My second oldest has been applying to colleges and I still can’t believe I will soon have two college students. When it all began years ago, it snuck up on me pretty fast. We didn’t even think Klai wanted to go to college. Now that we have a second child (Rykel) preparing for college, I’m getting into the swing of things. I feel a little more confident helping Rykel and my other teens prepare for college. Here are a few steps I do with each teen preparing for college that really helps!
Pro Tip: 10th grade is in my opinion the best time to really sit down with your child and start discussing/making plans for college. You want to talk to them before your child meets with the school counselor to plan for college. Or if you homeschool, you become the counselor and you get to discuss these important questions with them.
1st Narrow down your academic and social interests.
Do they want to do a sport, art, music, dance, or another club? This is especially important if your child wants to try and get scholarships for a sport in college. Many scholarships have deadlines way before school starts so it’s good to know what scholarships they want to apply for early on.
Another very important question to ask is what they want to study in college. Are their interests in business, medical, lawyer, education, a trade school, etc…? My advice here is to be open to ANYTHING they may want to study. Life is about learning…it’s good to be positive and keep an open mind as you don’t want to squash any interests they may have. Keep in mind most people will often change their mind about what they want to study once and sometimes even two or three times. But it helps to have some starting point even if that’s not the exact direction they will end up.
2nd Find colleges or trade schools that fit your interests.
Now it’s time to hunt for colleges that offer the degrees or trades your child is interested in. Some colleges may have better programs for specific degrees than others, so that is something to keep in mind. Narrow down the college that best fits your child’s interests and finances. There are a plethora of amazing schools out there that offer good education, and be open to local colleges and to universities far away.
3rd Plan a path to college.
Find out what grades and prerequisites your child needs for their top 3 college choices. Some of the prerequisites they require are (almost always) a GED or high school diploma, ACT or SAT, a high school transcript, and a GPA of 3.0 (higher depending on the school). Many of the tests have practice tests you can study and take. The ACT has preparation classes you can also enroll in for extra help. Also, consider having your child take a few college classes in high school that can help them be further along in their college education well before graduating.
For Homeschoolers: Talk to a college representative about whether your child needs a GED or transcript for high school. When Klailea went to college she had to turn in a series of essays and video projects that she did in homeschool as part of her application process for the specific college she attended.
Don’t wait! Start college preparation today!
After you have done these three steps with your child they will be much more prepared for college. I am sure more preparation will come but this covers most of the big important items that need focused on early on in the college preparation process.
If you are launching or have launched kids off to college what have or will you be doing to prepare? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
I have more college preparation posts coming up. So stay tuned for a few more really good topics!