As soon as your child enters his/her elementary school, it's difficult to avoid thinking about the future. After
all, middle and high school can often feel like a mere stepping stones to college. But, as you well know, the road
to higher education is paved with lots of preparation and planning. If you’re unsure of where to begin, there are
plenty of articles and advice, to help you navigate everything from test prep advice to securing a teacher
recommendation and all points in between! Here are a few things to consider when determining the best college fit
for your child.
College search takes time and energy.
Set aside time for the college search process. While you want to let your child drive this process, you should
also be there as a guide to make sure they stay on track. If you can unfamiliar with the process there are guides
to help college planning guides for parents to help you through process.
Finding the right match among many colleges and universities
There are lots of great schools out there, and you shouldn't always rely on college reputation or a
school's status in a college guide. Look for a place that is a good fit for your child. When researching
colleges, you and your child must discuss each institution’s potential academic, financial, and serviceable
fit for your child.
Let college information stand on its’ own initially
Allow your child to get impressions of schools based on their own reactions and the college info that is
presented to them, not based on your influence.
There will be surprises, whether it is scholarship that decreases or deadlines that passed
unexpectedly. It is very difficult to go through the college process without any surprises. You should prepare for
worse case scenarios. The best thing you can do is have a plan B in case of an unexpected situation or event.
It's okay to have options
Try not to allow the search for the right fit to become too focused on one school that ends up being the only
choice. It's best that your child to be comfortable with several colleges and universities and have options for
where to attend.
Get as much as you can out of visits
Campus visits are a great time for you and your child to get lots of useful college information directly from
the source. Ask as many questions as possible. Your goal should be to get as much information as possible before
your child makes one of the biggest decision of his/her life.
Let your child make the decision
While it's important for you to offer guidance and support, in the end, the decision about where to go to
school should be your child's. No matter what a college guide says or what college info you have, ultimately it
is the student who will be living with the choice, so he or she should be allowed to make the choice.