When Should I Start Thinking About College For My Child?
As a private college counselor for Franklin, TN, Brentwood, TN, and Nashville, TN students, a question I often hear from parents is wondering how soon they should begin thinking about college for their teenager. My answer: It is never too early. Educators throughout the United States typically tend to place the most emphasis on the college search and application process during a student’s junior and senior year of high school. However, with college becoming more and more competitive and expensive, the reality is that families need to be thinking about college much earlier than the latter two years of high school.
Long gone are the days when students fill out each application by hand, meticulously choosing their ideal schools. Today, many colleges (but not all) use what is known as The Common Application and The Coalition Application. These are universal applications that allow students to submit their credentials to as many schools as they want. The upside? It allows for a more streamlined application process and is more efficient with the use of technology. The downside? Inevitably, this system results in students applying to an all-time high number of colleges each year.
These days, record numbers of students are applying to a limited number of spaces available at each institution. By default, this is lowering the admission rate across the board. College is competitive. Course selection, rigor, and the number of years each subject are just some of the factors that may make or break a student’s application. Although colleges tend to only regard grades 9 through 12, it is the work completed from grades K-8 that successfully prepares them for the courses they are eligible to take once they reach high school. Essay topics, test scores, teacher recommendation content strategies, and resume building are just some of the other components that need to be strategized prior to application season. College essay help is available to students in Franklin, TN, Brentwood, TN, and Nashville, TN students.
What should parents be doing to prepare our students for high school?
Stay on top of their curriculum. Ensure that your teenager enrolls in the appropriate level courses based on their interest and ability. Keep students engaged, focused, and involved. Cultivate a sense of self-reflection in your child so that he/she can develop interests. Encourage your child to be an independent thinker and to take the initiative both in and outside of the classroom. Monitor homework time. If your child struggles in a particular subject, consider hiring a tutor to help him/her independently or in small group sessions. Be sure to enroll your student in test prep services in Brentwood, TN, Franklin, TN or Nashville, TN. Test prep includes the PSAT, ACT, and SAT.
Keep your child on track so that they can successfully get through the subject and feel enthusiastic and confident to tackle next year’s level. Not every child is strong in math/science or history/English fields. The reality, however, is that these are evaluative courses- regardless if your child likes the subject matter.
As a former Assistant Director of Admissions, I have met with hundreds of students and high school guidance counselors. Often, a trend that I find is that school caseloads per counselor continue to increase. Studies show that the a high school student only receives, on average, 38 minutes of individualize time with their school counselor. College is an emotional, BIG decision and one that takes time and strategy. Preparation is essential.
Working with a private college counselor and educational consultant in the Brentwood, Franklin, and Nashville, TN area ensures your applications will be strategically presented. Test prep is an important part of college application planning. If you’re looking for ACT test prep, SAT test prep, and PSAT test prep in the Brentwood, TN, Franklin, TN, and Nashville, TN area, please contact my office.
Other services that I offer include:
Essay writing help
Resume building and enrichment strategy for improvement
Interview skills and interpersonal development
College list development
Teacher recommendation advising
ACT and SAT Test prep Franklin, Test prep Brentwood, Test prep Nashville
Supervision of all college applications
Customized college admissions road map