Don’t panic, YET!!!! You still have time to get your teen to college. If your child is in kindergarten then leave this page now! YOU HAVE TIME!!! You have yet to serve your time as a parent to a TEEN!
This time last year we had a Junior, and as I stopped to listen, many of her sophomore friends were going on college visits. Sh*t, we hadn’t even done one yet and she was a Junior!!! Do. Not. Panic! You still have time to Get Teenager To College!!!!
You Are Not Allowed To Leave Them There When You Visit!
Yes I asked this, and it was a resounding NO! Darn, so no early enrollment but we could look around all we wanted.
Juniors take the ACT test at our school first week of March, so buckle up and get your kids head in the books! Now would be the time to sign them up for tutoring if they are in need of it. Last year we signed up with Sylvan, participating in the private program, it hit us in the wallet for a sum of $1600.00 Yep, take a deep breath and dig deep if you want that kid GONE from your house.
She took a twelve week course, with two nights a week at the center for two hours at a time. They covered math, English, science, and they also have them take three practice ACT tests. Those tests are downloaded and analyzed; then the kids are able to look at each question to see if they got it correct or not. Then each question is broken down and explained to them. This is done within their account online, and they study this at home. It is a great program, and it increased her overall score by 4 points. Worth a look at if your child has an area that may need help.
Get Teenager To College
The school covers the cost of the first ACT, (Who are we kidding our taxes cover the first test) then after that you can sign up for more of them and pay. There is an incentive to pay early and a date after which you PAY MORE! $$$ We paid for one additional test after the free one, and this is where she increased her score and she had a good enough score to get into the colleges that she wanted to apply to. The cost of the ACT test is: ACT ( with NO writing) $38.00 ACT plus writing $54.50 Check out more information here ACT REGISTRATION.
Side Note * We had our teen take the first ACT without any studying. We wanted her to take it without stress, we asked her to just experience it. Then we took that score and worked on what needed to be improved.
As I said before do not panic if you have yet to visit a college, you have from NOW until October of 2015. Take a look at the long weekends the kids seem to have EVERY OTHER flipping WEEK. Seriously I don’t know about you but every time I fill out my calendar I feel like they are out of school more than they are IN! We asked the teen after 10 am (See How to Piss Off A Teen) of course to give us a list of her top 5 Universities, a list of what she was looking for in a University i.e. Big, small, suburbs, city…. You get the idea, and then saw what was close and went from there.
Our school has a computer program “Naviance” that the student enters all of their wants for a University. It then complies a report of all said Universities that have those requirements. Awesome report, as it also give all the stats for that University. USE it.
[Tweet “What you have to do with your Teen in order to get them off to college in a year and a half. Visit a University!”]
So you have your list of wants from the Teen, you have a list of Universities that somehow fit into that list. You have the ACT studying down, and know when and where the tests will take place. Now it is time for YOUR TEEN to contact the universities and book a time to visit them. Give them the weekends or days in the week that you can all go and have them research what they want to see and make the appropriate appointments with the universities.
Most universities will have a page on their website that deals with booking a College visit. You book a day and time, and what you would like to see and who or what department you may want to visit. If not then have said teen call the Admissions department, and discuss their options with an Admissions Officer. Make them be as responsible as possible with this. This is their chance to show you that they can handle this.
10 Things to See and Do On A College Visit
- Talk to the students
- Visit the offices of your Department/Department Chair
- Tour the dorms
- Eat at the dinning halls ~ You can usually get a meal voucher ~ Talk to the students there
- Visit the classrooms, see if you can sit in on a lesson within your major
- Visit with a Professor within your major
- Tour the gym/sports facilities
- Walk around and hang at the Quad or hang-out hot spots
- Visit the Campus Bookstore ~ Be prepared to drop $$$$$$$
- Library ~ We have an English Major (Creative Writing) this was at the TOP of her list for every visit.
Once you have several visits under your belt, ask your teen to list what they liked and did not like about each campus. This can be a daunting task, so take the above list of things to see and do and rate each 1 to 5. Then compare each University to see what is important for your teen, what their likes and dislikes are. This will make whittling down which school to consider attending a lot easier.
Remember that when deciding upon a college it is not only:
- What they are going to major in
- How that department is run
- What is the graduating rate
- What is the retention rate
It is also:
- Student happiness
We visited a Memphis University that wanted to look into the possibility of our teen being on their track team. After speaking extensively with the Admissions Officer he pointed out that maybe this was not the college, as she did not find the campus or the neighboring city inspiring. She is studying English/Creative Writing, a subject that is going to warrant much inspiration. It is a case of looking at the BIG picture, because at the end of the day we want them to GO BACK each year and GRADUATE in 4 years!!!
Side Note* Remember it is not just what they like it is also important to know what they DO NOT LIKE.
Lastly remember to apply for your PIN at www.PIN.ed.gov Apply and get one for a parent and one for the teen going to college. Put them somewhere safe!
Apply at www.FAFSA.ed.gov on the First of the Year, the earlier the BETTER!!!!!
Good luck, happy hunting…. Where did you go to University? What did you like or not like? Anyone attend San Francisco State University, as this is where we are seriously looking to send the Teen August 2015!! YIKES!!!!!