College: The Next Step Parents of High School Students

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1 College: The Next Step Parents of High School Students College: The Next Step Parents of High School Students

2 Your child has nearly met the goal of completing high school and will be ready for the next step in the educational journey: college. Your support and encouragement are vital in affirming the new goals your child is setting for the future. Help guide your child on the road to success You can play an important part throughout the college planning process. There are a lot of ways you can help your child take this big step forward. By being part of that conversation, you ll help celebrate your child s current successes and future potential. Did you know you can help with the college planning process... { Even if you did not attend college { Even if you are intimidated by unfamiliar processes { Even if you re concerned about not having enough money to pay for college The most important thing you can do is to stay involved in your child s decisions about college. Make it clear that you support the decision to get an education beyond high school. Explain that you want to help and that this is a learning process for you, too. This will help your child understand that you support the decision to go to college and that you are going to be part of that process. STAY INVOLVED COMMUNICATE GIVE SUPPORT OFFER HELP BE CONFIDENT Guide your child s decision. Help with the college planning process. Talk with your child about college.

3 Ways you can help { Talk with your child early and often about college aspirations. { Encourage your child to share information about college. { Make an appointment with a high school guidance counselor to talk about your child s college aspirations. Ask the counselor for help in taking the steps to attend college. If possible, take your child along. { Attend college and financial aid nights in your community and at your child s high school. These events can provide opportunities to ask questions of college representatives who can give you good information. { Never pay anyone to assist in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), other financial aid applications, and/or scholarship applications. This is something you usually can get for free by attending free financial aid workshops or asking a high school counselor for help. { Develop a college planning timeline and calendar with your child. Include dates for testing, college visits, financial aid, admissions, and housing deadlines. Review and update this calendar weekly. You can receive free information on scholarships Adventures In Education (AIE TM ) at or you can call the Texas Financial Aid Information Center (TFAIC) at (888) with questions. { Ask questions. Educate yourself about the process. You might find some interesting things, like realizing that college is possible for you, too! { Help your child with paperwork when needed. There are sections of the financial aid application that are for parents. And you ll also need your bank, income, and tax information. { Schedule visits to prospective colleges with your child. Many institutions have separate programs for parents. { If possible, help your student financially. If you can t do that, there are a lot of things you can do to help. Calls, letters, and s are great ways you can stay in close touch. Additionally, care packages and the occasional card will help your child feel supported and understand how proud you are that your child is turning his or her college dreams into a reality. { Once your child begins attending college, encourage him or her to get involved with campus-based activities. Persuade your child to spend the first few weekends of the new semester on campus. This might be difficult for both parent and student, but it will help the student settle into campus life.

4 Adventures In Education Resources The toll-free Texas Financial Aid Information Center can answer questions about financial aid and general college admissions. Bilingual representatives are available for students and parents who are more comfortable speaking in Spanish. Several websites offer good information about financial aid, college admissions, college and major selection, careers, and many other questions you may have as you start your college exploration and decision making process:

5 Reasons to go to college { Prepare for an exciting career in a field that you ve chosen. { Make more money. On average, a person with a bachelor s degree will earn more than a person with a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, it could be over a million dollars more. 1 { Have more options in the job market, lifestyle, and where you live. { Set an example for siblings, relatives, children, and members of your community. { Be in a position to help those you love. The more you learn, the more you earn. Doctoral Degree ($1,532/wk) $79,664/yr Professional Degree ($1,529/wk) $79,508/yr Master s Degree ($1,257/wk) $65,364/yr Bachelor s Degree ($1,025/wk) $53,300/yr Associate Degree ($761/wk) $39,572/yr High School Diploma ($626/wk) $32,552/yr No High School Diploma ($454/wk) $23,608/yr 2009 Median U.S. Earnings by Educational Attainment Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey Kantrowitz, Mark. The Financial Value of Higher Education, NASFAA Journal of Student Financial Aid, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2007); U.S. Census Bureau. The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings. July 2002.

6 About TG TG promotes educational access and success so that students can realize their college and career dreams. As a public, nonprofit corporation, TG offers resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college, learn the basics of money management, and repay their federal student loans. For more information about TG, visit To learn more about college and career planning, visit TG s Adventures In Education (AIE ) at To request permission to reproduce any of the information provided, please call TG Communications at (800) , ext Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation

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