Planning for college is more intensive if you want your child to gain acceptance to an Ivy League school. It is also a struggle if you are hoping your child can get a grant for education. Concentrating on grades is important, but it is only part of the situation. Your child may want to become an established political scientist or philosopher, so ask yourself if your child should have joined the debate team during his or her high school years, instead of joining the “Twilight Saga appreciation society.” Here are a few other reasons why you and your child should start planning for college a little earlier.
Get the student and the parents on the same page about your child’s future
This is very important, as your child may have his or her own ideas about his or her future. You may have your own ideas, and even though you may be tempted to impose your will on your child, the fact is that they will start to reject your imposition when they are older and have more freedom.
It also encourages both you and your child to think about the future. The decisions made during high school are not permeated, and a child may change his or her mind. But, by thinking about and discussing your child’s future with your child, you set them up for a better future.
Leave his or her options open whilst laying groundwork for the future
In other words, as a parent you should not try to pen your child in to one discipline or future job or another. We all change psychologically every six or seven years. Teenage years are troubling because changes happen radically and with a less structured 6-7 year space. Your child may be a different person from the age of 13 to 14, and then again may be another different person at the age of 17.
This means you must create a situation where your child still has options at college age, so that he or she may pursue the career of their choice. But, you must allow for the fact that your child may change his or her mind about his or her future as time goes by. He may start in high school and want to be a football player, but may want to be a quantity surveyor by the age of 16 (just pray that it does not work the other way around).
|Planning for College Early: Stockvault|
Know what your child will need in order to be the best
Your child may have an idea of what he or she wants to be, but neither of you are going to fully understand the extent of what needs to be done to get your child to that position. Once planning has begun, it is up to you to look into what your child is going to have to do, study, endure and participate in so that he or she may achieve his or her goal.
Seek advice on what groundwork needs doing
You as a parent cannot be expected to know all the things your child needs to do in order to work towards a career. Even if your child wants to work in the same field as you, times will have changed and it will be different now. So, you need to seek good advice on exactly how such a career is gained. Remember that is must be good advice, to the point of considering a second and third opinion.
Work towards becoming eligible for a grant
This is something that you and your child can do together if you both start planning early for college. You can look up the many types of grants for students and help your child become eligible for as many as possible.
Extracurricular activities to put on your college application
The bigger and more fancy that the college is, then the harder it is to get into. There are going to be hundreds (if not thousands) of students who apply with the same grades and conduct record as your child. It is often extracurricular activities that push your child across the finish line in this situation.
Extra credit activities to help your college application
If you get extra credit through established school means, then it is the same as pushing your grades up a little further. It is quite common for some students to quite a bit of extra credit work in order to stand a better chance on their college application.
Join groups for extra college application clout
Being part of different groups is good for your child’s college application. You need to find out what your child wants to be, or the area that he or she may like, and then help him or her join related groups. Joining any sort of group is usually going to help your child do better on his or her college application, but joining ones that are conducive with your child’s chosen career is a lot better.