1. Start Planning Before High School (9th Grade Level)
The beginning of high school is always an exciting time for many students but it can be also stressful for some. As parents, you need to be aware that many college admissions offices review a student’s transcripts starting in 9th grade. Therefore it is important that you help your child transition from middle school to high school smoothly academically. Let your child know how important that they do well in their grades when classes are much easier as compared to their junior or senior year. This is the time to increase your GPA. Getting proper guidance from a CPA Coach can help the student prepare for the courses to take to help them with the college admissions process.
2. Have Your Child Participate In A Career Assessment/Guidance Before Any Planning
Before you invest thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for your child’s education, it is worthwhile to invest some money in having your child complete a career assessment. The career assessments provide valuable information on the student’s personal interest, skills and work values that can help determine which major or career the student should pursue.
3. Have A Heart-To-Heart Talk With Your Child About The Importance Of A College Education
According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, an average college graduate makes $17,500 more than a student with a high school diploma. By having a discussion with your child early on about the value of attaining a college degree, a parent can provide tremendous influence on the student’s decision of going to college and pursuing a career.
4. Monitor Your Child’s Course Selection, Grades And Activities In High School
Most households in America today have both parents working full-time in their respective careers. As a result, parents often do not pay attention to their child’s education. If you wish to send your child to college and would like their child to receive scholarships and grants, you need to take the time to guide your child with the proper courses to take while monitoring their academic standards and activities in high school. Our CPA Coach can be a great ally to your child in guiding them to take the proper classes and activities to get involved in to accentuate their strengths and skills when it’s time to apply for college financial aid.
5. Discuss Your Financial Situation With Your Child
Whether you have the resources to pay for your child’s college education or not, it is very important to teach them valuable financial matters that can help them better understand your financial situation. Setting the right example for the student financially can ultimately help them prepare for the “real world” when they graduate from college. Review all financial options and outweigh the pros and cons with your CPA Coach in order to make a proper decision in your child’s college selection.
6. Define Your Expectations With Regards To Paying For Your Child’s Education
Many parents often do not set expectations for their children when it comes to helping pay for their children’s college education. It is important that you set certain guidelines and expectations you have for your child if you are going to assist in funding their college education. This would include the amount of your contribution, whether it will be your investment or a loan to your child or the grades you expect them to achieve.
7. Consider Having Your Child Getting A Job During The Summer To Gain Experience
For most students, having a job provides additional spending money to support their social activities. However, from a college admissions officer’s point of view, it provides a better understanding as to how well a student manages his/her time, the level of responsibility the student may have as well as the ability to work or interact with their peers.
8. Get Your Child Involved In Volunteer Work
One of the criteria college admissions review carefully when determining a college application acceptance is in the student’s community service. Try to encourage your child to participate in church or community services that can help them not only contribute to the organization but also to gain knowledge and understanding on working for a “cause” or “mission.” Expose them to important leaders in the community so that they will learn how to look for resources in the future.
9. Encourage Your Child To Participate In Leadership Positions
Although getting involved in clubs, sports and organizations are all considered a plus when it comes to evaluating a student’s profile, having them involved in leadership roles can provide a greater asset in differentiating one student from another. Our CPA Coaches can help guide the student in determining which roles have greater value to a college admissions officer.
10. Work With A Financial Expert To Prepare Your Finances
Our Certified College Planner® along with our CPA Coach can work together with you in determining which asset for you to reposition in order to not disqualify your child from potential scholarships and grants. Be sure to take advantage of our financial expertise when it comes to saving for college.