1 – No Two Colleges Are The Same
All colleges are different. They have unique requirements and deadlines so make sure your student is keeping track of the specifics.
2 – Maintain a College Budget
No matter where your student chooses to go to college, there will be some sort of out of pocket expense. It could be on campus parking, gas, books, etc. Make sure you have a conversation with your student so they know how much they are allotted each month for school expenses.
3 – The Difference Between High School and College Is MASSIVE
College comes with a plethora of new challenges. They can be in the form of homesickness all the way to struggling with the college work load. Make sure you are there for your student when they need emotional assistance but also encourage them to visit and talk with someone on campus. Make sure they do it sooner rather than later because these problems can negatively impact their grades and college experience.
4 – Make Sure You Attend College Fairs And Campus Visits With Your Student
Allow yourself to be a part of the college selection process with your student. Not only will they feel more encouraged, but you will also be able to give them sound advice on locations, cost, admissions, and much more. Be a team!
5 – PAY Attention to Deadlines
I don’t care how gifted a student is, if they bust a deadline, they lose their opportunity. Make sure you are actively following your BCP calendar and College Grid. These are invaluable tools!
6 – Don’t Allow “Senioritis”
THIS IS A THING. Make it a priority to track your student their Senior year of high school so they are not falling behind in their class work or applications. A school CAN and WILL pull any acceptance letter or scholarship if the student doesn’t follow through with their high school responsibilities.
7 – Be Your Student’s Backup Calendar
Once again, deadlines are critical! Make sure you are holding your student accountable to take their tests on time, get any letters of recommendations, essays, or any other requirement a college needs for admissions. Time is the only thing you can control so use it to your advantage!
8 – War Game Your FAFSA Before You Hit Submit
Do not fill out the FAFSA and hit submit on the first round. Make sure you have all necessary documents that pertain to the FAFSA in front of you and “pregame” the process before you hit submit. One recommendation would be to print out a copy of the FAFSA and write in what needs to be on the document before you try it electronically.
9 – Apply Pressure But Don’t Go Overboard
Students need someone to hold them accountable but also remember they should enjoy being a kid too. Find the balance between dictating and coddling them. Aid them through the process and make sure you know enough about the process to be their backup.
10 – Encourage Your Student to Be Open To Different Colleges
Options are key! A student can have goals and “dream colleges” but a plan B & C option is highly encouraged. Colleges are extremely competitive and they can be selective if they choose to be. Make sure you have 3-5 college applications out. Choose a variety of “reach/dream schools” and safe colleges that will give opportunity and money if your student doesn’t get into their 1st choice.