College Planning, Prep and Admissions
Navigating the whole college planning, preparation and admission process can feel overwhelming to both parents and students. There are so many questions about preparing for college in the early years of high school like what types of classes to take, how many extra-curriculars, ACT vs SAT and what scores are good enough and whether its worth it to pay for test prep services. Then as you head into the admissions process itself you have to figure out the whole common application and when applications due for each school, when you should be asking for teacher recommendations, how to write a strong essay and whether to apply for early decision, early action or regular decision. Then there is all the planning in terms of what kinds of scholarships are available, determining if you will qualify for financial aid, how to fill out a FAFSA and so much more. The list is long, and the answers can vary greatly depending on many factors.
Not every student is meant for college or at least the traditional 4 year track. There are many viable alternatives such as trade school, community college or other professional pursuits that can provide fulfilling, flexible and often lucrative careers. As the cost of attending 4 year colleges continues to climb and more students aren't even sure if college is right for them, it is time we start removing the stigma around college alternatives. Let's help teens feel good about whatever choice they make regarding their post high school plans.
They made it! It's hard to believe it, but your child is actually graduating! Now whether it is high school graduation or college graduation, there are graduation announcements to send out and graduation parties to plan. Oh, and don't forget the graduation gifts! Make sure to enjoy all the moments as you both worked hard to get here and you should celebrate your graduate's accomplishment with all the pomp and circumstance it deserves.
Parenting College Kids
The high school and college years can be difficult for parents as we try to guide our teen children through planning and preparing for life after high school. Whether that is college or trade school or some other path it can be hard to manage not just the process of it all, but the emotions that go along with it. We are constantly walking a fine line between still parenting them while at the same time we know it is important to start stepping back and let them lead. Sometimes that can lead to conflict as our teens seek independence and we struggle letting go. It's not easy and we need all the support and encouragement we can get.
Getting Ready for College
Congratulations, you've made it through the college admissions process and your child has chosen a school to attend! Now you're entering a whole new stage of the college adventure and you have to get ready to send your teen daughter or son off to what will be their first step towards independence - college life! While the hardest part is over, there are still many things you've got to check off the list as you head into that first year of college. Most likely they will be living in a dorm, but it might even be their very own apartment. So, you'll need to figure out what dorm room essentials you might need or apartment essentials. But parents don't always think about the fact that their student is now going to have to handle so many things on their own like taking care of their medical needs, following a budget, managing a schedule and maybe even doing their laundry for the first time. Be sure you're setting them up not just for academic success in college, but also all those adulting skills they'll need to be ready to tackle.