The process of getting ready to send a son/daughter to college can present many confusing choices. This is especially true if you are sending your first child to college. There are over 3000 colleges to choose from. Each college has its own unique offering of courses and activities. In addition to all of the mailings that are sent to home there are hundreds of college websites that offer information. Starting your college search in the 9th or 10th grade gives your student an opportunity to tour different types of colleges.
Each high school student should talk to college students and faculty to get a better picture of the level of community on their campus. Some students and parents look at the name of a college to determine where they will pursue an undergraduate degree. A student can go after the big name but maybe the college does not really have the major that they want. Some colleges are located in an urban city while others are located in a suburban or rural city. Not only must you look at the size of the college you should also look at how far it is from home.
Many parents and students get consumed with discussions about the cost of college. The price of college can range from $ 20,000 – $ 50,000 for public or private college education. Colleges are trying to move into the 21st century in terms of technological resources for students who are enrolled. For example, maintaining a wireless internet campus requires staff. The staff is hired to manage the college’s hardware and software. Students can use their laptops to complete class assignments and to send e-mails to their professors. Even if you have a family income over $ 100,000 you should complete the federal financial aid form. There are certain academic scholarships and student loans that require the completion of the federal aid form.
Choosing a college should be a students own decision. The college that their friend selects may not be for them. They are making an investment in themselves that could affect their career options. It is best to choose a college that fits their personal and professional goals. Your student can take a career test at their high school to get a clearer picture of a career that may interest them. These career tests are easy to complete and they provide a lot of useful information. Your son/daughter can sit down with their high school counselor and talk about a variety of careers. They should research the career and the types of jobs that completing a certain college degree will offer.
I If you are sending the first person in your family to college recognize that you are not alone. Attend a college night at your son/daughter’s high school or attend a college fair in your city. You will get to meet admissions officers who are more than happy to answer your questions. Make the senior year a time of joy rather than anguish. Meet with your college counselor early during the school year and you will develop an effective college search plan. Despite the initial challenges you will help your student to choose their college dream. Dr. Stephen Jones is author of the “Seven Secrets of How to Study.
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