August 13, 2012
- Great Things to do Before School Starts!
- Maryland Tax Free Week Here!
- Sesame Street Live - "Elmo Makes Music"
- 2012-2013 MCPS School Calendar & Supplies
- ParaNorman Cupcake Kit Giveaway
- Great New Apps from Disney Junior
- College is just around the corner
- Flip Flop Wreath
- Key Lime Pie
- Nat Geo Wild Animal Puzzles & Card Games Review
- Back to School Basics
- Make Mornings Easy!
- This Week's Calendar
- Plan Ahead
- Local Children's Theater Productions
- Weekly Open Gyms & Storytimes
- Kids Eat Free or For Less!
- My Medifast Journey - An Update
- Macaroni Kid Saves
- Thanks to some of our fabulous Site Sponsors!
Make this year count for college!
It seems like just yesterday you were getting your little one ready for his first day of kindergarten. Now you’re approaching his freshman year of high school. It’s time to have “the talk.” No, not that one! The talk about taking academics seriously, excelling at one or two extracurricular activities, participating in community events, and figuring out what colleges would be a good fit.
First, rest assured, there are colleges that are a great fit for your teenager. In fact, there are several. Here are some suggestions to assist with prioritizing the high school years, and assisting with the college selection process.
Become familiar with the guidance department. Have your son introduce himself to his counselor long before he’s asking for transcripts and letters of recommendation to be sent. Also, you might find the department has some extremely helpful resources that can be utilized throughout high school.
Academics matter. They matter now, sophomore year, junior year, and even through senior year! Colleges compare the student’s course load to what’s offered at the individual high school. So, although I’m not suggested he take every AP course available, it does need to be a rigorous course of study.
The old “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” applies here. Yes, there are advantages to trying out new things, and I’m not discouraging self-exploration. It’s just some folks have the mindset that the more clubs their children are in, the better this looks on a college application. Most colleges want to see progression. It’s more impressive that your son went from club member to vice president then that he can fill every line on the application with a bunch of clubs that had little impact.
Get on the same page. You can state in frustration “You don’t appreciate all we’ve done and sacrificed for you.” Only for your son to declare “Well, you just don’t understand.” argument—I’ve been privy to way too many! On both sides, fear is usually a pretty big factor. Alleviate that by exploring colleges early. That was the pressure isn’t on, and you can go to a local college and even enjoy a play or sporting event. Visiting is essential, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you get a feel for a school.
Discuss finances. There’s a lot to consider—the tuition, living expenses, and then how it’s going to be paid for. Don’t skip a discussion on the students’ spending habits! Many students graduate college with not only loan debt, but also credit card debt. If you’re funding college, great, but they still need to be fiscally responsible. If you’re not, break down what you can contribute, and what they’re expected to contribute.
Oh, and along the way, enjoy the process!
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