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How Parents Can Prepare for College

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The college application process is long and hard. It is something your college-bound child will go through most of his or her high school career—yes, most of the four years. Although it is a process for the student, it is inevitably also a process for the parent(s). A parent cannot help but be involved, and his or her involvement is a great asset to the student’s success.

Here are some pieces of advice for parents who are starting to navigate the whole college application process.

The college admission process starts the freshman year: Each college requires certain coursework from its applicants as well as so many credits and so many years of study. For example, some colleges want at least two years of a language under the student’s belt; others want three years. How many years of math and science are required? Also what level of course work and what minimum grade achievement is needed? The choices in the high school class schedule are very important from the beginning, and if there is academic trouble, perhaps tutoring or retaking a course or transferring to the appropriate course should be considered to avoid damaging college admission chances. Parents should educate themselves about what is involved and must stay on top of it. They must also do the appropriate encouraging and directing to make sure their child is not short when he or she reaches the senior year. By then it’s too late.
Get to know your child’s high school guidance counselor: Your child’s guidance counselor can inform both of you what course work is needed for a college-bound student and help plan that four-year schedule, as discussed above. The guidance counselor can also fill you both in on the whole college application process. When the time comes to actually start the application process, it will be your guidance counselor who can give you the details about applications, the high school resume, the parent brag sheet, and teacher recommendations. She or he can also explain about applications fees and waivers, admission test dates and deadlines, types of colleges that offer what your child has interest in, and information about Early Decision options.
Learn about admission tests:

To continue reading about what parents can do to help their child gain college admission read the entire article on the College Basics website.