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Georgia parents preparing kids for college

Where has the time gone?  Just yesterday you were changing your son or daughter's diapers, wiping their noses, and teaching them how to ride a bike.  Now your child has declared that he is ready to head off to college!  Whether your child decides to attend a local community college or enroll in an out-of-state university, there are a few things you must do before your child embarks in this new season of their lives.

First and foremost, solicit help and advice from your child's guidance counselor; it's their job.  The counselor has a wealth of information at his fingertips such as:  dates for college fairs, admissions test schedules (SAT and ACT), contacts for college admissions representatives, and graduation requirements.

Another great resource for parents is a website dedicated to answering any question that a parent may have.  This website is for Georgia students, parents, and educators.  It provides a timeline of important deadlines and the order in which things should be accomplished. 

Parents and students can also contact universities directly.  The best way to do this is to contact the Admissions Department.  The Admissions Department can provide enrollment requirements and applications, tour dates, and other basic information.

If you haven't already been thinking about this from the time your child was born, you need to start considering financial planning.  Is your child going to apply for grants, scholarships, or loans?  Will you use your savings or does your company offer the 529 Savings Plan?  Don't forget about the HOPE scholarships and grants.

Last, but not least, make sure that your child has completed all of his or her graduation requirements.  The state of Georgia requires that students pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test and the End of Course Test.  Some advanced placement courses may require that students pass a content test and individual schools may have community service requirements.

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