Most people assume that the time to start thinking about what it takes to get into college is when your student starts high school. However, there are some things you can do long before high school that can improve your student’s chances of getting into and succeeding in college.
- Encourage your child to read. Students who read at home tend to do better in school and on standardized tests. Something as simple as reading with your child could make a bigger difference than you think.
- Address learning differences right away. Many students have learning differences. They’re not something to be ashamed of. In fact, those differences may turn out to be an advantage. The important thing is that your student gets all the support and resources he/she needs to be successful as soon as possible.
- Keep college in the conversation. The chances of a student going to college improve when their family starts talking about college when they are young. Many colleges offer free or low cost activities that children and/or families can enjoy. It’s a great way to introduce your child to a college campus and get them excited about the possibilities that going to college may give them.
- Set up a college savings account. It’s a great idea for you to start saving for college as early as you can, but don’t underestimate the value of getting your child involved in saving with you. A student who puts a portion of any money they get for their birthday or other occasions, is more likely to become personally invested in the idea of going to college.
- Learn all you can about college programs, requirements and scholarships. If you have questions about any aspect of college, find a reputable source who can give you the most current information. Don’t rely on hearsay or rumors. More often than not, they are way off base.