6 Steps to help your child pick the right college
“Teach a child in the way it should go…”
Over the past years, you have done everything in your power to prepare your child for a life on their own. From showing them how to tie their shoes in kindergarten to studying for a big exam in high school, your goal was (and still is) to teach your child how to navigate life, grow as an individual, and learn from mistakes both big and small.
Now, seemingly out of nowhere, your child is going to be tackling the issue of college and prospects of leaving your safe and happy home. College is a right of passage for both a child and parent and a journey that can often be unfamiliar and down-right scary. As you start this daunting journey towards the college application process and prepare for the next steps in education, it is important to think about what is best for both you and your child. To help with this process and better understand how to assist your child to get into the right college, take a look at these 6 steps to navigate the process.
Step 1- Help your child master the SAT / ACT
Early test prep is essential to the college application process. It is recommended to begin preparing for the SAT/ACT exam your sophomore year of high school so that your child has plenty of time to prepare and get familiar with the exam. Preparation is key to getting a quality score on the exam and also reducing any anxiety that may occur due to the cumbersome assessment. If your child allows for plenty of time to study their sophomore year, they can take the test junior year of high school (second semester) which will allow for multiple test dates if need be. You may even want to think about hiring a tutor to help with the test prep.
Take a look at this 1-year test prep plan to get a better understanding of how to help your child prepare for the SAT/ACT exam.
Step 2- Make sure your child is taking the right course load
Getting into college isn’t just about your child’s SAT/ACT score; the college application process also takes into consideration the courses taken throughout your child’s high school career. With this in mind, it is important to make sure your child is taking the right types of classes each year so that they are pacing themselves and academically getting all the prerequisites needed for both the SAT/ACT exam and first year of college.
If you are unsure of what classes your child should be taking, feel free to read over the following blog for more information- SAT/ACT Course Load for high school
Step 3- Be aware of your child’s GPA and get help if needed
Your child’s overall GPA is also a significant factor when applying to colleges. A student’s final GPA is a rather crucial piece to the application puzzle. Colleges take into consideration your child’s:
- Course Load
- SAT/ACT Exam
- Extracurricular activities
- Entrance Essay
- Reference (if requested by the college)
If your child is struggling with any of these, make sure to get them assistance at the first sign of any problem. Sometimes, hiring a qualified tutor is the best way to help.
Step 4- Do the research when it comes to the different colleges
Make sure your child is researching all of the schools that fit their qualifications. When deciding on the ideal college, you should take into consideration both personal and academic goals for the future. To do this, it is best to start thinking of your choices on three distinct levels:
- Basic Fact Gathering
- Academic Research
- Personal Investigation
Gathering information at each of these levels allows you to look at the colleges holistically and make an educated decision on which one is right for your child!
If you would like more information on how to research a college, take a look at the following blog-3 steps to pick the right college
Step 5- Tour the colleges and get a feel for each one
One of the best things you can do before deciding on your child’s college is to take a tour and ask the right types of questions. With each question, you can dig deeper into the heart of the university and better understand if it is the right place for you from both a learning and personal point of view.
If you aren’t sure of what questions to ask, take a look at the following list to get a better idea- Questions to ask on your college tour
Step 6- Have crucial conversations about their future
It can be tricky to have crucial conversations about your child’s future. On one hand, you want what is best for them but on the other, they need to make the choice for themselves and have ownership. Make sure to have numerous conversations about their future and what they see as important qualifiers when it comes to college. With each conversation, your child will get a better understanding of what they feel is most important when it comes to secondary education. During each chat, you can also try to steer your child down the right path and hopefully help them to make the correct choice.
How can MINDSPIRE help with your student?
At MINDSPIRE, we provide tutoring and test prep that is tailored to specific learning styles and individual needs. If you are interested in getting a tutor for any standardized exam, contact us or give us a call at 844-537-PREP (7737).