How to Prepare Your High School Kid for College #JourneytoCollege

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.

After one daughter who has already finished college and grad school, I can tell you how hard it is to prepare your high school kid for college. She did very well in school and could have gone to pretty much any school she wanted. Even so, the planning was overwhelming. But, as a parent who wants the best for my daughters, I did the best I could.

Now, I have another daughter in high school. She’ll be starting 10th grade soon. I wouldn’t even have thought to start planning for college until 11th grade. As I read the KapMap, from Kaplan’s college planning website, I learned that preparing for college should start in 9th grade. We need to get a move on!

How to Prepare for College - for Parents

I thought that your kid took their college admission tests, found a few colleges they want to attend, filled out applications and waited to see who accepted you (which is overwhelming enough). But, there’s so much more to do that it makes sense then to get started early and to be organized.

Tips to Prepare for College

  • Start and keep a good relationship with your guidance counselor. This is one of the most important people to help with college planning.
  • Keep up good grades. Grades do matter to colleges.
  • Volunteer and take part in extracurricular activities. This will be important on your college applications.
  • Keep track of college prep tests. Take the PSAT, the practice SAT and re-take tests if your scores were low.
  • Make sure your social media profile is one that college admission officers can look at.
  • Work with your guidance counselor to take the best course load, some honor classes, etc.
  • Attend college fairs, visit colleges, and learn about college admission forms, essays and interviews, etc.
  • Research about scholarships, and fill out financial aid forms.

The KapMap puts all of this and a lot more into an easy to follow process in calendar form. It sure helped me, especially with information that I had no idea was needed to prepare for college. You can download it for free.

Save $100 when you enroll in a SAT or ACT course from 8/11-8/28.* Use code: SHESPEAKS100.

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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  1. Great article. In today’s world kids are competing to get into college. Parents and their children need a defined game plan.

  2. The Volunteering part is so big today, school are looking for more then grades so this is good advice.

  3. my niece is about to enter college, part of her preparation is to clean up all her social media accounts the one that won’t bring any issues on her adventurous life in highschool,

  4. Just having my 3rd child graduate and move on to college, I have to say that your tips are spot on.