Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00
A question I am often asked: When do I begin the process of preparing my child for college? For most parents, the process begins the day when they first find out they’re having a baby—the nurturing instincts start and the dreams begin.
In truth, the preparation process is a childhood one. For those parents who wait until the start of senior year, they’re going to behind in the process and will likely make many mistakes along the way. Since this is one of the most important decisions in a child’s life, we want to get it right the first time.
Recently, I was speaking with an Island Trees parent who told me that he’s planning to visit Georgetown University with his daughter this spring and she is in elementary school. Now that’s setting expectations for your child early on. Good for them.
Although you may not start your preparations this early, parents should begin discussing their children’s future college dreams early on and begin creating a course of action in 8th grade. Our 8th grade guidance counselors can help you through this process, so if you need assistance, please contact them.
Starting freshman year, grades truly count and will be reported on our high school transcripts, and be scrutinized by college admissions officers. Not only do they want to see good grades, but also a college bound program on these reports.
College admissions officers review thousands and thousands of transcripts annually—they cannot be fooled by students with good grades and an easy high school program. More often than we would like, we have students who want to drop math or science senior year. What do you think the professionals are going to think when they review these transcript? Of course.
In closing, the best preparation for all children is to set high expectations and dream along with them. For additional information about college planning, please see the College Planning page on the Island Trees High School website http://www.islandtrees.org/iths/college/college.htm.