While four years of college may seem like plenty of time, it passes before you know it. These four years will play a pivotal role in your child’s life. Here are some things you can do to give your student their best chance of being accepted into the college of their choice.
1. Define your goals. One of the most important steps towards getting your child college-ready is determining what type of education they want. This decision will be based largely on their profession of choice. There are two basic types of colleges to choose from:
Four-year colleges and universities
Two-year technical, community or junior colleges
If your child already has a career path in mind, take some time to research the education and licensing requirements to enter that field. If possible, encourage your child to take some colleges courses before they complete their high-school education. Not only can this save you money in the long-run, but it can also give your child a head-start on completing their college education.
2. Consider a college preparatory school. Preparatory schools like the Landon School are a great way to get your high school child ready for college. Individualized learning plans and a low student to teacher ratio are two major benefits of sending your child to a prep school. Not only that, but the friends and contacts your student makes while attending schools like Landon are likely to benefit them well into their professional life.
3. Encourage your child to perform well academically. The grades that your child earns during their junior and senior years of high school will play a major role in the college admissions process. Encourage them to take college-prep or advanced placement courses if available. Additionally, help them prepare as much as possible for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. Their scores on these exams may play a critical role in their admission to college.
4. Choose the right college. Choosing the right college is a very personal decision. In addition to considering their career goals, your child will also need to assess their individual strengths and weaknesses. Here are some important questions to ask your child as you help them navigate this process:
– Why is college important to you?
– What are your goals? And how can college help you achieve them?
– Is there a particular career or field that you would like to prepare for?
– Are you more at home in a small college or a large university?
– Would you like to attend a college close to home or in a different state?
5. Prepare a strong college application. Once you and your child have narrowed down the list of colleges to apply to, the next step is to begin preparing the application. While each application is unique, there are some documents and information that you can begin gathering now to make the process easier. This includes:
– Standardized testing scores
– Letters of recommendation
– Official high school transcript
– Transcripts from any college-level coursework taken
– AP exam scores
– Application fees
– Personal statement
Preparing your child for college can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Follow these simple tips and your child will be destined for success.
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