Written by: Ashley Perlmutter
Is your child a senior in high school this year? If so, you are likely in the throes of the college planning process. While this process is usually quite overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be too stressful if you plan accordingly. Here are some helpful tips to help you understand what you and your child should be doing this fall to be prepared for the college application process.
Encourage your child to meet with their school counselor. The counselor will help your child work on and submit their applications and make sure they are hitting the most important points they need to. Most high schools will have colleges visiting each week over the next few months so make your child takes advantage of these opportunities. Next, create a college calendar. This calendar should include application deadlines and other crucial dates.
If your child hasn’t already taken their college admission test(s), make sure they are signed up to take them in the fall. Many seniors also retake college admission tests at this time to improve on a previous score. In addition, make sure to check out whether the colleges your child may be interested in are “test optional” since many colleges no longer require tests for admission.
If your child is applying to and thinking about scholarship opportunities, they should reach out to the school counselor. Typically these can be found online, but the school counselor should have the most in depth information and can help the students submit these applications. In addition to school scholarships, if your child is applying for financial aid, remember to fill out the FAFSA beginning October 1. If applicable, also make sure your child completes the CSS/Financial Aid Profile, if required.
Encourage your child to set up college interviews. These interviews will help your child get prepared and learn more about their desired schools. Each school has its own interview process, so have your child check out the individual school information on their websites.
Senior year is a big year for your child as they balance schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. The guidance listed above will give you and your child the necessary preparation to start applying to colleges over the next few months. If you need any additional help or information about the college financial aid process, be sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction.
If you have younger children and aren’t quite in the college planning process just yet, you can at least make sure you’ll be financially prepared for when they do head off to college by starting a 529 plan. We’ll talk more about this in our next blog.