Usually, once a kid reaches high school, that’s when parents begin to think about college planning. In my last post, I talked about the December 1 priority deadline for scholarship applications. That holds true for high-school seniors headed off to college next year. Usually by then it’s too late to make a difference. Grades, activities, and so forth are pretty well set by then. The best approach to college planning is to start early. In fact, what I really mean is start now! In all honesty, most parents and students put off till the last minute any effort to secure college funding. I don’t know why they are surprised when their only remaining option is student loans.
Scholarship committees look at the full body of work that a student has accomplished at least during their high school years. A variety of activities such as extracurricular or volunteer activities will apply even further back. Students should get engaged in these activities ideally during their middle school years. That way when they reach high school they’ve had an opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities. They can also begin to focus on the couple that are most important to them and be excellent at those. I am taking a bold approach that involves the students, parents, teachers and counselors in an interactive process that begins as early as sixth grade. So start the college planning process now! The time and energy that you put in will be well worth it during the spring of your child’s senior year.
If you need guidance on how to get started planning for college, you’re in the right place. At Affluent Student I have coaching packages that can be tailored to your individual needs. Check out the Services page to find out more. In the end, those that are intentional about college planning are much more likely to reach their goals!