High School Parent Guide
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A High School Parent’s Guide to College Success

After high school, what next? All learners must have a plan. Some of the available options include joining the military, a technical school, a community college, or a university.

Having dependable and adequate information regarding the available post-high school choices is very important. Parents can get this vital information online or via an institution’s guidance and counseling team. Such information can be found on this primer. We provide everything a parent or guardian needs to know about life after high school.

After high school, the next step involves applying for college. The whole process can be challenging and overwhelming to teens and parents. This is especially true if these parties do not have the appropriate information. This ought not to be the case.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about making the transition from secondary school to college as smooth as possible.

Why Your Child Should Join College

why college

Education plays such a big role in helping children be ready for their careers once they graduate. Today’s competitive job market demands more than just a secondary school diploma. As they attend their classes in high school, learners must plan and start thinking of the course they will enroll for once they join college. Pursuing education after secondary school gives teens an array of options when it comes to professions. It also improves the probability of being employed.

Some teenagers do not buy the idea of joining college. As a parent, what advice can you give to such a teen? How do you convince him or her on the importance of joining an institution of higher learning? You must have the right words to say to your child immediately you notice that he or she is not into enrolling for college.

Striking a conversation on the importance of joining college and the risks of not doing so gives teens an outlook they have never had before. It opens their mind to a new way of thinking. Constantly reminding your teenager that you will be will them through every step of their college life plays a big role in making sure they become successful in college.

So why should your teen join an institution of higher learning? Here are some of the concrete reasons you need to share with him or her:

Higher Pay

Higher pay is the primary reason why many people enroll in college. Regardless of the course, you take in college or university, you get the chance to enroll for a higher paying career that needs technical skills. Compared to high school graduates, college graduates earn more.

While secondary school graduates earn around $30000 every year, college graduates rake in around $50000 annually.

Knowledge Base Expansion

College or university education provides cutting-edge information in those subjects that you are interested in. it also provides you vast experience in countless other subjects. Through this education, one can exercise both intellectual and critical thinking. College students can express themselves in both verbal and written form. Making informed decisions to them is a walk in the park. This ability or skills is vital, off and on your employment.

Betterment of Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Earning a university education is a good way to enhance your career prospects. While many college freshmen are clueless about who they want to be in the years ahead, they appreciate the fact that education postsecondary school gives them an edge over others within the same career. Perhaps this is why many parents break the bank for their children to join college.

Often, the course you do in college does not count. What matters is that you have a degree. Due to the variety of skills that learners derive from life in college, they end up in careers that do not match their area of study.

It is for this reason that many people conclude that attending an institution of higher learning presents opportunities that are unavailable to those who did not pursue further education at college.

Read More: College Degrees Guide: List of College Degrees

Job Satisfaction and Security

An effective way of guaranteeing job security is by getting university/college education. Without it, it is next to impossible to be helpful to your boss. With the tough economy, you might find yourself getting laid off. Do you know that university education is so crucial that some organizations often pay tuition fees for their employees? Yes, that explains just how significant college education is.

This vital investment is beneficial to both the employee and the company. Job satisfaction comes as a result of things such as higher income, employment benefits, as well as the chance to improve your career.

Survive Hardship

In these harsh economic times, one needs to find a way of overcoming adversity. Survival strategies are necessary. By having a college education, marketable skills, and some cash in your savings account, it is possible to survive economic hardship. A college education is one of the most valuable investments you can ever make in your life. It helps you safeguard your future.

Related: 10 Reasons to Go to College

Middle School to High School Transition (How to Make the Process Smooth)

For primary school learners, shifting for middle school to secondary school can be challenging. A difficult transition has long and short-term consequences. Positive relations between every participant in the process of change – parents, children, and schools – go miles to enhance and/or address the issues that transition presents.

Once summer is over, children join high school. It is part of a learner’s development. Changes in the social and school environment characterize this transition. Children have to grapple with new teachers, buildings, peers, etc. The same is true of behavior and way of thinking.

The countless changes that a child experiences at this stage in his or her life has an adverse or encouraging effect on his or her well-being. Poorly handled transitions bring with them negative, long-term effects on the mental state of a child. A smooth and excellently handled transition, on the other hand, helps a child develop him/herself in the best way possible.

Mixed Reactions are Normal

Brockport College’s research opines just the thought of joining high school enlivens many teens. To be specific, more freedom, the chance to grow up and more choices excite them big time. In addition to that, the high school allows them to take part in many activities and make new friends.

Despite the excitement, incoming high school students are also worried a lot. They worry about:

  • Bullying
  • New environment
  • Expectations
  • Responsibilities

The transition brings mixed emotions. It is very much normal. As a parent, you can expect your teen to be nervous one minute and lively the next. What you need to do is be attentive, observant and listen to them every time they present an issue.

Make a Pre-Visit to the School

Pre-visiting the school before the commencement of classes is always a wise move. Freshman orientation is part of the new life in high school. According to this report, it is paramount that your child attends this event. Attending it together not only calms him or her but also familiarizes the teen with everything in the school.

Encourage Relations with Elder Children

Did you know that freshmen with older kids as their friends normally enjoy a smoother transition compared to those with younger ones? Check whether there is an elder school mate in the neighborhood and ask him or her to act as a guide for your teen in school. It does more good than harm.

Encourage Relations with Teachers

Encourage Relations with Teachers

Most teens feel that being ‘friends’ with teachers is not cool. On the contrary, when a new student has a close relationship with his or her teachers, it facilitates a smoother transition into high school. Tutors are not only available to provide help for academics but also for guidance and social support. Because tutors know the ins and outs of high school life, they can be always there for freshmen that feel somewhat stunned. Therefore, you should encourage your teenager to solidify a relationship with one or two tutors. The more the better.

Encourage Your Teenager to Participate in School Activities

School activities and extracurricular ones to be precise boast plenty of benefits. Children that take part in them have:

  • Strong school ties
  • Lower chance of dropping out
  • Better behavior
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Improved academic performance
  • Positive outlook towards adults
  • Great social relationships

Taking part in these activities improves the relationship with tutors as many club leaders and coaches are tutors. It is also magical in enhancing attachment to the institution. The above benefits make the transition to secondary school a walk in the park.

As a parent, talk to your child to take part in activities that he or she is passionate about or finds interesting.

Get and Remain Involved

As a guardian or parent, you must get and remain involved in the affairs of your child. What does this part involve?

  • Taking your child to freshman orientation
  • Login to the school’s homework platform to verify that he or she has finished
  • Consulting teachers regularly to know the progress of your teen
  • Finding out and recommending services in the school such as mentoring, tutoring and counseling
  • Having a regular conversation with your teen about school
  • Attending parent-teacher meetings
  • Demonstrating enthusiasm when she or he accomplishes something
  • Taking part or attending her or his events

In addition to all the above, you must be always attentive to your teen. Always be on the lookout for any indication or sign of stress. Once you are suspicious of something, do not hesitate to talk to your child.

Assist Them with Time Management

Time management college

Because of more homework and school activities, your child can be susceptible to errors and stress. To avoid making the situation turn from bad to worse, your child needs to learn and understand how to manage time prudently.

Teach her stuff like:

  • Always have additional time in case the homework becomes harder
  • Always get adequate sleep
  • Start with the most challenging and/or least enjoyed task first. At this time, his or her concentration and energy levels are the highest
  • Always have all the materials needed in the following day ready on the night before
  • Simplify goals or targets by breaking the bigger ones into smaller ones
  • For every subject, have separate binders or folders
  • Rather than wait until exam time, study bit by bit every day

Set High Expectations

According to Harvard University research, students tend to perform based on the expectations of their parents. Your role as a guardian or parent is to efficiently communicate your expectations to your child. By constantly encouraging your child to meet the set expectations, you will help them to not only remain motivated but also work hard towards achieving them in both academics and activities. In the end, you can rest assured that your teen will join college. On top of that, they will boast better skills at solving issues compared to peers.

In addition to the above-mentioned tips, here are others which can also be of great help to both you and your child:

  1. Always remember this – your child, just like others will be anxious about the transition to high school. It is your responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that he or she has a smooth transition. By sticking to their side, you will demonstrate to them that secondary school isn’t as bad or creepy as they have pictured it to be.
  2. Do not be afraid to ask for support or help when stuck. Visit the school to establish what additional help or tutoring is available for academics.
  3. Ensure your teen understands the course he or she intends to enroll in college.
  4. Befriend other parents and feel free to share information regarding the secondary school.
  5. Before the commencement of school, meet the principal, counselors, and teachers. Familiarize yourself with tardy, grading and attendance policies.
  6. Encourage your teen to take maximum advantage of orientation sessions and summer camps that the school offers. Attending these sessions goes miles in making sure that both you and your child become familiar with how the school operates.
  7. Keeps tabs with announcements, grading periods and upcoming events.
  8. Explore student choir, band, athletics, and organizations available in the school. Doing so is a great strategy towards forming a helpful clique of learners boasting the same interests.
  9. Find out the name of at least one person, preferably an adult, in the school to get help when in need. It could be a counselor, tutor, coach or principal.
  10. Understand how the school’s credit system functions. Find out how many credits your teen needs.

Related: 12 Tips for Adjusting to College Life

4-Year Plan Map

How to Create a Four-Year Plan for High School Freshmen

Students in high school have countless choices. There is no doubt about that. For this reason, your child must have a strategy in the form of a road map for the upcoming four years. One of the things he or she needs to do to ensure everything works out perfectly after graduation is to work hard and attain the appropriate number of credits every semester.

26 credits are necessary for high school students when proceeding to college. This comprises of 4 years of economics/socio studies, science, math, and English Language Arts. Proper planning is paramount when it comes to meeting all the requirements. It is also important to meet all the requirements touching on local graduation.

Through a 4-year roadmap, learners can customize their experience in secondary school and take classes that will play a huge role in helping them choose a university major as well as a career. Most significantly, doing so make sure that secondary school learners graduate promptly.

Every term or semester, it is prudent to help your child assess his or her 4-year roadmap. In doing this, you will help his or her check whether the plans remain on track. Learners need to be encouraged and guided to examine their clusters. Counselors should come in handy in this regard. The main objective should be to attain credits early as well as ensure learners meet all the requirements for college.

Read More: How to Create a Four-Year Plan for High School Freshmen (10 Tips)

Choice of College and Career

For teenagers, choosing a career or college can be challenging. This informed by the countless choices available which can be overwhelming to them. On top of that, their choice of career might be far away from the learners. As a parent, you must help learners arrived at excellent choices not only through your words of advice but also by sourcing for information online.

Teens can narrow their options through the following tips:

  • Teenagers should not be in a hurry to settle on a career. Exploring different options should take ample time. Encourage your child to choose a career that they are zealous about or one which they enjoy. High salaries should not be the main reason to choose a career. If your child wants a career that is in line with your job experience, give them as much advice as possible. Inform him or her of vital details such as job experience, accomplishment and how they can use their position in a profession to making a difference in society. Taking part in community initiatives is magical in helping them become engaged.
  • Have a career plan for your teenager! Career plans are handy at helping learners break abstract concepts such as future jobs into tiny and manageable steps thus helping them attain their career goals.
  • Similar to careers, your teen must choose a learning institution that matches their personality and is a perfect fit. This will go miles in helping the learner attain his or her future goals. Do not be afraid of exploring universities, technical schools or colleges both big and small. Their main focus should be on institutions that provide the major they desire coupled with sponsorship.

Related: What to Do After High School: 10 Alternatives to Starting College

Application Checklist for College

Applying for college is an important step after high school. Although the process seems difficult, planning will go miles in reducing the stress. These tips should come in handy during the process:

  • Ascertain whether your college of choice receives common applications. This is especially true if your kid plans to apply out-of-state institutions
  • Visit the school counselor for assistance
  • This checklist should help


Look for scholarships

Do you know that tuition fee in college increases at 6% annually? Your ability to join college is based on the amount of financial support you can get.

Scholarships differ. They can be little or much. Financial aid can emanate from the college itself, community groups, corporates or private. Colleges use criteria to issue scholarships. Some of the factors that are considered include religion, academics, talent, income, gender or athletics.

Regardless of the type of aid, your child pursues, here are a few strategies you need to consider:

  • Begin the application process early – Financial aid is available for activities such as a church, leadership and community service. Regardless of the case, perseverance and participation are essential factors. This means you need to take part in different activities for a long time for your application to count.
  • Be attentive – Scholarships feature similar requirements. Moreover, they are issued almost the same time annually. Once you have established that applications are needed, pen down everything necessary like requirements, due date, and name.
  • Research extensively – Gather all the information you can regarding the scholarship. Dozens and dozens of grants and scholarships are available to today’s learners. Each of them features its set of rewards and requirements. Some financial aids are affiliated with a school, others are not. Before you apply, you must be familiar with what is needed to successfully land the support. For instance, some scholarships are very strict on how learners spend the resource. Others focus strictly on learners with financial need. Finally, yet importantly, some are given to learners that demonstrate qualities such as community service or leadership. You can consult a counselor, use the internet or visit platforms. Of great importance to note is the fact that student scholarships, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. This feature makes them highly attractive to learners in need.
  • Apply – Feel free to apply for all scholarships on offer, not just one. You never know where your luck will lead you. It is wise to submit applications strictly to programs that you qualify for. Do not waste time attempt something that you are ineligible for. While at it, pay close attention to requirements. The rule of thumb is to make sure that all applications you submit are free of any errors. Therefore, have someone pass through your forms before you submit them. This will go miles in making sure everything is as it should be.
  • Be organized – Properly have or store all vital information about every scholarship you applied. Keep track of crucial details such as sources, requirements, and deadlines.
  • Follow instructions – Provide all the necessary information required in the forms. Once you are certain you have filled everything, have someone pass through the entire document before submitting it.
  • Complete FAFSA forms – If you want student financial support in the United States, you need to complete the FAFSA forms. Once you complete these forms, you are eligible for support from various federal programs. Not every applicant will meet the FAFSA requirements. Do you some private entities usually need applicants to be denied federal aid for them to consider applications? One thing is for sure, filling out these forms is confusing. The assistance of a guardian or parent is necessary at this point. Before you submit the form, make sure it does not have any error. It is prudent to fill the form in your senior year. Of course, avoid signing or sending the documents before the due date.

Read More: 31 Tuition-Free Colleges In The United States

Getting Support in College When Stuck

Support in College

Failure to have answers to some questions is normal. Fortunately, plenty of online materials and helpful tools are available. Additionally, more support is available at school. Moreover, educators, guidance counselors as well as university awareness programs provide the relevant information you and your child need to make the right decision regarding college or any other issue your child might experience while in college.

To take full advantage of the support provided at school, you need to do the following:

  • You must be familiar with your child’s administrators, coaches, counselors, and teachers. Demonstrate to them that you are keen on the progress of your child. Show interest in the process of going to college. School staff help with things such as course selection, career counseling, admission examinations, interest inventories, etc. Always feel free to request for support and information.
  • School districts normally provide activities that touch on university awareness. As a parent or guardian, you need to take advantage of this. Some high schools provide tours for families and learners, summer programs, workshops on financial aid and college preparation for parents and learners. To establish what is on offer, consult a counselor or check the institution’s website. Being involved in the activities or happenings in school helps you to keep tabs with events. In the end, you can build a rapport with your kid.
  • Your child must have a mentor. Find one for him or her. Mentors are handy when it comes to providing career advice, and offering a different outlook on issues. Mentors are also handy at helping teenagers to build their self-esteem. The advice of a mentor is helpful to teenagers and their families during and after high school.
  • Share what you have learned with fellow parents. While at it, ask for any information which might be helpful to your child as he or she attends college.

Vital Information On College Readiness

Today’s high schools are preparing learners for an interdependent, culturally diverse, fast-changing and interconnected world. Schools are equipping pupils with the strategies, knowledge, and skills to not only think critically but also continue learning in class and at their places of work. As a parent, you can support their efforts with materials and research-based tools that are in sync with the college readiness standards of your state.

Parents must ensure that high school graduating students are ready for not only for college but also for life and careers. Learners must be prepared to undertake any career they wish. Today’s job market which is highly competitive demands postsecondary training and education.

Specifically, graduates from high school must have:

  • Understanding principal theoretical disciplines. They include elements such as music, art, science, civics, mathematics, English language, history, etc. Learners need to demonstrate competency in all these areas before enrolling in a college or joining particular job traineeship/intern programs.
  • Taken part in postsecondary opportunities. This can be via cutting-edge projects or practical education or work-based experience. It can also be through any other opportunity that enables graduates to discover goals, aptitudes, and interests in such a way that they can link education and employment post-high school.
  • The dispositions needed to effectively chart the post-secondary route. Academics unquestionably are responsible for most of the skills a high school student has. However, the skills that most employees and colleges demand are inherently in line with k-12 expectations. What are these expectations? Learners must be able to communicate efficiently, solve problems efficiently, think censoriously and come up with concrete arguments. Presenting, communicating and collaborating information as well as utilizing research to make informed decisions is one of the crucial skills that guarantee success not only in high school but also in college.

Some of the resources that can help your student be ready for college include:

  1. FAFSA4Caster
  2. All necessary resources

School administrators, teachers, and counselors act as a remarkable additional resource. Some of the information they can help with include:

  • All specific readiness questions
  • Recommendation letters to colleges/universities
  • Timetables on college entrance examinations
  • Information on the college application
  • Information touching on financial aid
  • Options and requirements on a local graduation
  • Career counseling
  • Requirements for college-bound programs
  • Interest inventories

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