10 Ways You Can Help Your Child Apply for College

Going to college has become one of the most important decisions a person can make. This is because teenagers need to decide if they want to spend the money, effort, and time required to graduate from college and get their degrees.

Your child may choose to go to college, but then he needs to apply for schools. If you want to help your teenager with the college application process, you can follow these ten tips.

Discuss Future Job Opportunities

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Your children still don’t know what the possibilities are. They will have different chances to find and experience work during and after college. Some people appreciate financial independence and learn on-the-job techniques.

It is essential to teach them the opportunities to find internships or externships during college, depending on their major. To learn the difference between internships and externships, check Totempool, Indeed, Monster, or any big other job and career website for more information.

Talk About the College Options Available

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If your child shows interest in college, talk about the different options he could look into. For example, some people want to go to a university while others consider a community college. Both of these options work and will help your child work towards a degree, but personal preference matters.

It would be best if you also were realistic during these discussions. For example, if your child didn’t have the best grades in high school, you may want to encourage him to apply for community college first. This way, your child has higher odds of getting into college, so he can transition to a university after performing well.

Discuss Finances

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It would help if you also talked about the finances available to your child. For example, you could give your child money for college, but if you plan to do this, you should talk with him beforehand. Unfortunately, not all parents can afford to pay for their kids’ tuition, so you may need to discuss other financial options with your child.

For example, you could talk about saving up money, student loans, and Pell Grants to help your child understand college expenses. From here, you can create a plan to help your child prepare for college tuition and other costs. The college will cost money, so you need to discuss these expenses with your kid.

Gather High School Records

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Most colleges will want your child’s high school transcripts. This allows them to see how your kid performed academically alongside his GPA. Due to this, you should request his transcripts as soon as possible. This way, you will have the record ready, and you can send a copy of it to any colleges your child wants to apply to.

Luckily, most high schools will allow you to call or email them to receive records. Make sure you check with your child’s high school to find out how to get the transcript. Doing so will make the process easier for your kid. However, your child will need to contact the school since most establishments will only release that information to your child when he turns 18.

Create a List of Colleges

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As your child applies to colleges, he probably won’t get into every one of them. Due to this, your kid should make a list of colleges that interest him. From here, your child could apply to those colleges to see which ones will accept him. After all, if one of the colleges doesn’t accept your kid, he will need backup plans.

Your child could take it a step further by creating an order for his list. Let your child pick the colleges he wants to attend the most. This way, if your kid gets accepted into multiple schools, he will have an easier time choosing one.

This will help your child remain organized during the process while giving him multiple options.

Look Into the Application Process

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Every college will have a different application process. Therefore, your child will need to research these schools to find out what they expect from him or her. This will include what colleges usually ask for, such as personal information, ACT/SAT scores, and GPA, so your child should get ready to share all of this.

Many college applications will ask various questions to understand your child better. You should help your kid highlight his strengths when going through the application process. Your child should also know that he will need to write essays. You can prepare him ahead of time.

Take the ACT or SAT

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Depending on your child’s college, he will need to take the ACT or SAT. These tests are designed to get a general idea of your child’s knowledge and understanding when it comes to entry-level college work. It gives colleges a rough idea of your child’s capabilities to see if he would fit well with their university.

Some schools will expect your child to take the SAT, while others will prioritize the ACT. This means your child needs to figure out which test he should take. Afterward, you can schedule the test, help your child study for it, and let him take it. If your child does poorly on either test, he can retake it at a future date.

Help Them With the Application

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Your child may feel overwhelmed when he starts applying for colleges, so you have the perfect opportunity to provide support and encouragement. You can sit alongside your child and go through the application process. This means you can look at each page with your child and provide advice as he goes through it.

However, you should respect your child’s independence and freedom when it comes to applications. Allow your child to write down what he wants while you provide advice. You can also answer questions during the process, but don’t force your child to apply for specific colleges.

Proofread the Application With Them

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After your child finishes an application, you should make sure you both proofread it. When your child applies to colleges, you want to remove as many mistakes and grammar errors as possible. If your child doesn’t excel at English, then you have the opportunity to read the application out loud and share necessary corrections.

Make sure you do so in a supportive way. Otherwise, your child may feel like you’re mocking him. Instead, make suggestions and teach your child to help him grow in proofreading and writing. Ensure you focus on teaching rather than correcting when it comes to proofreading with your child.

Provide Support and Encouragement

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Remember that some colleges could deny your child. If your child has a dream college and gets rejected, he may struggle with that. This means you need to provide further support and encouragement during moments of rejection.

Your child needs to understand that things like this will happen, so he needs to overcome them.

If your child starts to feel discouraged from rejection, you can encourage. For example, you can explain that he will be alright. You can also encourage your child to continue applying to some other locations on his list. As you provide support, you can help your child overcome rejection and find a college that will accept him.


The college application process may stress your child, so you should take the steps needed to help him. Make sure you provide support as needed while giving your child the opportunity to apply and learn. This way, your kid can have a good application process while ensuring he has the necessary freedom to find the right school.

About Carolyn Lang