Yes. You could come out and ask the question. But the odds are your teen probably doesn’t know; and even if he does answer, it might not be an honest one. It might be what he thinks you want to hear. Your child needs some “mean” emotional skills before move-in day, as evidenced by all the college kids calling their parents to say, “I don’t like it here. Can I come home?”
How do you know if your teen is ready for college? Ask yourself some questions and be honest about the answers. The answers to these questions will be a good indicator about whether or not your teen is ready for college or could use some help getting prepared. You have the summer to help him practice these important independent life skills.
Does he know how to self-advocate?
It could happen on the first day of college. Your student needs help. He needs to speak with an advisor. Talk with a professor. Have a conversation with the RA. If he constantly runs to you for help in high school, how will he ever learn to advocate for himself? Colleges expect students to handle these situations by themselves. If he can’t deal with problems now, it’s a good indicator he won’t be able to handle them in college.
Does he know how to resolve conflict?
Roommate conflict is the number one reason students are unhappy the first few weeks of college. Being placed with a roommate that does not match your student’s personality and habits can be overwhelming. Conflict arises daily in college: with friends, with professors, with administration. If he goes to college without this emotional skill he will be more likely to “phone home” asking for help every time a conflict with someone arises.
Does he make friends easily and possess the necessary social skills?
Students who sit in their room alone day after day will not survive in college. They need a support group: friends to turn to when they are homesick or struggling. The social aspect of college is key to surviving four years away from home. Going to college far from the comfort of home and not knowing anyone can be a deal-breaker for the shy, uninvolved student.
Does he know how to recognize and avoid risky behavior?
There are going to be opportunities in college to participate in dangerous behavior: drinking, drugs, hooking up, and reckless driving to name a few. Students often see college as an opportunity to participate in activities that parents would not encourage while they are living at home. Does he have the tools to recognize and avoid the consequences of these behaviors?
Has he been away from home for an extended period of time?
So many first time college students have never been away from home without parents. A few weeks away from home gives them a taste of what life is like on their own. If your student has never been away from home or on his own, college will be a difficult adjustment.
Preparing your student for the emotional aspect of college will be best for him and for you. If he’s ready to venture out on his own, you will be less stressed about dropping him off on move-in day. And you most likely won’t receive the dreaded phone call: “I want to come home.”
It’s graduation gift time. High school students are graduating with aspirations of college in the fall. Graduation gift guides are dominating the online world. But why not treat yourself to a few gifts that will help you with the transition from high school to college?
These books for parents should provide great summer reading and future reference as your teen heads to college in the fall:
If your child is starting life in college, there’s a surprise around every corner…But that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared! This book is a witty and wise guide to everything you need to know about the college experience. Harlan Cohen, America’s most trusted college life expert, delivers the best advice, facts, stats, tips, and stories from parents, students, and experts across the country to ensure that you and your child will have an incredible and meaningful college experience.
Wendy David-Gaines, the author, is famous for exposing the cliches about college. After giving the cliche, she gives you the “POCS reality”. In her book, Wendy does this effectively by compiling actual parent stories. The stories (both from pre-POCS and POCS) are simple, light-hearted, often humorous and an easy read. But here’s the clincher–they provide parents with added insight into each individual situation.
This guide is divided into time segments throughout your student’s first year of college: summer, early fall, late fall, and spring. Each division provides parents with all the information they need help their student through each segment of the first year of college.
The summer segment (Get Ready), deals with topics related to the changes you will face as your role changes, what to expect at orientation, roommates, budgeting, and campus culture. The fall segment (Settling In), discusses topics like move-in day, greek life, parent visits, and how to deal with struggling students. The late fall segment (Adjusting), deals with care packages, holidays, diet and exercise, studying abroad. The spring segment (Looking Forward), talks about sophomore topics like housing, student stress, transferring and student loans. The final chapter gives you areas to write down phone numbers, important dates and a typical 4-year checklist.
Jodi Okun’s book launched today and the presales put it on the Amazon #1 Best Seller list. This book is more than help for financial aid questions. In it you can find out how to give your student the financial skills they’ll need for life, with talking points and scripts to help you with important conversations you need to have before college. Jodi provides parents with expert advice and in this book shares her experiences of helping parents pay for college.
This bestselling guide has already helped hundreds of thousands of parents over the past decade, and it remains one of the best guides for parents of new college students. Now in its fourth edition, this guide is based on the real-world experiences of students and parents. It’s filled with practical, compassionate, and timely college tips for parents going through the college experience.
This book offers a whimsical, humorous, but also practical guide for parents with college-bound children. Featuring real-life examples and dialogues, the author provides parents with need-to-know fundamentals as their student goes off to college.
Many parents struggle with setting the appropriate boundaries for their college students and this book can be a big help. Marjorie Savage has some of the best college tips for parents on how to respect a student’s boundaries while still providing emotional support.
When her children left for college, Melissa Shultz was certain that she had prepared them well for their new lives-but her own life was a different matter entirely. Her house was empty, her purpose unclear. If her life was no longer dominated by the day-to-day demands of being “Mom,” then who exactly was she? And how would she ever move forward? Shultz’s struggle with the empty nest and the transformation of her marriage, friendships, career, and ultimately herself, is part memoir and part self-help guide.
In this book, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.
Zac Bissonnette has seen the currently flawed system first hand. He’s a contrarian, and his book is packed with studies and statistics to back up his analysis. It’s a magical combination that college-bound students and their parents should read, even if there’s plenty of money set aside to pay the tuition tab. There’s no harm in learning ways to get the biggest bang for your buck and the best education available at the same time.
Standardized testing can be stressful at best, terrifying at worst. An experienced private tutor offers students a huge advantage with their preparation. By devising a blueprint to prepare for these exams, students can reduce anxiety and drastically improve their scores. Here are some advantages of one-on-one test prep tutoring:
As I mentioned previously, the amount of stress during college application time can be overwhelming. Your child not only has to deal with school, maybe a job, and also think about being accepted to college. A tutor will reduce the stress of having to figure out testing dates, scheduling, and will customize a study plan that is specific to your child’s needs. Your child will also feel more at ease knowing the material they will test on, which will ultimately increase their chances at a higher score.
Target Strengths & Weaknesses
No student learns the same. One one one tutoring is the most customizable way of learning. A tutor will assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and customize a study plan. Applying a customized plan, will help your child focus on areas that are challenging that they might have otherwise overlooked. Not all students gain the same knowledge in school.
Strategies That Work
A tutor will instill test taking tactics that will alleviate wasted time. Tutors not only teach vocabulary and math formulas but can also suggest new approaches and strategies for questions. This will in turn help with time management and better decisions during test time.
Quality in Teaching
You get to pick a tutor to best match your child’s learning style, schedule, and your budget. While your child might be in the ten percentile of their class, they are also competing with the rest of the students trying to get into the same college. Not all students get the same background knowledge needed to excel at standardized testing. A one on one tutor will focus on managing your child’s unique learning style.
The tutor – tutee relationship can give your child that motivational push by encouraging a higher level of thinking. A good tutor not only provides your child with test taking information and different approaches, but can also help as motivation in this sometimes overwhelming undertaking. Tutors have been in their shoes, and they know what it is to feel overwhelmed during this time.
Let’s face it, college is expensive! However, some colleges and universities offer awards based on test scores. It is no secret that the higher a student scores the higher the chances of receiving scholarship awards. It is important to note that some colleges give automatic scholarships for SAT/ACT scores. Good test preparation will return more than its cost in scholarship awards.
Ultimately, a good one on one tutor will help your child target strengths and weaknesses, alleviate stress, promote motivation and provide test taking and study abilities they can utilize later in life. A good tutor will strengthen the pathway to your child’s college career.
“Apply to scholarships with the least number of applicants to increase your odds of winning.”
This advice applies not only to local scholarships, but also non-nationally known scholarships as well. Today’s scholarship is awarded by How to Win College Scholarships’ founder Monica Matthews.
The Savor Summer College Scholarship (sponsored by how2winscholarships.com) is a $500 scholarship award.
To be eligible, students must meet the following guidelines:
- Have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or above
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Be a high school sophomore, junior, or senior (2015/2016 school year)
- Submit one letter of recommendation from a current high school administrator, teacher, employer, or community leader
- Submit a copy of most current high school transcripts
- Submit an essay of 500 words or less answering the question, “How are you planning on using your summer vacation?”
This is a non-renewable, one-time award of $500 to be used exclusively to offset costs and fees related directly to the student’s first year of higher post-secondary education at an accredited institution of the student’s choosing within the United States. The winner will be chosen on or before July 14, 2016.
ONLY COMPLETE APPLICATIONS WITH REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION WILL BE CONSIDERED. Questions about the Savor Summer College Scholarship may be directed to email@example.com.
Deadline: Applications must be postmarked by July 1, 2016. No fax or email applications will be accepted.
Working hard in school can help you land great scholarships that will help you with the cost of going to school. Scholarships are a much better alternative to student loans because you don’t have to pay them back. How well you do in school can have an impact on the amount of scholarship money you will receive. Scoring high on your SAT exam is one way to ensure you have a good chance at receiving a scholarship.
Preparing for your SAT Exam
Since most colleges in the United States require students to take the SAT exam, it’s important to be prepared on testing day to get a good score. The current 2016 SAT exam takes approximately three hours to complete, with an additional 50 minutes given for the essay portion. Scores can range anywhere from 400 to 1600 and is usually taken by high school juniors or seniors. Being prepared for the exam is the best way to ensure you’ll receive a good score. Read Kranse SAT reviews to learn about a great course that will ensure you’re prepared and confident on testing day.
If you’ve done exceptionally well in school and if you received a good score on your SAT exam, you may be eligible to receive a merit-based scholarship. Merit-based scholarships are granted to individuals who have great academic records, high GPAs, good standardized test scores and other types of achievements. Many merit-based scholarships are sponsored by colleges and universities, so if you think you may qualify for one, be sure to find out more about them.
Merit-based scholarships aren’t the only scholarships available. Many also require a high SAT score to apply. There are hundreds of different types of scholarships available. The first place you should look for scholarships is local. Browse the websites of the high school in your area because they might have scholarship information on them. Social media and scholarship search engines are also great resources. If you’re really good at something, such as art, you can use that to find specific scholarships based that interest and expertise.
College is stressful enough for most people, but with scholarships you will worry less about the cost of going to school and focus more on your studies. Do well in school now and prepare for standardized tests so you can ensure you have a better chance at receiving some great scholarships to help you out.
Sometimes between all the test prep and soccer games and essay-writing, it’s easy to forget that, at the core of it all, the most important factor on a college application is the high school transcript. While test scores, essays and extracurricular achievements are all taken very seriously, the transcript is still the basis for all decision making by admissions officers. Here’s how to ensure that your child is making the most of their time in the classroom:
Is it better to take higher level courses or to ace lower level ones?
One question that continues to loom for well-meaning parents is whether to push their children into higher level courses, with the possibility that an accelerated class will mean a lower grade. Obviously, the first thing a parent has to do is take into account the real achievement level of their student—but the answer to this conundrum may not be exactly what you might think.
Admissions officers definitely take into account the idea that a student is stretching his or her boundaries when it comes to academics. Therefore, when matching two applicants side by side, if one received all A grades but in lower level classes while the other had A and B grades in advanced classes, the student with advanced classes would always have the advantage. That being said, if your child is taking advanced level classes and getting a C, the supposed advantage is no longer viable. You need to be realistic when it comes to course load and what a student can handle. Ultimately, it’s always best to take classes that stretch the mind (but don’t break it!).
Broad spectrum or laser-like focus?
Another aspect of the application process that is misunderstood is whether there is a need to demonstrate widespread learning or to show talent in one area.
My father used to say that there are only two ways a person can learn:
“Either you can learn more and more about less and less, until you know everything about nothing, or you can learn less and less about more and more until you know nothing about everything.”
In the case of college admissions, it’s much better to know more about less. It’s a little counterintuitive, because many feel that presenting a broad cross-section of talents is good for a transcript. While that’s true, it is only the case if a student can prove he or she is actually adept at these things, and not just dabbling for the sake of a diversified portfolio.
It is not clever to suddenly have your teen filled with seemingly disparate classes and extracurriculars in his or her junior year, with the hope of “fooling” an admissions officer into thinking that they have a larger base of knowledge or experiences. No one is fooled. Ever. A sudden interest in clarinet, Judo, Mandarin and Habitat for Humanity is a dead giveaway.
Instead, have your student focus in one area where he or she has real skill and can build up expertise. If your child is into history, allow that interest to blossom and deepen and perhaps turn into independent study by serving as a History Club officer, or taking AP American History, AP European History and AP World History. A student with a clear focus like that is attractive to a university—it is a narrative about a particular aspect of an applicant’s personality that gives him or her a specific appeal. On the other hand, someone who looks like a dilettante will be difficult to pin down by an admissions officer looking for a reason to accept.
What if the “right” classes aren’t being offered?
Get creative—often, it’s hard to have your teen take the right classes because of scheduling conflicts or the fact that they are not offered at their high school. Fear not! Look around at summer programs as well as toward local community colleges. It is easier than you might think for your student to start earning college credit. Ask academic advisors at your child’s high school to see if it makes sense to (for example) take pre-calc over the summer in order to be able to take calculus senior year.
The rule of thumb:
Working hard in one discipline is the best representation of a student’s skill and college preparedness. Yes, tests are important, and it’s crucial to have a base of knowledge, but never try to twist the system, and your child will always be on the right path. That means have them take the highest level prep classes they can and learn as much as possible in them, working toward their actual strengths. Your child will be happier, admissions will take notice, and he or she will be able to achieve more in college, too.
About the Author
Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL; editing essays and personal statements; and consulting directly with applicants.
Graduation day is approaching for parents of high school seniors. It’s been a long four years. The last year has been especially trying (and exciting) for those parents whose teens are heading for college after graduation.
With all the college preparations ahead this summer, there is an uncomfortable, and often dreaded, task of talking about college drinking, hooking up, and other risky behavior. Let’s face it: no teenager wants to be lectured. Especially when she is on the cusp of becoming an adult (or so she thinks). Ask any teenager and they will tell you parents are experts at lecturing. Most tune it out (so they say) because for the last 18 years they have been told what to do and what not to do.
Knowing this, how do you discuss risky behavior in college without lecturing?
Listen. It’s hard to do in the fast paced world we live in. But find a time when your teen likes to talk. For my daughter it was while she was getting dressed to go out with friends. I sat in her room and listened to her talk about life, love, and other teenage passions. I not only listened, I learned a lot—about her dreams, her friends, her fears and yes, her behavior.
Next, open a discussion. Once the topic of risky behavior comes up, whatever it may be, the door is opened. For my son, he was telling me about one of his friends that was high all the time. Instead of lecturing him about the “dangers of drug abuse”, I asked him what he thought about it. He was more than willing to discuss it and that gave me the opportunity to share my opinion without lecturing.
Finally, look for opportunities to insert advice into the conversations you have with your teen. This may be while watching a television program, at the dinner table, in the car after a movie, or after a long night out with friends. I found both my children were willing to “spill the beans” after coming home from a date or a night out with friends. Take advantage of their willingness to talk.
Your teen will observe risky behavior before going to college. You can bank on it. How she or he views that behavior will determine how they respond when they are alone at college. Your observations and your non-lecturing advice will be valuable and, believe it or not, remembered when they find themselves in risky situations.
Teenagers (and adults) dread those words, “We need to talk”. Avoid lecturing at all costs. Insert your wisdom and advice into the opportune moments instead. Be stealth. Be sneaky. But most of all, be their parent.
To prepare yourself for these conversations, check out these blog posts:
This article originally appeared on Smart College Visit as my Parent College Coach Tip of the week.
George W. Bush got some flack over comments he made during a Presidential debate regarding his presidency—“it’s hard work”. Mainly because he said it over and over again. If you’re the mom of a college-bound teen you know how he feels—“it’s hard work”. Moms deserve a medal and more than one special day a year. After dealing with conflict, emotions, stress and tough decisions during college prep it’s easy to be overwhelmed and exhausted.
Who says moms of college-bound teens don’t work? Most have two jobs–one in the home and one in the workforce!
Here are 20 jobs every mom of a college-bound student performs.
- Head Cheerleader and College Coach
- Organization Expert (for all the high school awards, past essays, report cards, and college material)
- Taxi Driver (to and from sporting events and college fairs)
- Life Coach (guiding to make the right college choice based on fit)
- Anger Management Coach (during the many heated discussions over college)
- Family Therapist (intervention at least once a week}
- Errand Runner (for all those college-related tasks)
- English Teacher (specializing proofreading and editing of essays)
- Finance Manager (planning for all college costs)
- Personal Assistant (staying on top of deadlines, application submissions, test prep booking)
- Personal Shopper (preparing for the inevitable move-out day)
- Travel Agent (making arrangements for all college visits)
- Event Coordinator (specializing in all senior celebrations)
- Sleep Scientist (making sure your teen gets enough sleep and providing late night study support as needed)
- Safety Patrol (watching for any risky behavior to address before college)
- PhD in Reverse Psychology (especially before and after the college decision)
- Separation Anxiety Counselor (preparing for college move-in day)
- Parent Mediator (running interference between all the well-meaning advice and what your teen really wants and needs)
- Scholarship Coach (this will require many hours of searching and constant motivation)
- Investment Counselor (completing the FAFSA, deciphering the award letter, deciphering student loans based on college ROI)
After reading these tasks, no wonder you’re exhausted! But one day, your teen will appreciate everything you did for him. One day.
Going away to college can be one of the most exciting times in the lives of both student and parent. It is a time for your college students to find their feet, their own voice, and begin a journey of independence. Many children long to be older and more independent, but fail to realize the real implications. They may chase more responsibilities or greater independence only to find that they cannot cope. A bad situation can quickly become worse if they fail to admit their mistake or feel shame in seeking help. We can be guilty of this as fully fledged adults too! Before your child goes away to college or early on in their college career, it can be helpful to make them aware of help that is available. That way they need not feel embarrassed about constantly contacting you and can seek some help through their own initiative too. It is important to discuss the fact that asking for help is not an admission of defeat. It is not a sign of weakness or childishness. Asking for help can be one of the bravest things we can do. It is a sign of maturity to acknowledge when you are struggling and taking steps to address it.
There are many problems your child might encounter during the course of a degree or qualification. Problems can be financial, emotional, physical and more. But there is a greater range of help available than ever before, from trained professionals to peer support groups. Read on to discover the sources that you and your child can rely on when you need to.
Many colleges and institutions have what are known as student unions. They are often located in a physical building that is used for socializing, meetings, workshops and more. What many students and their parents don’t know is that student unions provide far more than just campus fun. They can offer counseling services, financial advice, accommodation suggestions and more. Becoming familiar with your student union and the services it offers can save a lot of time and energy. You or your child may be trying desperately to find a reliable source of advice on a topic. But the student union may have the information right on your doorstep, so to speak. Because student unions are often fun and organizing parties and events, it can be easy to overlook their serious side. The best student unions are designed to protect, advise and represent students. Not just entertain them! If you or your child are experiencing doubts or problems relating to the student experience, don’t hesitate to contact the union. If they don’t have the answers, they can easily put you in touch with someone that will.
Churches and Inter-Faith Groups
Many people are spiritual without considering themselves religious. Equally, many people have been brought up with religion but “lost touch” with it as they get older. Many student churches and organizations fully recognize these circumstances. More than ever before, their events are open to people who want to explore faith or just be in a non-judgmental, welcoming environment. Churches, meditation groups, or inter-faith organizations can be an overlooked source of emotional support. They often offer services and support groups for students feeling lonely, homesick or isolated. This may be because of their faith, or it may be another reason. But many students find great help and solace in exploring their faith or simply mixing with students on a more spiritual path.
Academic Support Services
Support for studying can take many forms. Many students find themselves struggling to adapt to a higher level of academic study. This is normal but it does need to be addressed quickly for a successful time studying. Students should be aware that questions and seeking clarification is encouraged. They should never feel embarrassed or hesitant to ask tutors for further advice or guidance. Many tutors even hold after class sessions for students to discuss their concerns outside of class. It can be intimidating to ask a question with a whole class’ eyes on you. But tutors can meet during office hours or in small groups. Academic support can also come in the form of reputable internet services and support groups. Some websites provide a term paper writing service. These can be used as essay guidance or inspiration, and can be tailored to meet specific needs. Academic support is what every university and institution should be proud to provide. Encourage your child that a student should never feel afraid to ask how to improve his or her learning.
Campus security needn’t only be a source of help during genuine emergencies. College life should also include a greater level of self-awareness and safety. It is more important than ever for a student who is away from home to be vigilant. They will need to protect themselves, their property, and be aware of their rights. Many police precincts and officers will give special talks to students on safety and even how to make a complaint. There are often numbers to ring in case of non-emergencies but that still require attention. It can be easy to overlook the police as a worst case scenario. But new students should take advantage of the specific support and advice they can offer them.
Many new students inevitably find themselves sick in the early weeks of term. The stress of being away from home, mixing with others at close range, and even a different climate can take its toll. But doctors don’t only offer advice for when we’re seriously ill. Doctors also give advice on sleep hygiene, preventative measures, and sexual health, for example. They can put us in touch with other professionals like nutritionists or physiotherapists too. Instead of typing symptoms into a search engine, more of us should rely on the advice of training professionals. Students should know that they are never wasting a doctor’s time by visiting. Putting their mind at ease can be very important and save a lot of time, energy, and disturbed sleep. Doctors can give confidential advice and help us to take better care of ourselves at any age. Encourage your child to register with a local doctor as soon as they arrive and they will always feel more in control of their body and health.
The #1 searched item on my website is this: Snag a Fishing Scholarship. Who knew there were so many students and parents looking for fishing scholarships? But how do you win these scholarships in high school? First, you have to compete in competitions that award scholarships. If your high school doesn’t have a fishing club, start one. Then get registered for all the fishing competitions in your area. Check out this Washington High School State Championship, and search for others within your state.
”College-age anglers are getting the opportunity to keep casting, and it’s more than just a hobby. Bethel University, a college in McKenzie, Tenn., with an enrollment of 5,825, first laid the roots for its fishing program in 2009. They weren’t the first school to offer bass fishing, but they were the first to offer scholarships for anglers.”
As I’ve said previously, the best scholarships are often offered by the colleges themselves. But where do you find these colleges? Here are a few places you can look:
If you like bass fishing, these colleges will be right up your “lake, river, stream”. Here is a list of colleges, by state, that have affiliated with the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series. Each state is listed along with its College Series conference (Central, Eastern, Midwest, Northern, Southern or Western) Check to see if your college of choice is listed.
Fishing League Worldwide surveyed National Guard FLW College Fishing anglers in the country on their clubs, their schools, their fishing lifestyles and more, and we scored the results based on the factors we thought most important for a college angler: proximity to bass fisheries, tournament opportunities, club activities, etc. We also interviewed club officers and tournament winners. We then tossed all the information together, combined our “editors’ rankings” – completely ignoring the Bowl Championship Series computer scores – and ended up with the results that follow: the top 25 bass fishing colleges.
When searching for specific scholarships like fishing, you have to be a detective. Do a Google search for “fishing scholarships”, “fishing scholarship competitions” and “colleges with fishing scholarships”. Follow all the links and keep researching. This will take some time, but the reward will be worth it!