make the right decisions now, when it counts. The selection of a college––including the cost––is an important decision for the whole family. Going to college costs a lot; but if you need money, it is available, provided you plan ahead.
What is financial assistance?
Financial assistance is money to help pay for college. This money can be used for educational expenses (tuition, fees, and books), as well as for other expenses (food, housing, and transportation). Grants, loans, scholarships and work study are the four types.
Can I get financial assistance if my child doesn’t want to go to a four-year college?
Yes. Money is available for two-year community or junior colleges (as well as for business, vocational/trade schools). At schools that typically prepare students for transfer to a four-year college, such as a community college, ask for information about the transfer-out rate.
How is financial aid determined?
You must show that you need money to be awarded financial aid. Need is the difference between what it costs to attend college and what your family can afford to pay. Special talent and academic scholarships and grants are available at many institutions.
How can I find money for my child’s education?
The guidance counselor can direct you to resources to help you learn about applying for money for college. Don’t pay for guaranteed scholarships. You can begin to research financial aid as early as ninth grade. Don’t be misled by others. There are more students and families receiving financial assistance for education than you may think.
Using the Internet In Your College Search
The Internet is a great place for future college students to gather information about colleges. There are many Web sites that can help guide you through the college selection process. Some Web sites can help you prepare for, choose, apply and find ways to pay for a college education. Other sites require a fee before using their information, but most offer free
information. Colleges and university Web sites provide quite a bit of information about the admission process, student life, faculty and administrator info, weather conditions, campus maps, virtual campus tours, live images of the main campus as viewed through a Web camera, and chat rooms where you can interact with other students.
Useful Financial Aid Web Sites
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Finding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid
College Is Possible
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) sponsors more than 49 National College FairsTM and 17 Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs in the U.S. which you are invited to attend free of charge. To find out more about these fairs you may either see your counselor for the schedule of a college fair close to you, or visit us at www.nacacnet.org. Visit www.nacacnet.org, Events Calendar for the college fair schedules.
What are the first steps?
1. Planning for college can start as early as middle school.
2. Talk with your child’s guidance counselor or teacher about your child’s options after high school.
3. Keep and use this guide to be sure that your child is taking the right courses.
4. Encourage your child to study and take competitive courses.
5. Be involved in school activities. Go to parents’ nights and conferences and meet with your child’s teachers.
6. Be sure your child is taking the most diffi cult courses he or she canhandle so that college and career choices are open.
7. Encourage your child to participate in school, community and church activities.
What should my child do?
1. Planning for college can start as early as middle school.2. Your child needs a fi rm foundation in rigorous, high level math and English courses.3. Your child should take advantage of courses offered in science, social studies, foreign languages and performing arts.4. Your child must learn good study habits.5. Your child should consider what he or she wants to do after high school and discuss options with the school counselor or teachers.
What can I as a parent do?
1. Believe in your child’s abilities.2. Take an interest in what your child is studying and his other homework.3. Help your child remain focused on school.4. Visit the school and schedule conferences.5. The courses your child takes and the grades he or she now receives have a lot to do with what your child can do after high school.6. Work with your child on the development of his or her schedule of courses.7. Create a quiet place for your child to study.8. Start early when researching fi nancial aid.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. © 2008 National Association for College Admission Counseling.
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