ForwarDirections – Educational Coaches / College & Career Planning

College Admissions Planning Tips for Parents

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
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This is the question many adults ask young people of all ages.  Simply asking this question and other questions like it are ways to help students to start thinking about and planning for college.


College Education Equals More Money

Most people know that it is better to have a college education than not. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, those with a college education earn almost double what a high school graduate earns. Look at the chart below to see the earning power of different types of college graduates.

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Getting into college involves planning and that planning can never start too early. College going families always talk about college. In addition, when families go on trips or vacations, spend a little time driving through a college. Parents can do simple things to help their children think and plan for college by talking about college, visiting college websites, and visiting colleges as a family.

Help your child to write down goals each month or year. Encouraging your child to write down goals is one way to cause him/her to make commitments and learn how each person can identify what they want to do and then take the action to achieve it. The act of writing something down and then talking about these goals helps to realize these ideas. These goals can be simple goals like making a new friend or playing on a sports team or writing in a journal. Or they can be more challenging goals like saving a certain amount of money each year or learning a musical instrument. Successful people write down their goals and have a system for reviewing their goals. Finally, help your child to celebrate when goals have been achieved.

Next, help your child to do well in school. Getting good grades in school starting at a young age is helpful in being admitted to and being successful in college. It is important to note that the average GPA for students admitted to college is a 3.0 or B-average for the courses needed to apply to college. Help set those study skills early by providing a quiet study area and a school study routine. If needed, find tutors who can help your child to be successful in difficult subjects. Everyone needs a little help from time to time.

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Listen to your child talk about the things he/she likes. Most children indicate a preference at an early age. One student we have worked with talked about how his parents put him in many different sports before he found that he most enjoyed football. Help your child learn about what he or she likes to do by talking about it or encouraging reading about a variety of careers.

Finally, it is never too early to start saving money for college. Teach your children the importance of saving money over time and how that money can be used to invest in college in in their future. This can be accomplished by setting up a savings account for your child and visiting your local bank to listen to different ways to save money for college. Here are some ways to save for college.

Top Tips to Help Your Child Plan for College:

  • Talk about college
  • Visit colleges
  • Write down goals
  • Encourage good grades
  • Identify interests
  • Start saving for college now
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