A really important moment in your teenager`s life is the one when choosing a college or university. The stress caused by the final exam before graduation together with the passage to the next level – the life of a student – may lead to a lot of tension on your child, both physical and mental.
Depending on what your teenager will choose, this will be the basis of his future career and life. Depending on the choices made either by the child or his parents, the next years from the child`s life are either wasted or it can all lead to a bright future.
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Offering Support & Encouragement
The very first thing you should do is offer your child encouragement and support. Try to establish the college`s or university`s expectations since elementary school. Expose your child to experiences that stimulate him without pushing him too much towards things he doesn`t like or to make him choose something only to “look good” on an application.
Help your high school junior or senior regarding interview abilities or put thing in motion for another adult to perform imitation interviews. Try to improve yourself until you become a good “coach” and let your children know that trust in them in their potential. Remember to encourage your adolescent to have an open mind.
Managing the Stress
Stress is sometimes hard to support by adults, but mostly by young people, whose emotions are a lot more powerful. The tendency of teachers and parents to hyperbolize the significance of college and university puts lots of pressure on the shoulders of teenagers.
Although it`s important, the fear of it caused by a bad image induced by parents might impose a feeling of anxiety for the child. It`s already common knowledge that the results obtained in conditions of anxiety or stress are much lower than in those of relaxation.
Educating Yourself about Colleges & Universities
Another important aspect you need to consider is to educate yourself about college and university opportunities. Try to attend to all parent meetings related to colleges and your youngster`s school. Be certain your young one meets the necessary requirements for private or public colleges or universities. In order for your teenager to show interest or awareness on possible college choices, you need to first teach him, and for what you have to be the first showing awareness.
Take Part in their Choice of Possible Schools
Among the hardest parts when looking for colleges and universities is finding out what you`re looking for in the first place. Some of the students out there are aware of what degree program they want to pursue, while other ones aren`t really yet sure what to choose.
The first and most important thing parents can do is ask questions. Are you more interested in a private or public college? What sort of environment are you interested in? What activities, athletics or clubs are looking for? Are you more interested in going out of state or staying in state? All these represent questions that can aid a student make up their mind to a few good prospective choices.
Create a List of Colleges or Universities
Create a list of colleges or universities based on location or specific programs they may offer, but also based on your financial requirements.
Then, narrow down the list. Be certain to look at results-particular data such as graduation rates, average salaries after graduation and student loan rates.
Delete any school from the list that you know your child might not have any chance getting in or may be out of the price range. You might keep 1 or 2 schools which are seen as “reachable” schools, but most of the options should be seen as “good fit” choices. This will mean that those schools should fit your specific criteria, they provide the majors your child is interested in, your child has the necessary grades to get in, and are within the price range of the family.
Note: Keep in mind that those students who are in the top 30% of general applicants generally get the best packages related to financial help.
Planning a Visit to the College or University
The visit to the college or university is the most essential factor of most students when taking a decision about where they`ll go. For this particular reason, and due to the reason that lots of universities can sometimes be really expensive, it`s vital to plan only those visits to colleges or universities that meet your original criteria. You can be sure that you won`t want the child to really like a campus which you cannot afford or is almost impossible for him to get into.
During these visits, it may be easier than you think to be swept up in the beauty of the university and somehow romanticize the school because as everyone knows, tour guides generally put a rather positive spin. To make the most of your tour, prepare yourself with a list of questions for which you need answers. If you can, take part at a course and spend some time at the dining hall. Talk to employees, students and teachers to get more knowledge about what interests you in that particular school.
Applying & Comparing Different College & University Options
Applying to lots of colleges or universities needs a lot of effort, and might also prove to be expensive when needing to pay the application charge for every school in part. Although some might apply to 10 or 15 schools, most specialists advice sending around 6 to 10 applications. The final lists should only include 2 or 3 safety schools, 3 – 5 “good fit” schools, and 2 or 3 “reach” schools.”
There good news as well! If you have done the homework properly, your teenager should be accepted to most schools. You might also be pleasantly surprised to get a fair package for financial help from a few “good fit” schools.
Making a Final Decision
Try and take advantage of all the info and date around you and opt for that particular college or university that seems a good fit for what you want for your child. After all, nothing is more important than your children`s education.