Sending in college applications can be a harrowing experience for your child. There is often a big gap between the time your child sends in the applications and when the colleges actually get back to you. Waiting for college acceptance can be a nerve-wracking period, but there are things your child can do in the meantime to propel his or hers academic career forward.
1. Relax and take a breather.
It's only natural for your child to fret about whether he or she is going to be accepted or not. College is one of the most important times in your child’s life -- one that will have a huge role in determining how your child’s future will take off and how it will turn out. However, it is important your child realizes that after the applications have been sent out worrying about their fate will not change anything. Explain to your child that it is best to relax and focus on things that your child can actually control.
2. Keep your grades up.
Just because your child gets accepted into a college doesn't mean she or he gets an excuse to slack off with the remaining high school work. It is essential your child keeps excelling at his or hers current classes and maintains grades and the attitude for learning. College is academically more challenging than high school, so keeping up first-rate study skills and work ethic is important -- your child should understand that just because the next accomplishment is within hands reach doesn’t mean one can slack on other responsibilities.
3. Cherish your remaining time with your friends.
While academics and hard work are important, it is also important to remember the people in your life. Most likely your child and his or her friends will be going to different colleges, which means they will not be seeing each other much after graduation. Explain this to your child and make sure that while waiting for college acceptance letters, your child spends enough time with his or her friends.
4. Search for scholarships.
It is never too early to start thinking about how to finance college tuition and other academic expenses. Academic scholarships are a great way to help reduce these costs. This is also a situation where those hard-earned grades will show their reward. Encourage your child to log on to websites like www.rischolarships.org and/or head down to see the high school's guidance office to find scholarships that he or she may qualify. Given how expensive college is and the often inevitability of student loans, finding other ways to reduce college expenses is a worthy use of time. This will also help your child understand and become more independent with finances – a skill that will be invaluable while away in collage.
5. File the FAFSA.
As soon after January 1 as possible, sit down with your child to file the FAFSA. This application is required by all schools to award federal financial aid and most schools also use it to award their own financial aid, such as grants & scholarships, based on financial need. If you need assistance, free help is available through the College Planning Center of Rhode Island. You can book your appointment online.
Waiting for college acceptance letters doesn't have to be a time filled with nervous sitting and waiting. Encourage your child to take these tips to pass the time, while remaining excited about his or hers academic future.