Three Tips for Back-to-School

Author: Dale Price, MBA

Founder, Access College America

Well that was fast! The summer is just about over and it’s back to school season now. Families all over the country are scrambling to prepare for the year that’s ahead of them. School supplies? Check. New clothes? Check. Class schedule? Check. And transportation arrangements to and from school are being made as we speak. But pause for just a moment. Students have a blank slate right now. This is a new beginning for them, an opportunity for a fresh start. Here’s Access College America’s three tips to have the best school year ever.

  1. Create Positive Relationships. Students and parents should get to know their faculty members, guidance counselors and student services advisors. Bottomline: These people are important, and they will help you get into college. Introduce yourself, express interests in higher education and show some appreciation because they are committed to supporting your education. Rather than sitting in the back of the class, sit up front and commit to a greater level of participation this year. Meet with your faculty members during office hours for assistance and try to be a good peer for others too.
  1. Visit Colleges this Fall. Look up three to four colleges of interest, find out the dates for their open houses then register before they are full. Most likely an open house will fall on a Saturday, parents should make travel arrangements now and put in a request for time off (if applicable). Learn about admissions requirements, programs and college life. There are nearly 5,000 colleges and universities in our country. They all vary in size, reputation, costs, requirements, location and even graduation rates.
  1. Create a Timeline for High School. Consider all standardized tests coming up and all practice tests associated, create an academic plan for selective colleges, identify pre-reqs for advanced placement classes plus which subject tests to take and when. Sound like a foreign language? Do not worry, we can help create this for the family. But if you are working alone, start educating yourself now to avoid missing deadlines and compromised performance by your child. When is the best time to find an internship or part-time job? Which summer is best for that leadership program? Most families lack a year by year game plan for high school, beat the odds with strategic planning. College is more expensive and more competitive than it ever has been. The entire process has evolved over the decades. The best time to plan for college is now, not later.

Starting off the school year with a long-term winning strategy is not only wise but necessary. Creating positive, meaningful relationships, visiting colleges in the fall and having a timeline for high school success will help you beat college competition. Prior planning can help you avoid the pitfalls of a mad dash that senior year. There is a lot to consider with college planning but it is very manageable the sooner you start. Contact us for information about our college planning solutions. We’re happy to help your family prepare, apply & achieve!

Dale Price, MBA is a college admissions expert and the founder of Access College America LLC, a nationally recognized college consulting practice. Dale assists families as they navigate through the college planning process in high school with everything from academic planning, financial aid advice, essay preparation to college transitioning. Learn more about Access College America, visit www.AccessCollegeAmerica.org. Search @AccessCollegeAmerica on Facebook.