College is an exciting time in a young person’s life. It marks a new stage in education and can help young people discover a new passion or career path. Parents can help their children through the college decision process by encouraging them to take the time to research different fields of study. Most colleges offer short introductory courses on a variety of subjects. This is a great way for students to discover what they may like or not like about various possible careers. After choosing a major, parents and children can talk to students about where they like to spend their free time and what they like to do. This will help them discover a college that best fits their lifestyle, interests, and ambitions.
Before your child even decides what college to attend, you can help them by providing information and setting expectations. This starts even before high school since all schools have financial aid available, but your child will need to apply and qualify. Some schools have a head start program that can help your child prepare for the college application process, including taking the ACT or SAT and helping your kid develop college plans.
Here are a few ways that parents can help their kids in their college decisions.
Encourage them to take the career exam
The best careers fit a person’s abilities and interests, and that holds true even during college major selection. This process can be intimidating. But there are tests on personality and career that can help in this process and can suggest paths founded on the likes and priorities of the student. The results of these tests can give your child additional career options to explore.
Guide them in choosing the major
The hardest part about college is the looming decision of which major to pursue. The best advice we can give is to pick a major that you feel passionate about and make sure it’s one that allows room for growth.
Give them questions that will provide the answer to what they want to get
There are a number of factors that contribute to college choice, and it is not unusual for students to change their minds, whether they have gone to a certain number of college fairs, visited a few campuses, or picked a school based on its reputation. So, how do you help your child pick the right college? You can encourage them to keep an open mind and to consider all aspects of college when choosing a school. This might mean encouraging your child to visit a range of schools, even ones that they do not initially like. Search out campus tour opportunities, visit colleges with their siblings, and attend college fairs—even if your teen is not sure where they are going yet.
Have them visit colleges
Going to college is more than just classes, homework, and exams. Choosing which college to go to is a big decision. In addition to evaluating academic programs, cost, and location, prospective students should also consider college culture, opportunities outside of the classroom, and the many friends they will make. One of the best ways to evaluate a college is to visit. And parents can help.
It can be difficult to know what “brand” of school will help you reach your long-term goals with so many colleges to choose from. Fortunately, your college search does not have to feel like guesswork. Most students begin their college search online but visiting campuses in person might be the best way to find the right college for your child. For many students, visiting campus and meeting professors and students is the best way to determine which college best fits their needs.
The chances of a college-bound student getting into their dream school are slim. But that does not have to mean taking the first college acceptance letter that comes in the mail. Most college-bound students will need to apply to multiple schools, which will often involve reviewing admissions statistics, visiting campuses, and submitting applications. Four out of five students apply to between three and five schools, and students typically apply to 7.4% of schools. Of course, not all college-bound students apply to multiple schools, but those that do can often increase their chances of getting into their first-choice school.