May 2014 Article

Preparing for what comes next, after high school graduation can be overwhelming and daunting. Choosing a college that is best suited for the student, room and board expenses, and all the other last minute details in preparing for ones future is taxing for anyone. Some kids are left feeling helpless on how to go about preparing for college because they are a first in their family to attend, so the experience and guidance isn’t there.

Preparing for college can take its toll on high school students as it does with millions of American students heading into this transitional period. The majority of them have already charted their college path; others are still undecided on what to do with their life.


What Parents Can Do – A Guide for Parents

Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you’ll have as a parent. Although it can be difficult to imagine your baby as an adult, with the right approach, helping your teen make the transition into adulthood can be rewarding.

Going to college, getting a job, or taking time off are the common choices your teen will likely face. A good preparation for your teen is to sit down and start writing — this is great practice for the application process. Teens should list their goals as well as their accomplishments, even if they haven’t yet decided on a field of study. Ask your teen to write down a list of:

  • academic and personal strengths and weaknesses
  • extracurricular activities
  • awards
  • grade point average (GPA)
  • class rank
  • SAT, ACT, or AP scores

Next, teens should think about and list the qualities they’re looking for in a college: do they want to go away to school, stay close to home, or take online courses, for example?


Resources you need to know about:

Students who have limited financial resources and meet the requirements may use the NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver Form when applying for college. The form helps ensure that access to college is possible for all students. The form is for traditional high school students applying to postsecondary colleges or universities in the fall immediately following high school graduation.


Completing a FAFSA is the first step in applying for most federal, state, and college-provided financial aid for students. It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid because it is filed with the US Department of Education, but most state-sponsored and college-sponsored aid requires the same FAFSA filing, so it is not only for federally sponsored student aid as the name might imply.


Are you ready to begin a degree or certificate program now? U.S News University Directory can match you with schools and programs that meet your criteria in a few simple steps. Browse the 2014 College Rankings list below or search for a top-ranked on-campus or online college program that specializes in your area of interest.

~ Cher