Eight Keys to Opening You & Your Teens Eyes to College Readiness
Even though Ms. Ashley Hill isn’t a mother. After speaking with her, I learned that she has a lot to share from her own personal and college experiences. I reached out to her because of my own concerns with navigating the whole college readiness journey. She is a college search strategist, author and speaker that is passionate about teaching the way in increasing their chances in winning college scholarships. Being a mother of two teenagers which are on the way to their sophomore year of high school. I can feel the anxiety in my chest mounting as I see college coming just around the corner. The preparation for college is a sprint not a race. We shouldn’t prepare at the last minute to research and figure out what our children needs are in the college admissions process. As parents, we are charged with the task to be advocates for our children to be ready for that time when it comes. Believe me it is coming and it’s coming upon you quickly!
Ms. Ashley Hill of College Prep Ready has enlighten me to eight keys to opening my mind and my teenagers eyes on how to become college ready…
KEY #1: What are some of the most common challenges that families experience when helping their child to prepare for college?
Some of the most common challenges that families experience when assisting their child in the college preparation process is lack of understanding of the college admissions process, feeling overwhelmed with the wealth of college preparation knowledge available online and offline, and waiting until senior year of high school to start discussing financing college.
KEY #2 How can families help their child to avoid those common challenges in the college planning process?
Families can help their child to avoid these common challenges in the college planning process by getting informed on each step of the college planning, focus on the college planning resources that are pertinent to their child, and discuss how to pay for college with their child before high school. I strongly encourage families to talk early and consistently with their child in order to avoid any roadblocks with the college preparation process.
This is a awesome resource that you can take advantage of that can assist you in this process…
KEY #3 What are college admissions staff looking for when selecting students to attend their college?
College admissions staff are looking at a student’s growth personally and academically over time, genuine commitment to interests and leadership roles, and a student’s character. Ultimately, college admissions staff want to see if a student will be a great fit in that particular environment.
KEY #4 How can families support their students in finding scholarships to help lower the costs of college?
One of the best ways that families can help their child to find scholarships by asking if their employer provides scholarships for children of employees. If parents are members of any associations (religious, military, sorority/fraternity, volunteer, etc), they can ask about scholarship opportunities for children of members. Also, families should encourage their children to visit their school counselor 3-4 times per school year to ask about scholarship opportunities. Lastly, families can sign up for email lists of scholarship search websites and pass the scholarship information to their children.
KEY #5 What is the role of parents in the college planning process?
Parents have a crucial role in their child’s college planning process which is to provide support and be a resource. In order to be supportive and be a resource to their child, parents must get educated on the college planning process and stay informed of any updated information. This is a child’s first major decision and will need a team of resources to successfully navigate this process. Parents are a vital part of that team.
KEY #6 How can students find the time to prepare for college?
I challenge students to think about time management in terms of priority management because students have to invest their time in preparing for college. Students should start by understanding the college preparation timeline which includes SAT/ACT testing dates and college application deadlines. Then, work backwards from the end goal (applying for college and gaining college acceptance) and schedule time to complete tasks on a weekly basis. Even with busy schedules, I advise students to maximize the time that they do have available to prepare for college even if they only have a few hours available each week. Lastly, I encourage students to take advantage of holidays and days off from school to complete college preparation tasks.
KEY #7 What should students consider when selecting the right college for them?
Students have to keep in mind that college is a home away from home for at least 4 years. So, students should consider safety programs, resources to help find employment after graduation from the Career Services Center, medical services in the event that they become ill on campus, the cost of attending the college, opportunities to get real world experience in their field during college, and campus atmosphere when selecting the right college for them. Students should not select a college to attend with friends, stay close to a boyfriend or girlfriend, or just to get away from home. Most importantly, students have to select a college with the end in mind. College is a fulfilling, yet temporary experience. The time to prepare for their future career is not senior year of college, but throughout the entire college experience by selecting a college that provides internships and other opportunities to get early career exposure.
KEY#8 How did I become so passionate about the mission of my business?
I am passionate about assisting students with using their talents and achievements to find scholarships to lower the costs of college because of my personal experience with preparing for college and searching for scholarships. Even after securing a significant amount of scholarships, I will never forget the moment that I received a notice from the financial aid department at Kent State University that I had a balance due for tuition. I was so blessed to be able to reach out to resources on campus and find and apply for scholarships. I am happy to say that the balance was covered by a few last-minute scholarships that I won. I want to help students and families through the same process and hopefully avoid the stress of trying to figure out how to pay for college.
Wheww, it was such a relief and eye opener to discuss this process with Ms. Hill…
If I would have known what I have known now. Oh, Lord where would I be but, I believe that I have the opportunity to give my kids a better start. Just as Ms. Hill, I made so many mistakes with school loans and financial aid. Where if I have known this information I wouldn’t be in school loan debt.
I hope that you would take this information and run with it. And educate yourself to advocate for your children. It doesn’t matter how old they maybe now. The time is of the essence in preparing your children to be college ready. If you want more information on how to assist your college bound kids. Where they can increase their chances in winning the scholarships that they deserve. Please check out college prep ready dot com for more information that will keep you informed. Also, there is a great radio show tune in College Prep Radio each week to learn how to prepare your kids for college without emptying your pockets.
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About Syreeta Gordon
Syreeta Gordon is a mom blogger, author, freelance content writer and social media strategist that works alongside small businesses, helping them craft their message and build their reputation to broaden audience and create leads. Her passion is to empower women that feel stuck to get out of their own way.