For Parents of Soon-to-Be High School Seniors
1. Encourage Your Student to Get Involved in Summer ActivitiesBy now you know that, in addition to academic grades and test scores, college admissions officers also look at your student’s extracurricular activities. Summer break is a great opportunity for your student to get involved in clubs, the community and local sports to help show colleges that your student is active both inside and outside of the classroom.
2. Create a Summer Savings PlanIf your student is planning to work this summer, help set up a summer savings plan. This allows him/her to start saving for college now. The earlier a student starts saving, the less her or she will need to borrow to cover college expenses later. It’s always best to avoid borrowing if able, so help determine the portion of his or her summer income that can go into savings for the future and help your student stick to it!
3. Encourage VolunteeringVolunteering is a great way for your student to spend free time and give back to the community. Not only will they feel great doing so, but an added bonus is that it looks great on college applications, too!
4. Help Explore Potential Career PathsIf your student unsure of what they’d like to study in college (as most students are), summertime is perfect for exploration! Suggest he or she contact some business professionals in fields they’re interested in to talk to them about their careers. Also, recommend volunteering with organizations or at events which share common interests as your student’s potential career paths. Communicate with your student that this summer should be all about discovering who he or she is and where his or her passions and career path potentially meet.
5. Apply for ScholarshipsAs a general rule, applying for scholarships should always be on your student’s to-do list! As a starting point, suggest that they check out this list of summer scholarships.
6. Ensure Students Keep Up the College SearchYour student’s college search will only continue to ramp up as senior year begins, so any legwork completed now will give an added advantage. Help them look at the summer as an opportunity to schedule college visits, attend college fairs and research schools online.
7. Inspire Your Student to Create a Student ResumeA student resume will detail your student’s life outside of school, since any school they’ll be applying to will already be aware of what their grades and test scores are from their transcript. They can include items like extracurricular activities, community or volunteer service, work experience, any honors, awards or recognition received.
For Parents of Soon-to-Be College Freshman:
1. Finalizing RecordsYour student should double (or triple) check with their high school guidance counselor’s office to ensure that they have the correct college selection on record so that their final transcripts will be sent to the correct school, along with any scholarships received.
2. Giving ThanksNow that their college path is underway, it’s important that your student take time to acknowledge those who helped accomplish their college goals. Sending well thought out thank you notes to anyone who helped with college applications and admissions process – including teachers who wrote recommendations, family friends who may have made phone calls, those who proofread student essays, etc. – should be encouraged. Remember, a hand-written thank you note is second-to-none!
3. Financial Aid Paperwork CompletionRemind your student to follow up with their future college’s financial aid office to ensure all paperwork is complete – you don’t want to learn that any paperwork was ignored too late and miss out on any financial aid opportunities. Also, remember that June 30th is the federal deadline for filing the 2015-2016 federal FAFSA form!
4. Arranging Future FinancesIt’s smart for your student to open a student checking and/or savings account that’s local to his or her college campus. They’ll have easy access to banking services (think: no ATM fees) and they often offer promotions for students.
5. Planning College Orientation TripsPlan for college transportation to and from orientation. Coordinate with your students or any of their friends who are attending the same school so that all of you are on the same page and there are no surprises once the event nears!
6. Spending Time with FriendsEncourage your student to spend time with their high school buddies. Once the summer ends, things won’t ever be the same again. Let them know that, come fall semester, they will all be in different areas, likely around the country. They should take this time to enjoy each other’s company while they are able!
7. Dorm ShoppingOnce your student talks to their future roommate about what he or she may be bringing, they will be able to divide the list of items that need to be purchased. After you know what your student is responsible for, you can begin to help your student shop for their half of the shared items, plus anything else they’ll need like XL twins sheets or may want, like décor items.
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