#applications

5 Ways To Help Your Child Apply For College When You Never Went Yourself

In 2020, attending college is commonplace. In today’s world, a college diploma is required for the majority of careers out there. However, this was not always the case. Decades ago, thousands of students would graduate high school each year and enter the workforce. Most of these graduates went on to have stable careers and were able to start a family and build a beautiful life for themselves. That being said, what happens when the child of a parent who did not go to college decides they want to go.

When a parent is faced with a dilemma, they tend to lean on their experiences to get them through it. They may rely on life lessons they have learned when giving their child advice about a problem or the future. However, going to college is a unique, complicated, and lengthy process with many steps and obstacles along the way. If you, as a parent, never went to college, you may seem lost in your attempt to help your child as they apply to college themselves. Today, we are going to review five ways to help your child through the college process regardless of whether or not you went to yourself.

#1 – List Out The Skills You Do Have

The odds are good that your child is going to be overwhelmed by the entire college application process. The problem is, if you never went through it yourself, you may be overwhelmed too. You may be wondering how you could possibly dispense valuable advice on a topic you know nothing about it. The critical thing to remember is that while you may not know the ins and outs of college admissions, you do know how to tackle complicated problems.

Make a list of your own skills and how they could help your child. For example, if you are a highly organized person, then you can help your child do the same. Applying to college is all about paperwork and deadlines, and knowing how to stay organized can be the difference between getting in or getting rejected. Another skill that can be passed on is attention to detail. You can review these documents with your child to ensure nothing is missed. You can also be an extra set eyes on campus tours to make sure they are getting the full picture.

#2 – List Out The Topics You Need The Most Help On

Just because you never went to college does not mean you cannot be educated on the essential topics. The key thing is to list out what about applying to college you know the least about it. This way, you can spend your time gathering this information so you can give your child the best advice possible. Financial aid is a complicated topic that even college graduates who applied for it years ago are still confused about. Another topic that falls into this category could be going away to school or writing college application essays.

Whatever it is, understand you are not alone. MyKlovr offers several services that are designed to provide you with the information you need. The Financial Readiness section of our app was created to inform both students and parents of there financial options when exploring ways to pay for college. In addition, our Personalized Marketplace feature is your go-to place to find the services, resources, and answers to all of your questions.

#3 – Perform Research

One of the most common pieces of advice I give my student coaching clients is to perform as much research as possible about the colleges they are looking at. While they are researching things like internship options and campus sizes, you should be investigating the topics we listed above that you need more information on. There are several blogs dedicated to preparing students who are planning to attend college. This is where you can get tips about what to buy for a dorm room, questions to ask on-campus tours, and everything else your child will need to know.

Our College Finder feature was created to help conduct this type of research. We have compiled data and information on hundreds of colleges so you can make informed choices.

When your child chooses to look at a school, you can direct them to straight to our app. You may not have the answers they are looking for, but we do, and we will make sure we answer all of there questions.

#4 – Partner With Another Parent

Parents often go to each other for advice when raising their children. Applying to college should be no different. The chances are good that you know a parent who is either going through the process themselves or have been through it in the past. Reach out to them and ask for there help. Explain that you want to be there for your child but fear you may struggle because you never went through this process when you were younger.

If a fellow parent does agree to help you, be sure to make the most of it by asking specific questions. Go back to the list you made earlier about topics you were unsure of and write out questions you have. The parent may be able to give you the answers you seek and save you the time by not having to look it up. They may also be able to point you in the direction of any resources they have discovered or share lessons they have learned on what mistakes to avoid.

#5 – Be There For Support

As much as you want to be able to answer every question your child has, that is never going to be possible. What is possible is to be as supportive as possible during this complicated time in their lives. Even though you never went through it, try and remember that applying to college can be confusing and stressful. You may not be able to solve their problems immediately, but just being there to listen will be just as helpful.

Conclusion

Just because you never went to college doesn’t mean you are useless in your child’s pursuit of secondary education. You still a lot to offer your child and can be a valuable resource for them along the way. The key is to identify what you don’t know and seek out help from professionals, experts, and other parents. By following these five steps, you will be able to support and guide your child from application to acceptance. 

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is an educational coach helping students prepare for the next steps in life.

How To Choose a College That Fits Your Specific Needs

One of the most overwhelming parts of the college selection process is the sheer number of options to choose from. Even if you have a general idea of what you want to study, it is easy to be intimidated by all the different colleges that offer your desired major. This scenario can lead to students limiting the number of schools they research or choosing the wrong college altogether.

Over the years, I have spoken to many graduates regarding the college application process. Many of them talked about not knowing where to start and often just simply choosing a school without doing the proper research. As I have documented in past posts if you are going to dedicate four years and thousands of dollars to a college than you need to be sure it is the best fit for you.

As a high school student looking at colleges, it is important to remember that you are unique and that you should never make decisions based on what everyone else is doing. Before you start spending time researching and visiting colleges, take the time to think about who you are a person and student. Only you know what kind of environment and situation you need to be successful. To get started on this journey of self-discovery, I have listed a few key items to think about when determining what type of college is right for you.

Class Size

Class size is an aspect of college that often gets overlooked. As a high school student, you are used to a classroom of fewer than 25 students. In college, class sizes will vary based on the course, the major, and the school you are attending. Some colleges will offer class sizes that are similar to a high school setting. Others conduct the majority of their courses in large lecture halls where you could be seated with 50-100 other students.

When you start looking at schools, figure out how important class size is to your success as a student. Are you someone who benefits from individualized attention? Do you learn best when you can interact directly with the teacher? If this sounds like you, then one of your first research questions should be how large the class sizes are. There is nothing wrong with deciding that a huge lecture hall is not for you. The important thing is that you are putting yourself in an environment that is best suited for your learning needs.

Campus Size

College campuses come in all shapes and sizes. The stereotypical college tends to be large, with many buildings sprawled out across several campuses. However, smaller colleges can and will offer the same level of education. Do not buy in the myth that the bigger the college, the better it is. It is not about what works for most people. It is what works best for you.

If you attend a college with multiple campuses, you may be forced to take a bus to each class. This might not seem like a big deal at first. However, you have to factor in all the other new things that you will be getting used to. I have spoken to several students who have spoken about how the transition became too overwhelming and their grades suffered as a result. Some of these students were unable to recover and ended up transferring back home. 

How are you when it comes to time management? Do you think you will be able to thrive in a scenario where your three classes from the day are all in different areas? If yes, then, by all means, continue to look at those large sprawling campuses. However, if the situation seems overwhelming, you may want to look at colleges that will allow you to take all your classes within walking distance of each other. Again, there is no wrong answer here. It’s about knowing what works for you. The last thing you want is to be so stressed about getting to the class that it takes away from your ability to learn and grow as a student.

Distance From Home

Another common stereotype surrounding college is the idea that you must go away to school. Society often portrays college as this four-year party and that the only way to get the right “college experience” is to live in the dorm, away from your parents, family, and friends. This is not only false but is a dangerous trap that many students fall into.

Yes, there is a benefit in going away to college. You get to meet new people, experience new things and learn how to be independent. That being said, just like everything else on this list, it’s not for everyone. It is a significant life change that requires the ability to transition quickly in new surroundings. Not only are you getting used to a new city, friends, and bedroom, but you will be doing all of this while taking new, challenging courses.

This is not an impossible task. Thousands of students do it successfully every year. The key is to understand if you are that type of student. Will you thrive in the situations I just mentioned? Perhaps you benefit from being surrounded by family and friends. Contrary to popular belief, you can still get a valuable college experience by staying local and commuting to class. The important part is that you are honest with yourself from the start to avoid making a costly mistake in the future.

Conclusion

There is no one right answer when deciding what makes the right college. The answer is different for each student because each student is unique. Everyone reading this post has different strengths and weaknesses. Only you know what you need to be successful in school and eventually in life. Applying to college is a serious process that deserves the proper time and attention. Set aside the time to understand what you need from the start and you will be able to select a college that will set you up for long term success.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is an educational coach helping students prepare for the next steps in life.

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