10 Jul

Summer Homework: College Selection Starts Now!

Summer may have just begun, but that doesn’t mean your student’s days should be comprised of only snooze buttons and MTV! Those of you with high school students can help them get ahead by starting on the college selection process now (instead of scrambling to come up with schools to apply to in fall).

Students as young as sophomores can benefit from taking a peek into the college world. Here’s how to get started this summer:

  1. Make Mini-Visits. The best time to get a real feel for the workings of a college campus is when school is in session, but it may be less intimidating for your son or daughter to make his/her first visit during summer session. Don’t make any huge trips, but do visit local colleges so your student can get an idea of the difference between colleges: large and small, public and private, etc.
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  2. Take a Sneak Peak of College Stats. Your student may not be ready to commit to a list yet, but there is probably a school or two that has caught his/her interest. CollegeBoard’s College Search or the Department of Education’s College Navigator can provide info on size, area, price, and degree offerings, to help your son or daughter start to decide which schools might be a good fit. (Remember, choosing the “right” college can save you money!)
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  3. Try It On for Size. If your student has a friend or older sibling/relative already attending school at a college campus (who you trust!), consider sending him/her off for an overnight stay on campus. Many colleges start fall session in August (before high school is back in session) so there should be plenty of time for a quick visit. Their collegiate buddy or relative can show them around, let them try out the food, and possibly even take them to a class or two.
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  4. Make a List. As your student investigates schools, help him or her compile a list of likes and dislikes about each. This will be invaluable information to refer back to as final decisions are made down the line.

Want more info about how to use summertime for college prep? Keep coming back (or subscribe for easy updates!) for more handy tips!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

photo: Student Union by harrykeely

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