The Parent's Roadmap To College
1. Start Talking
What is your student's passion? Do they have a career in mind? Make a list of what is important to your student before researching college options. Compare schools that offer your student's desired major with the list you've made.
Narrow the list down to 3-5 schools and take a look at admission requirements. Create a FSA ID for you and your student. Schedule an ACT or SAT testing date if your student hasn't already taken the tests. Get information on testing centers and best study practices from your student's guidance counselor.
Reach out to your student's target schools and learn more about open houses or visit days. Mention your student's major, they could have major specific visits! Mark those dates on the calendar and get ready for a college road trip!
Write down 8-10 questions to ask admission counselors during your college visits. Ask about academics, student life, housing, campus jobs, and scholarships! Remember to record the answers and compare them between schools.
Now that you've visited several schools, narrow down the list to 1-2. Review test results and determine if your student meets the requirements of their dream schools. Don't forget to apply for FAFSA (opens October 1st each year) with the FSA ID you created.
Your student's school of choice will present a Financial Aid Package based on your FAFSA application. Applying for scholarships is the best way to finance your student's higher education. Contact your student's guidance counselor for a list of available scholarships and resources. Set aside two hours every week to work with your student on scholarship applications.
After your student has met all requirements and a financial plan has been chosen, it's time to accept the award letter! Entrance counseling, class registration, student housing, and more still needs to be completed by your student. Your school's admissions counselor will help with any possible questions or concerns.
Congratulations! Your student is ready for their first day of college! This is a major mile-stone in a person's life and comes with added stress, so be sure to keep encouraging your student!
9. Send Off
Double check times and be sure to have all required documents handy for your student to complete registration. You've prepared them as best as you can and now it's time for them to take the next step.
10. Keep in Touch
Don't forget to write, send care packages, or even the occasional phone call. Remind your student they're supported.