My parents went to college way back when, and when I was in high school, going to college was understood. My brother, sister and I all attended college, three different colleges, because, well, we are three different people.
I have two daughters, one has graduated from college and one is a junior in college this year. Each child is different in their personality, interests, and social circles.
When my oldest was a Junior in high school, she began the process to find a college she liked best. Luckily she chose the one I liked best too! Both girls did!
As a high school student, their guidance department works with college bound students to keep them on track for applying for scholarships, deadlines, visitations, recommendation letters from their teachers, essay writing, and applying to college. But as a mom, I kept a close watch on those requirements too.
To begin the college process at home, we designated a basket to store all the incoming mail related to colleges. We registered for open houses and campus visits at their top picks. Go to these with your child. As a parent, you will be looking for different issues than your child will be, such as security vs social life.
My youngest also chose a small private college as did her sister, but in another state, they are two different people! She played more of a role in the process of finding and applying to college than her sister, or maybe I was more relaxed at the process.
She lived in a castle her first year, sans elevator to the top floor of dorm rooms.
How we successfully applied, became accepted, and landed at college:
Communicate: with your child, the guidance department, and colleges for deadlines, required forms, and transcripts. Sign up for application tips.
Chose campuses to visit. Register for open houses and attend them with your child, we went as a family. If one college looks like their top pick, attend an open house more than once, say Spring and Fall. Oh, yeah-visit the bookstore too!
Test Taking: Register for tests that your child will need to take to apply for college. Have them take these tests more than one time if available. Use study guides and test prep resources.
Network with other parents: Look to facebook for test and application help. Join a parents networking group at the college they attend.
Follow #journeytocollege for tons of resources to make the process run smoothly.
This is my second born on move in day of her freshman year.
With lots of communciation and college and test prep resources available to college bound students, you'll be at move in day before you know it!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep. I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.