Yesterday, we started a series about planning for college. Today we go more in depth as we discuss preparing for the first stage of sending your child to college. Education is a key factor to finding a career that makes a person happiest in life. Whether money, expertise, or compassion are the driving force, a child’s best chance to fulfill their career dreams is to further their education.
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The thought of sending a child off to college may be a paralyzing prospect. Not only are you launching a baby bird from the nest, but the level of complication of going to college may seem overwhelming. Here are some steps that you can take to starting the college entrance process off right.
- Consider your interests and goals.
This will help determine the best college fit for your child.
- Get input from the high school counselor.
He/she should make sure they are taking the courses that colleges are looking for.
- Never stop improving.
Work to get the best grades you can. Read as often as possible. Use your spare time wisely. Try out a new extracurricular activity.
- Make a preliminary list of colleges.
List the pros and cons, programs, activities, costs, etc. of colleges of interest.
- Research your financial situation.
Research scholarships. Look into any financial assistance for which you might be eligible.
- Consider college entrance exams (such as SAT and ACT)
Begin preparations for the exam. Consider dates. Decide if you want to invest in a study program.
- Narrow down college choices.
Start collecting application packets from top picks and setting aside money for application fees.
- Complete applications.
Begin the process of filling out applications, paying close attention to deadlines.
- Consider possible people to write letters of recommendation.
Ask two or three people to write recommendations one month ahead of the deadline. Supply them with a resume to remind them of your achievements.
- Write a great college essay.
This is your child’s opportunity to show colleges what he/she is made of. Gather ideas, write a rough draft, and then edit it to your perfection.
Many of the tips and ideas that have helped me with this week’s posts has come from Get It Together for College: A Planner to Help You Get Organized and Get In.