Tips For Helping Students
Parents, guardians and other adults should be partners with the student when decisions are being made about high school course selection. The more involved you become in preparing the student's high school curriculum, the better.
- Familiarize yourself with college and work requirements.
- Explore the variety of courses offered at your high school.
- Help gather information about careers of interest to the student and review the educational requirements for each career.
- Discuss the classes preferred or requested by the student.
- Contact the guidance office with any questions you may have about high school requirements and options. Guidance counselors can refer you to many reference and resource materials.
Your role is extremely important in setting a good example and monitoring your student's behavior. Daily attendance is a top priority for the student's success in high school, college, and employment. Insist that students be prepared for each day with completed assignments, appropriate school books, necessary fees/lunch money, and an openness to learning. Be proactive in the educational process and help create your student's future.
While you may not be starting college next year, it is important that you begin planning for college now. Remember, you can't begin academic and financial preparation too early.
The various tasks listed below, by grade level, are the most important things you can do to get prepared to apply for college your senior year. Ask adults at school, home or in your community to help you if needed. Review the list as you move through high school to make sure you are on track.
7th & 8th Grade
- Develop good study habits
- Establish good basic skills in reading, writing, math, and science
- Get involved in school and community activities
- Work with family on a financial plan for college
- Explore careers by job shadowing or interview someone you know
- Sign up for field trips to local colleges and universities
- Take advantage of local college programs for 7th and 8th graders
Freshman & Sophomore Year
- Become familiar with college entrance requirements
- Work with parents, teachers, and counselors to create a four-year high school curriculum plan to satisfy your goals and college entrance requirements
- Take courses at the most challenging level you can
- Continue exploring career options
- Consider taking college entrance exams such as ACT and PSAT/NMSQT
- Get involved in academic organizations, sports, and extracurricular and community activities
- Start saving for college from part-time and summer jobs
- Talk with college students and graduates about their college
In your final two years of high school, planning for college becomes even more involved. You will need to concentrate efforts as you near college and the decision making process.
Junior Year (Fall)
- Attend Cincinnati National College Fair
- Attend college nights and begin collecting information about colleges
- Identify college admissions requirements and application deadline dates
- Collect scholarship information for application requirements and deadline dates
- Continue taking academically challenging courses
- Find out about required entrance exams such as ACT and SAT
- Take PSAT or ACT test
- Review test results with counselor
- Register for spring ACT and SAT
Junior Year (Spring)
- Prepare for and take ACT and/or SAT
- Identify important factors in choosing a college (i.e., majors and programs offered, interests, talents)
- List colleges you are considering and collect information
- Visit colleges
- Select teachers, counselors, or employers who would be willing to write letters of recommendation to your college and to scholarship organizations in the fall of your senior year
Senior Year (Fall)
- Compile a list of activities, honors, and community service for applications
- Narrow your college choices, making visits to each (2 to 5 colleges is a good rule of thumb)
- Pick up Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from guidance office, usually available in December
- Contact financial aid office of colleges you're considering to ask about college scholarships and deadlines
- Follow-up on scholarship resources collected during the junior year
- Get updated information on and apply for private scholarships
- Apply early to colleges as some programs may be limited; pay attention to deadlines (usually December 1 - March 1)
- Determine if colleges you're considering have additional financial aid forms
- Retake ACT and/or SAT, if needed
- Have parents assist you with applying for financial aid as early as possible beginning in January of senior year
- Review financial aid packages offered by schools; talk with schools and understand fully the school's offer, your responsibilities for repaying any aid, and any remaining portion of your bill
Senior Year (Spring)
- Assess what aid sources are renewable and which are just for your first year
- Decide on the college that best meets your needs
- Apply for college housing, if applicable
- Notify all colleges of your decision by May 1, the National Candidates Reply Date