Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How do I help my children get ready for college?

Ms Dorothy,
What are some good resources for getting your kid financially ready for college, if you know you won‘t be able to afford tuition, like scholarships, financial aid, work-study programs? My parents never went to college so they had no IDEA how to help prepare us kids. My brother and sister ended up dropping out and I’m just now finishing after starting 13 years ago! I want my kids to go, and I want to know NOW what to do to help.
- Mom of three

This is a great time to start thinking about college and what you will need to know. Start educating yourself now, and you will be ready to help your children when the time comes.

One thing you need to know is that the landscape keeps changing when it comes to federal grants and loans, and even when it comes to what colleges are expecting. There are some great resources out there that can help you stay abreast of changes. Look at this Education Weekly blog for some current info about the issues that impact getting access to colleges.

Keeping your children focused on that goal is important, and it isn't too early to start. The more they are engaged in the things they are passionate about, even as they change over the years, the more interesting they will be to the colleges and scholarships they apply for.

Because you are in college yourself, your children are getting to see how you value education, and are learning about what it takes to be a college student first hand.

Letting them know that you expect them to be in school through college may be the biggest difference between how you raise your children and how your parents raised you.

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