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Tips for parents on how to prepare their kids for college

For ParentsLance Murray3 Comments

Preparing for college is a goal that both you and your child need to work towards. It’s vital that you take an active role during this process, to ensure your child succeeds! College life presents a number of new challenges for the high school graduate becoming a new college freshman. Not only will your child  be living on their own for the first time, in most cases, but they are also responsible for managing their own time and finances. At the same time, college entrance is not always a step-by-step process and students and parents must determine the steps they need to take as they go. 

If you have been asking yourself, What steps should I take next to help my child move forward?, here are 10 ways to successfully prepare your child for college:

1. Determine What Type of Education Your Child Want: Students attending college should first determine what type of education they want. The types of jobs that are available will determine which college your child chooses to attend. There are two basic types of colleges that are available, these include:

  • Community, Technical and Junior Colleges
  •  Four-year Colleges and Universities

If your child have a career in mind, be certain to research the exact course requirements that they will need to prepare for within high school as well as early in college. In addition, your child will also need to research the type of education that their chosen career will require so that they can select the appropriate type of college to attend.

2. Prepare for College Academically: While your child is still in junior high and high school, it's time to begin thinking about college and how they can prepare academically. There are numerous ways they can begin preparing early in their high school career and these include taking college-level courses and standardized tests as early as possible.

3. Selecting Colleges Successfully: The type of college your child chooses is a personal decision that is based on their individual needs and talents. When selecting colleges, it’s important that you and your child consider the following questions:

  • Why do you want to go to college?
  • What do you hope to achieve by going to college?
  • Do you have an idea of a career you would like to prepare for?
  • Do you want to stay near home, in the same state or move to a different state?
  • Do you have a preference of environment, such as urban, suburban or rural?
  • Would you be happier in a small college or large university?

4. Prepare for College Financially: There are several costs that are combined to create the final cost of college for a semester. These include:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Other course expenses

There are several ways that you can prepare for college and the first one begins by saving money as early as possible. There are several savings accounts that offer tax benefits that parents can begin early in a child's life. These include 529 College Savings Plans and many states have these available. It is also a necessity that you begin searching for scholarships that your child can apply for as soon as possible.

The FAFSA is a very important part of preparing financially for college. The FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be filed online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. The FAFSA requires that you and your child have your taxes prepared as early as possible. You can begin submitting your FAFSA January 1st and the deadline is June 30th.


5. Setup A Long-Term Plan and College Checklist: By preparing for college as early as possible, you and your child should be able to set up some long-term milestones that they need to meet as they proceed through the college preparation process.


6. Apply For Colleges Effectively: Once you all narrowed down the college or colleges that you are going to apply to, you need to begin gathering some information that they will require. Applying for college is easy if you fill out your forms correctly, turn them in on time and provide them with the necessary documentation. When you apply for college you'll need to send several items with your application, including:

  1. Official High School Transcript
  2. Application Fee
  3. College Admissions Test Scores
  4. AP Exam Scores
  5. Letters of Recommendation

7. What Your Child Needs For College: If your child is going to live on campus, which is something most four year colleges and universities require for your freshmen year, they will need to bring a list of important items along with them. Here's a list of commonly needed items by first time freshmen:

  • TV
  • DVD player
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator (small combo unit)
  • Camera
  • Radio/iPod/MP3 player
  • Cell phone
  • Computer, preferably a laptop if possible with a printer
  • 3 prong extension cords and power strips
  • Desk lamp
  • Alarm clock
  • Laundry bag, basket, soap and some rolls of quarters
  • Weather specific clothing.
  • Umbrella, raincoat, jacket, shoes, etc.
  • First aid kit with pain relievers
  • Your health insurance information
  • Iron and small ironing board
  • Bedding
  • Backpack
  • Bike with a good bike lock

8. Financial Literacy: Teaching your child how to manage their money and set a budget early in high school is important. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get your child a checking account and teach them how to make smart financial decisions. Students should also be taught about credit card debt early. If your student must have a credit card, it is vitally important that you teach them to pay off the card each month and to only use it in emergency situations.

9. Register for College: Finally, the day has come! Your child selecting which courses they want to take at their new college. First and foremost, you all will most likely need to meet with a college advisor. They will be able to guide your child as to which courses they should begin with their freshmen year. Your first semester may also be a mix of the basics that everyone has to take as well as certain courses required for your degree.

10. Developing a Graduation Plan: The most important thing once your child enters college for the first time is to prepare a 4 year graduation plan. This will ensure that they remain on track to graduation within that 4 year time period. This graduation plan should include both their short and long term goals-for college and beyond graduation.

Following these simple steps, you will be able to prepare your child for college and set them up for success, not only financially but also teach them the life skills they will need for when they are on their own at college.

About the author: As America’s Education Coach, Tanya Knight is a skilled advocate for the importance of higher education. The acclaimed author of Who Says You Can’t Go to College?, she is also an engaging public speaker and personal mentor.

A graduate of Columbia College, Tanya also holds an MBA in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Education Leadership with a focus on retention.

Tanya’s diverse client list includes high school students, adult learners, school districts, colleges, universities and Fortune 500 corporations. Each and every client receives personalized services that draw on Tanya’s extensive experience working in the fields of education and human service for more than 10 years.

This information is from;                                                                                                                   https://www.education.com/reference/article/10-ways-successfully-prepare-your-child/

By Tanya Knight

Big Problems On College Campus

For Students, For ParentsLance MurrayComment

Big Problem on Campus


(September 29, 2015) – A new survey of 150,000 students at 27 universities finds that 11.7% of students reported experiencing “nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation” since enrolling. The survey, by the Association of American Universities with support from Westat, is the largest of its kind.

While the AAU survey results are similar to those found in other, smaller studies, there was significant variability among universities polled. The University of Michigan and University of Southern California, for example, reported rates of sexual violence nearly double those at Cal. Tech and Texas A&M.

According to the report, “Undergraduates identifying as TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, questioning, or not listed on the survey) had the highest rates (12.4%), followed by undergraduate females (10.8%), and graduate (professional) TGQN students (8.3%),” compared to about 4% of males surveyed. Two of the biggest factors influencing incidence of sexual assault were the involvement of alcohol and drugs and class year. “Among freshmen, 16.9 percent of females reported sexual contact by physical force or incapacitation. This percentage steadily declines by year in school to a low of 11.1% for seniors,” the report says.

data set for percentage of students experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact involving physical force, incapacitation, coercion and absence of affirmative consent since enrolling at university by tactic and gender

Source: "Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct" (Westat, 2015).

The survey also measures cases involving sexual touching, the use of coercion, and the lack of affirmative consent (categories that may include many non-criminal acts). Using this broader measure, the researchers say that “one-third (33.1%) of senior females and 39.1 percent of seniors identifying as TGQN report being a victim of nonconsensual sexual contact at least once.”

Noting the large differences between individual schools, Rebecca O’Connor, RAINN’s vice president for public policy, said, “These findings demonstrate the need for a national, standardized campus climate survey. This type of rigorous and routine baseline data collection, which would be required under the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S.590 / H.R. 1310), is imperative. Without this data, it’s difficult to understand the true scope of the problem, let alone advance policies that will truly improve prevention and response for these serious crimes.”

Congressional focus on campus sexual violence and related reforms remain front and center. At a hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee earlier this month, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said, “This is a matter of national importance – how can we better protect our students?” Witnesses, who included college administrators and advocates, spoke to the inherent challenges schools face when addressing the difficult topic of campus sexual assault, from ensuring that the rights and needs of both victims and the accused are protected, to ensuring that a tangled web of state and federal mandates are fulfilled.

As Congress moves into a busy fall season, you can help make sure this issue remains on the agenda. Stay up to date and be part of the solution by visiting RAINN’s Action Center.

This article is from RAINN.org

Three Ways You Can Increase Campus Safety This Fall

For Students, For ParentsLance MurrayComment

1. Get acclimated to your new home. College is often the first time students are away from home for an extended period of time. With a new environment, such as a university campus, comes new risks. No one expects bad things to happen, but it can be comforting to know what to do if something goes differently than planned. → Find ways to immerse yourself in campus life. Identify programming and resources available on campus – like how to sign up for a club or where to get a health check-up. Ask specific questions such as, where should you go if you twist your ankle? Which phone numbers are important to have programmed into your cell phone?

2. Be a good friend in tough situations. The key to keeping your friends safe is learning how to intervene in a way that fits both the situation and your comfort level. Having this knowledge can give you the confidence to step in when something isn’t right. Stepping in can make all the difference, but it should never put your own safety at risk.

→ If you see someone at a party acting aggressively, find a non-confrontational way to step in. If something feels off, remember to CARE: create a distraction, ask directly, refer to an authority and enlist others. The goal is to interrupt the behavior that concerned you, before the situation escalates.

3. Know how to support survivors. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing the words to say, and being able to point your friend in the direction of someone who is trained to provide guidance. Most importantly, let your friend know that no matter what happened, it’s not their fault.

→ Something as simple as “I believe you” can have a profound impact on a survivor and their recovery process. Resources like the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) provide free support to survivors and their loved ones.

Take The Next Step: Want to do even more? Check the links below for ways to take action against sexual violence on campus, and learn how you can support survivors: 1. Register for RAINN Day (September 17) and create an event for your campus. 2. Join the #TalkToRAINN conversation online (September 14th through 18th). 3. Sign up for the latest news about RAINN’s work to address sexual assault on campus. 4. Act with RAINN to support the Campus Accountability and Safety Act.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org, y en español:rainn.org/es.


This post is from rainn.org