Planning for Your Child’s Future: Answers to FAQs About College

When college planning is in full-swing, you and your child may feel overwhelmed with the volume of information and the unanswered questions that you may currently have. It’s without question that preparing your child for college can often feel like a long and tedious process. However, you can alleviate some of the time spent preparing your child for college with the right resources and information in order to feel confident in your next steps. In today’s post you will find a number of different answers to frequently asked questions parents, just like you, have about planning for your child’s future.

FAQs About College:

When is the best time to start applying for college?

The best time to start the college search process is the summer before your child’s senior year of high school. During this time, you and your child can start gathering college information materials, applications and touring college campuses to determine where your child will ultimately apply.

Where do I begin?

First, schedule an appointment with your child’s school counselor to explore options for college and ensure that your child is on the college track. Once you have met with the school counselor, schedule an activity with your child where you can organize college applications by college and by interest.

How many colleges should my child apply to?

On average, five to eight colleges is the recommended number. When it comes time to apply, pay close attention to deadlines, regular application, early action, and acceptance notification dates to ensure that your child is on track and fully prepared when it’s time to mail in their applications.

Is it acceptable to use the same material on a different application?

Absolutely, there is no need to craft a new essay for every application; however, edit and proof the essay before you submit it – especially if your child decides to focus on college-specific information. Remember, the more individualized an essay is to a college, the more likely it is that you will have better odds for acceptance.

What is the Common Application?

The Common Application is a standardized application used by over 500 colleges. Students applying with the Common Application may also be required to complete an application supplement specific to the chosen college.

Should your child apply to a college that is out of your budget?

Yes! According to experts at College Board, “most students will pay far less than the ‘sticker price‘ listed on the college website. You don’t know if you can afford a college until after you apply and find out how much aid that college will offer you (if you’re accepted).”

How can my child apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid, students need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For scholarship information, prospective students should check with their high school guidance counselors, and all students should review the information on our scholarship resource page.

If you have any additional questions, schedule an appointment with an advisor; they’re on hand and prepared to assist you with any specific questions or concerns that you may have along the way.