A child starting college is one of the most emotional moments for a parent and it’s one of the most important times in a student’s life. There are a lot of decisions to be made in this juncture of transition: from choosing the right school to choosing the right sort of payment plan, you’ll want to make sure every possible avenue has been considered before deciding on a route to take. Helping your child transition smoothly can mean helping them organize the application process to researching financial plans based on higherone.com ratings.
Help Them Organize the Application Process
Applying for a single college is a complicated process. There are forms, essays, and sometimes even portfolio submissions that have to be assembled in order to file a proper application and you’d be crazy if you let your child apply for just one school, so make a list of the colleges your student plans to apply to and organize a planner filled with key dates for each school. It can be a valid tool to figure out when they need to get everything together in order to apply by the various dates. This can also be a good time to decide the hierarchy of school choices; this way you are able to prioritize which application is more important.
You and your child may not realize it, but there are an innumerable amount of scholarships offering money to students from all walks of life. Local businesses and organizations may have a scholarship program that your child qualifies for. Have your child talk to a guidance counselor or career advisor at his or her school and find out the variety of scholarships that they can apply for. There are also plenty of nationwide scholarships that can be researched using a number of online search tools.
Outline a Financial Plan You Both Understand
Understanding the financial ramifications of a college degree can be a lot to handle, especially for someone as young as a college freshman. You’ll want to make sure that they know just what kind of financial burden, if any, they’ll be taking on in the near future. If they will be paying for their education with a majority of student loans, your child may choose to go somewhere with a smaller tuition or where they will receive a larger scholarship.
You will also want to take time to investigate the various lenders and their policies. Both of you should know the difference between a private and a federal loan and you should also know the track history of the company you are dealing with. A site like Higherone.com ratings can help you weed out the good lenders from the bad.
Visit Possible School Choices Together
All schools prepare a very inviting welcoming package, but you really won’t get a true feel for the school unless you visit it for yourself. Have your child narrow down their school choices and make a mini road trip to visit as many of the schools as possible. While looking, they should get a sense of what kind of environment they are looking for in a university; some schools, for example, are predominantly urban and that may clash with the classic college experience they had envisioned for his or herself.
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Samantha is a writer from Georgia who currently works as an adjunct college professor. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys blogging, reading, and spending time with her family.