You have come to a point in your life when you see your child being all grown up and on an important life turning point. You find yourself wanting to help, but you are also trying to teach him to be independent, which can be tricky because those two things may easily work against each other. But, of course, you will give your best shot at trying to help him with his decision and here are a few things that will point you to the right direction.
Do not make the mistake of imposing your opinions, but start a pressure-free conversation on what his desires and expectations are. It is not your decision to make and you want to teach him to be independent, to think with his own head and to be able to take care of himself. On the other hand, you do have more life experience that he does and your guidance is still necessary, so think of yourself as guidance from the shadow.
Do Your Research
In order to do that, you must search through colleges; get well informed about them and the ways in which college admissions work. This consumes a lot of time and energy and even though he wants to do it himself, you must know the ropes and make sure he stays on the right track. Try to do everything in a timely manner and avoid making last minute solutions and decision at the very last date acceptable. That can turn out to be very stressful for the whole family.
When the choice is narrowed to one or several colleges – go for a visit. In this way you will help your student get rid of certain fears that rise from incertitude and inexperience. Give him a chance to see the schools first-hand and relieve him from stress to an extent. It is also a great time for getting lots of useful information from the source. Find the right match and do not just rely on the college’s reputation, but seek for a place that is simply the best fit for your child, the criteria varies.
Preparations are the Key
Another important thing is the preparation for the test. SAT is the College Admission Exam and you should see whether your child’s school offers preparation courses. If it doesn’t, buy him an SAT preparation test book so he could practice. Test him few times a month or organize a quiz to see the advancement in his studying. If you don’t have the time to commit to this, experts from a NY tutoring agency suggest hiring a tutor to keep track of his progress.
At prestigious and prominent colleges, SAT scores are not the only factor for the admission, but they do play an important role. Meanwhile, there are other colleges that do not require the submission of SAT scores, while some require individual AP or SAT test scores (if the standard ones are not submitted).
Talking about the Money
The last but not least is the “finance talk”. Sit down for a sincere, straightforward conversation and be frank about you financial capabilities. Discuss the tuition and all the other college fees. If he decides to apply for a college that is somewhat beyond your financial reach, it does not mean that he should not apply for it. Give encouragement and suggest applying for grants and possible scholarship programs.
In the end, you will just have to leave the final decision to your child and realize that it is not up to you. It will not be a mistake if he doesn’t choose a college that, according to all the information or the college guide’s persuasions, was the best for him. It is all relative and up to him to decide what choice is the best choice.