Here are excerpts from an interesting and interactive conversation I had with Jennifer Plym and Cheryl Taylor of Charlotte Smarty Pants about preparing for college admissions while your student(s) is in high school:
We discussed when families should start thinking about college. I advised that parents start thinking about college – or some other form of post-high school education – when their students are in middle school. They should think about how they’re going to pay for college, and create a college mindset for their student.
Have a plan for every year
By high school, have a plan and let your child stretch academically. If a student is talented in math, let her take an AP math class. If it doesn’t work out, then she can step back.
Our conversation emphasized that every year in high school it important. College Admissions officers are looking for trends. They want to see that a kid is improving each year, and that they are challenging themselves with increasingly difficult courses.
I also gave advice on PSAT tests – they should be a guide for students to identify areas where they need more help and work. Although about 2,000 colleges are test-optional (including Wake Forest), students should take both the ACT and SAT tests. Some students do better on one or the other, and that’s the one they should submit.
We also discussed finding a college that’s a good fit, and how kids views of college size, how far they want to be from home, etc. change as they go through high school.
If you have questions, contact me at Charlotte@cklaar.com!