College Roadmap For Parents

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1 College Roadmap For Parents A guide to helping your student prepare for education beyond high school. Lee Ann Clark, Assistant Director LEARN Educational Opportunity Center

2 Why should your child plan to pursue education beyond high school? More $$ - Earn over a Million Dollars More over their lifetime Better pay is not the only reason. College educated individuals are more likely to have: Lower Unemployment Rates Lower Obesity Rates Higher Levels of Happiness Higher Voting Rates Higher Volunteerism Rates Higher Rates of Homeownership, and Their children tend to earn higher grades in school

3 To know where you are going you have to know where you are. Parent Involvement in Education Encourage reading at an early age Set realist academic expectations focus on working hard, doing your best, and challenging yourself rather than a specific grade Check their homework and their grades. In addition to report cards some schools allow parents to monitor grades and assignments through online parent portals to grade books. Don t forget to do this for your older students too including seniors! Talk to teachers and counselors stay in contact throughout the year. Is your child on track? Does your child need extra help? Are there special programs that will help your child prepare for college?

4 Where do they want end up? Talk to your child about their interest. What do they want to do when they grow up? Research different careers with your child Can you help them experience what the job would be like? Job shadowing Touring the facility Interviewing someone who does what they are interested in Career and Technicial Classes in High School as part of their degree plan good for grades K 8 th click on grade level then on careers search for jobs that match your interest area (math, computers, science, reading, etc.) - has detailed information about nature of work, earnings and job growth, and education required Reinforce the education they might need for their career interest. Most careers, including technical careers, require some additional schooling beyond high school. Doing well in school now will ensure that they can pursue any option they wish when they graduate high school

5 Where do they want to end up? Different college paths - not all require 4 years beyond high school! Type Description Examples Technical/Trade Schools Public Two-year Colleges Public Universities Independent (Private) Institutions Health-Related Institutions Specialized programs for a specific trade or industry. Classes will not always transfer to another college. Programs range from one semester to 2 years. Can be very costly so students should carefully consider future earning potential and the cost of the program. Technical colleges, state colleges and community colleges that offer educational and training programs leading to a certificate or a two-year associate s degree. Transferable classes are available. Offers college courses at low cost. Offer educational programs that lead to a four-year bachelor s degree. Many offer graduate degrees (master s or doctoral) requiring more years of study. Some offer two-year programs, while senior-level independents offer four-year bachelor s degrees and graduate or professional degrees. Offer bachelor s, master s doctoral, and professional degrees (such as medical degrees) in health-related professions. UTI WyoTech Tulsa School of Welding South Plains College Amarillo Community College Western Texas College West Texas A&M University University of Texas at Austin Texas Tech University Baylor University Rice University Texas Tech Health Sciences Center University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

6 How will they get there? School Work Encourage taking challenging course work Pre AP in Middle School Advance Placement Honors Dual Credit Monitor Study Habits and Performance yes even for high school students! Enforce limits make sure your student is not overextended with social, extracurricular, or work activities school should come first Talk to your student s counselor Is your student on track and on the right degree plan Does your students need extra support or resources? Be their CHEERLEADER!

7 How will they get there? Preparing for College Entrance Test 4 year Colleges and Universities require an ACT or SAT test Students can begin preparing for the ACT and SAT as early as middle school Ask your 8 th grade counselor if your child can take the ReadiStep Test (pre- PSAT) Students can take the PSAT as early as 9 th grade 10 th grade see if your school offers the PSAT for free (pre-sat) 11 th grade have your child take an SAT and/or ACT in the spring 12 th grade take SAT or ACT if still needed or if higher scores are needed

8 Preparing for College Entrance Test Not a good test taker? Some colleges do not require an ACT/SAT for admissions. Community Colleges and Junior Colleges do not require an ACT or SAT for admissions BUT They may require an ACT/SAT for the Scholarship Application All colleges in Texas require students to meet TSI requirements your counselor or LEARN Advisor can tell you which test fulfills these requirements Free online information and practice test can be found at

9 How will they get there? Extracurricular Don t forget to have fun too! Colleges want to see activities beyond school work on applications Starting in 9 th grade keep track of Volunteer work Groups and Activities Organizations Awards Work experience And these activities may help with scholarship applications too!

10 How will they get there? $$ You should never have to pay to complete the FAFSA or scholarship applications! Federal money is available to eligible students through the federal government. Students/Families must complete the FAFSA to show financial need. State money is available to eligible students through the federal government. Students/Families must complete the FAFSA to show financial need. Institutional (College) each college has their own scholarship application for money that is awarded through the school. Money may be awarded based on academic achievement, talent (athletics, music, etc.), unique student characteristics, etc. Private Scholarships there are thousands of private scholarships nationwide. Scholarships may be awarded for a variety of characteristics. See the resource page for how to search for private scholarships. Each scholarships has it s own unique application and guidelines

11 $$$$ Grants free money for school typically through the federal or state government and often based on financial need. Scholarships free money for school typically awarded to students based on merit, talent, or unique characteristic. May be for one year only or multiple years if certain requirements are met. This money may come from the college or a private donor. Loans money that has to be repaid. Some loans like the Stafford Loan do not charge interest while the student is enrolled at least half time in college. Federal Work Study GI Bill Loan Forgiveness programs that allow a portion of the student loan to be forgiven typically based on working in an area of national need. For example: teachers working in low-income schools, nurses working in critical shortage areas, and public service employees.

12 The All Important Senior Year Basic reminders for parents of Seniors. Fall Take an ACT or SAT test early in the fall ask for waivers of the test fee ASAP Decide on 3 5 schools that you will apply to Attend College Fairs, look at college websites, request information, look at COST Look up the deadlines for EACH School Scholarship always earlier than the admissions deadline and students must complete the admissions application, the scholarship application, and send all test scores and transcripts Admissions typically after the scholarship deadline Financial Aid this is the deadline to complete the FAFSA and may be as early as February What else is required to apply? Essays, recommendation letters, this varies by school Larger and more prestigious schools have earlier the deadlines some as early as November or December! Community Colleges and smaller schools typically have later deadlines. However, we recommend completing applications prior to January so the next semester can be focused on financial aid and scholarship applications. Retest on SAT and ACT if necessary

13 The Senior Year Spring Complete scholarship applications if not already done PARENTS and Students file your taxes as soon as possible! This is needed to complete the FAFSA the free application for Federal Student AID (free $$ for School!) Complete FAFSA as soon as taxes are done Follow up with schools on Admissions Status, Scholarship Status, and FAFSA Make Dorm deposits if needed Make sure you are going to GRADUATE! At end of Senior year make sure your High School knows where to send your final transcript with graduation date!

14 Summer After Senior Year Mid June contact college you will be attending and make sure they have received your FINAL transcript from your high school Is everything ok with your Financial Aid have you received an award letter? Do you need to complete loan counseling and a Master Promissory Note to receive a student loan? Attend Orientation Take any further Testing if needed REGISTER for Classes Make sure you don t miss a payment deadline!

15 LEARN Educational Talent Search A non-profit educational program funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Free college prep., college admission, and financial aid assistance is available to eligible students enrolled in the following target schools. Please see your LEARN Advisor for details. High Schools Brownfield Coronado High Estacado Floydada High Lamesa High Levelland High Littlefield High Lockney High Lubbock Copper High Lubbock High Meadow High Monterey High New Deal Plainview Ropes High Slaton High Smyer High Springlake-Earth High Lubbock Middle Schools Cavazos Middle School Dunbar Middle School

16 Resources Online application for public colleges/universities in Texas FREE Scholarship Searches Information on College and preparing for college Complete the FAFSA for FREE Free Information on Money for College includes loan repayment calculator, college matching wizard, FAFSA4caster, and much more

17 Educational Roadmap to Success! Your Journey Starts HERE!!!

18 Goals Know that higher education IS attainable! Set your compass and leave with better understanding of how the process works Pack your bags with resources that will work for YOU!

19 Making the Pieces Fit How can anything else fit into my daily routine? I have to work to pay bills how can I also go to school? College for ME? Where do I start???? Family Self College Work

20 Your Roadmap to College Think about what you would like to do Career change? Enrich your life through learning? Improve your computer or math skills? Know what programs are available and accessible to you.

21 Your Roadmap to College...Step 1 1. Pick a college..or several research what programs of study they have available to fit your needs or your career goals. Visit campuses and get CURRENT information. Most colleges have virtual tours online, too, if you can t take a campus tour.

22 Your Roadmap to College Step 2 2. Find out what it takes to get started. Each college or school has different admissions requirements. Explore requirements for adult learners. And most important set your compass and APPLY!!!

23 Your Roadmap to College Step 3 3. Do you need housing while you are attending college? Many campuses offer student housing dorms and apartments--as well as married student housing

24 Your Roadmap to College Step 4 4. How do we pay for it all???! Applications have been simplified, but the process can still be a headache. As a general rule though, begin with the FAFSA the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is available online at

25 Your Roadmap to College Step 4 cont. Before you begin, also apply for a PIN at This will serve as your electronic signature. Also, gather your family s financial info complete your 1040 ASAP! Results come in days, but the process can take months until you are actually awarded. Follow exact instructions given to you by the college. Meet deadlines!!!

26 Your Roadmap to College Step 5 5. Get in and STAY in!!! Discover FREE campus resources. Ask before it s a big problem!!! Pack your bags with FREE info on time management, study/test taking skills, campus newspaper, online bulletin boards for study groups, etc.!!

27 Your Roadmap to College Step 6 6. Take advantage of FREE community resources! LEARN Inc. Child care services Social services Transportation Utilities assistance 211 Counseling Medical Other services

28 LEARN Educational Opportunity Center Services Adult Education (GED) Academic Counseling Career Guidance College Information Admissions Financial Aid Financial & Economic Literacy Referrals

29 Your Roadmap to Educational Success REMEMBER You are special and unique, so Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out? from the movie What a Girl Wants

30 Need More Information? LEARN Educational Opportunity Center th Street Lubbock, TX Toll free

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