Amid the effects of COVID-19, a lot of high school juniors are wondering how school closures will affect their college future. Without the structure and support their school normally provides, how can they stay on track to attend their dream college after graduation?
Fortunately, just because your child is stuck at home doesn’t mean they can’t make meaningful progress towards college. By making a plan and using their time wisely, they can not only prepare for college applications, but actually improve their chances of admission.
Specifically, there are four things high school juniors should work on while stuck at home—other than their normal school work, of course!
- Practicing their essay writing skills
- Researching colleges to apply to
- Working with their parents to create a college budget
- Keeping in touch with their school or professional counselor
When it comes to college applications, writing strong essays is one of the best things students can do to stand out. Unfortunately, writing is a skill that takes practice, and many students never make the time to practice for college essays. However, with students now stuck at home, they have more time than ever to hone these skills—and college essay practice prompts are only a search away!
In a similar vein, your teen also needs to consider what colleges they want to apply to in the fall.
Even by setting aside an hour after dinner each night to research potential colleges to apply to, students can get one step ahead of their peers—many of whom put off this important research until the last minute. This lets students plan their reach, target, and safety lists, without the pressure and rush that comes from waiting until senior year begins.
Next up, sit down with your child and talk about your college budget, if you haven’t already. Look up the average costs of tuition for the schools they’re interested in, and talk about your options as a family.
Do you have any savings prepared for college, or will your child need to look for scholarships and loans? If so, learn how student loans work together, so neither of you are caught unawares when it comes time to pay them back!
Last but not least, encourage your child to keep in touch with their college counselor. Whether they’re working with their school counselor or a professional counselor, this person will keep both of you up to date on developments in the college application world, especially in these uncertain times.
While life has gotten more than a bit hectic these last few weeks, social isolation and school closures don’t have to be the end of your child’s college dreams. There’s a lot they can do to keep themselves on track and having you there to help them will only make the process easier!
Blog Post Sponsor
WeAdmit is an education technology company dedicated to helping students find and attend their best-fit college. A team of fully remote college counselors, financial advisors, and peer counselors are available to help you and your teenager navigate the college application process anytime, anywhere! Check out the in-depth, guided college counseling programs, or stay connected through Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.