Here’s what you can do to help your child prepare for college admissions

As your high school senior takes their next steps into adulthood, here are some tips that can help you assist them in the college application process:

Balance the responsibility

Getting ready for college is a big step for both you and your child. We know you want the best for your kids, but there’s a fine line between being supportive and being an overbearing parent. It may be tempting to take a leading role on the application process, but it is critical that your teen takes on the responsibility. Checking up on their personal statement progress or giving reminders about upcoming deadlines is great – but you should have faith that your child will take the reins. Having an open line of communication is key when guiding your child through the college application success.

Schedule campus tours

While there are plenty of resources online, the best way to get insight on college life is by exploring the campus. If possible, try to plan a quick vacation around the scheduled tour. This will allot enough time for you and your child to explore the dorms, classrooms and downtown vibes. After all of the information sessions and group activities, your child may be feeling overwhelmed. Remember to stay supportive while encouraging them to ask the right questions to see if the school is the right fit.

Discuss the costs

While the costs of education continue to rise, it is important for you and your child to educate yourselves on tuition costs and financing options. Be straightforward with your teen by giving an estimate of your family contribution. Keeping a realistic budget in mind can help your child decide between community college versus a four-year university or private versus public school. If your child will be needing financial assistance, be sure they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Remember to stay on top of the deadline!

Another great way to finance a college education is with scholarships. Scholarships are free money – and while the competitive process can be daunting, you should still encourage your child to seek them out and apply. There are plenty of scholarships out there that can align with your child’s demographic from their major, location, interests and more.

Did you know that Travis Credit Union awards college scholarships to twenty high school seniors each year? If your child is a high school senior this fall and is a TCU member in good standing, they’re eligible to apply for our Mary Keith Duff Memorial Scholarship. Applications open in January 2018. Visit www.traviscu.org/scholarships for more information.

Apply for FAFSA Scholarships