If you're like most parents, helping your child find the right college feels like one of your last great parental responsibilities. You may be less certain of how best to help, and the stakes can seem painfully high. View the admissions process as a rite of passage - a challenging initiation that marks the passage out of childhood and into adult responsibility. You can and should provide support and encouragement. You can celebrate each step along the way. But the process must belong to your child. Below we have provided a few tips that should help aid you and your child as you embark on the journey to find the best college:
- Discuss with your child which colleges/universities they are considering. Ask what they are interested in studying and why they are interested in particular schools.
- Support your child throughout the admission process, but let them lead the process and be responsible for meeting required deadlines for applications and scholarship opportunities.
- Take a campus tour or attend an Open House for schools that your child is interested in
- Attend college fairs with your child. Encourage them to take the lead in conversations with the college representatives. College Admissions Partners has prepared list of suggested questions to ask at the following link: Questions for you to ask to find the right college
- Make sure your child has explored scholarship and financial aid opportunities. You and your child need to be prepared to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application www.fafsa.ed.gov in January or February.
- Ask your employer if company scholarships are available for employees’ children and/or church and other organization affiliations.
- Seek assistance from people who are familiar with the college admission process such as high school counselors, teachers, family members, parents with college students, etc. for guidance throughout the process.
- Get a clear overview of your financial situation and if you are on the right track to cover your student’s college costs, or at least provide some financial assistance. Discuss this information with your student.
- Support and encourage your child throughout the process
College Admission and Enrollment Success Plan
9th Grade Year
- Identify obstacles and make a plan
- Choose 4 Year Course Plan
- Explore Careers
- Target College Majors
10th Grade Year
- Check Plans from Step 1 & 2
- Identify resources to achieve educational goal
- Take practice SAT or ACT exams
- Identify colleges that fit
- Plan to pay for college
- Explore career path
- Explore salaries and life style choices
11th Grade Year
- Make a plan to enroll in colleges
- Take College Entry Exams (SAT or ACT)
- Practice FAFSA
- Stay on track for graduation
12th Grade Year
Please note the FAFSA application is available on January 1st of every year
- Retake entry exams if necessary
- Make college list and apply to at least 4 schools
- Locate scholarships and apply
- Submit FAFSA to by February 1st (Priority deadline for Howard University)
- Choose a College - Decision should be made prior to May 1st
- Plan College Budget
- Make a plan to enroll
- Identify a major that supports a career
- Identify obstacles to program completion
- Plan 2 or 4 year course if study
- Encourage child to connect to Supportive community
- Meet Advisor
- Resubmit the FAFSA by February 1st each year
- Encourage child to connect to Professionals in chosen career
College Planning Apps
Preparing for college is major task and requires guidance, organization and patience. To help you successfully navigate through the journey that lies ahead we have compiled a list of College Apps that will help you meet the demands of the College Admission Challenge. Most apps are free and user friendly.