This is a sponsored guest post.
The college application process can be daunting for both students and parents. With college admissions currently being more competitive than ever, the application process can be stressful and demanding. It takes you out of your comfort zones and introduces numerous uncertainties and insecurities into your lives.
Parents often wonder how much involvement is required from them and how much help they should give their children throughout the college application process. The following tips will help you navigate the challenging time period when your teenager is getting ready to apply for college:
1. Provide Time Management Aids
During the college application process, there will be numerous deadlines your teen must keep track of. She’ll have to be sure of taking her standardized tests, filling out financial aid forms, applying for scholarships and completing admissions applications — each of which will have different cutoff dates. Ensure that she has a planner or software with calendar features that will help her stay organized and meet all her important deadlines.
2. Help With Financial Planning
Is your teen totally in the dark about what your family can and cannot afford to pay for college? You will have to enlighten her. If financial aid is a necessity, as it is for most families, explain to her that the government helps students to pay for college in some situations. In the United States, Army ROTC scholarships can help cover college costs for students with leadership skills who are interested in pursuing military careers after graduation. Federal grants and student loans are also available to students in the USA. In Australia, there are vet fee help courses (now also known as VET student loans courses) available in a variety of topics.
If your teen plans to apply for student loans through federal student loan programs, she will need you to provide your family’s tax status and income information as part of the application process.
3. Assist With Planning College Tours
If your teen doesn’t already have her own car, she will need your assistance with visiting the colleges she wants to apply to. You can require her to do much of the planning, but your involvement in this part of the college application process is also essential.
4. Make Yourself Available if Needed
Your teen might seek your help, guidance, and support with any number of issues that arise during the college application process, from choosing an essay topic to deciding which colleges she wants to apply to. The best policy is to make yourself available when she needs your help but to stay out of her way if she is handling things well on her own.
5. Step Back
Your child has almost reached adulthood. It might be tempting for you to continue intervening in her life choices, but you should resist the urge to pressure her regarding things like her choice of college majors. If she asks for your advice, by all means, give it to her; but do not lose sight of the fact that the world is a much different place than it was when you were in college.
Technology has changed everything. Once-stable career choices like accountant and doctor are likely to become obsolete soon, thanks to the rise of automation. Some of yesteryear’s best careers are not viable ones for your teenager now. Tomorrow’s best career opportunities probably haven’t even been invented yet. Leave it to your child to navigate her own career path.
Instead of worrying about the career she will choose, rejoice in the knowledge that you have fulfilled your most critical mission as a parent: raising a child who has succeeded in high school and is stepping out into the world on her own. Congrats, Mama!