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What the college-bound need to know and parents may teach now

A father and son watch the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals
A father and son watch the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City RoyalsPhoto by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Grades and test scores reflect student academic knowledge learned at school but there are many skills that may be taught at home. One of the best ways to teach the following five things is by demonstration. Parents may set an example showing their children what to do now so they become second nature to use during the college process and thereafter.

Be a good sport. Good sportsmanship and keen perspective extend beyond the ball field. They determine how students handle bad and good news concerning themselves and others. The ability to deal with rejection, failure and disappointment is just as important as handling acceptance, success and pride. These skills will come in handy when students and their classmates receive results for standardized test scores, college admission, scholarships and financial aid applications.

Extend common courtesy. Good manners goes a long way in the college process. Poise and politeness create lasting impressions on college representatives. Even the the simple civility of a proper handshake comes into play during college visits and interviews.

Show appreciation. A thank you note is not just for gifts received. A simple message thanking those that have given freely of their time is a gracious and memorable gesture of appreciation. For example, students may thank college representatives for interviews, teachers for writing recommendation letters, and scholarship donors for their awards.

Figure out finances. From piggy banks to savings banks, parents may teach the importance of savings and the value of a dollar. The college-bound need a realistic understanding of both when determining college costs, future lifestyle and affordable borrowing to pay for higher education.

Organize the space. Knowing where to store things and having easy access to retrieve them will help the college-bound organize correspondence from colleges, test prep materials, and admission, financial aid and scholarship applications. As for the future, chances are the dorm room will be different from the bedroom at home in size, decor and number of inhabitants. When space is at a premium, the need for organization only increases.