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Is Your Child Ready for College?

Is Your Child Ready for College?



CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Webinar 2010

CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Webinar 2010



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  • College prep diplomas, honors, International Baccalaureate, basic diplomas
  • Looking at the 4-year schools by themselves, excluding students who start at a community college with the intent to transfer, only 60% of students who start at a 4-year school complete a degreeThis means 40% of students who start at a 4-year college or university do not compete a degree
  • No minimum ACT or SAT score needed to get in
  • You need to look at all threeWeak students with poor time-management skills “party out”, strong students can wilt under academic pressure
  • Easiest to assess; standardized measures“grade inflation” – the practice of giving higher grades for academic work than the work meritsYou need an objective assessment – ACT is one; COMPASS through a CC is anotherACT junior year; then work w/HS counselor to strengthen skills
  • Time management is one of the biggest challenges for college freshmenStudy time outside of classIn high school, a student’s time is structured: 35 hours in a school building, moving from course subject to course subjectIn college: 15 hours is structured; with online courses, even less time is structuredmost work is done outside of class – readings, projects, group work; no “extra credit”Use a planning grid; de-brief after freshman orientation
  • Research paper, at least 10 pages; MLA style guideOnline courses: all communication, including discussions, is in writing; can’t be successful in online courses without being a strong writer
  • Delay in course sequence for a major such as business; can add another year to your total cost of college – tuition, room, board, feesCan limit student loan eligibility junior or student year
  • Unrealistic expectations can be an issue for strong students in high school who face much more competition in college; is a B acceptable? vs. pressure to maintain grades for scholarshipsHomesickness or “friend” sickness
  • Connect with both adults and fellow studentsTeach problem solving skillsTalking to instructors: role modelingAsk: “What have you already tried to resolve this?”“What did you say?”“What are some of the options you see?” “Who have you already talked to?”Be the teacher of self-advocacy skills
  • Don’t let your child get in over her head!Financial literacy

Is Your Child Ready for College? Is Your Child Ready for College? Presentation Transcript

  • Is Your Child Ready for College?
    Barbara Cooke, M.A.
    Parent’s Guide to College and Careers (JIST 2010)
  • Reality Check
    High school success does not equal college readiness!
    Multiple HS diploma options today
    Some students learn college-ready skills in high school; many do not
  • Reality Check
    Over 70 % of high school graduates enroll in college within two years of high school graduation
    Less than 50% complete a Bachelor’s degree or technical career program within six years
    The problem is more than choosing the “wrong” college
  • Reality Check
    Open-admissions institutions: colleges that admit students without regard to academic qualifications
    Provide access, opportunity
    Many students have the expectation of going to college without the preparation to be successful in college
  • What Does It Take?
    Three kinds of preparedness
    Academic preparedness
    Social/emotional preparedness
    Financial preparedness
    The college admissions process is heavily focused on just one: academic preparedness
  • Academic Preparedness
    What are your child’s basic skills in reading, writing, math, science?
    You need a standardized measure
    Take the ACT or Compass test
    Compare scores to ACT College Readiness Benchmarks
  • ACT College Readiness Benchmarks
    ACT or COMPASS test scores needed for 50% chance of earning a B or better or 75 % chance of earning a C or better in college courses traditionally taken in the first year of college
    College composition, psychology, biology, history, college algebra etc.
  • Academic Preparedness
    College level classes vs. remedial classes
    Remedial (developmental) classes are one of the fastest growing segments of higher education
    Courses taken in college to bring underprepared students to skill competency of a college freshman
    Will cost you time and money
  • Academic Preparedness
    Time management
    Two hours of outside study for each one credit hour in class
    15 college credits : 15 hrs. in class + 30 hrs. of study = 45 hrs. per week needed for school
    Add a part-time job 20 hrs./week = 65 hrs. of time is scheduled before social life begins
  • Academic Preparedness
    Writing skills
    In college, your child will expected to:
    Write numerous short and long papers in all classes, not just English classes
    Read unfamiliar material, analyze it and respond to it in writing
    Answer essay questions rather than multiple choice questions
  • Academic Preparedness
    Math skills
    College algebra is the minimum degree requirement
    Remedial/developmental math courses will cost you time and money
    Insist on 4 years of college prep math in high school
  • Social/Emotional Preparedness
    A more subjective assessment
    How mature is your child?
    The three “R’s”
  • Responsibility
    Turning in assignments on time
    Showing up for work and doing a good job
    Completing household chores
    Following household rules and curfews
    Managing money - checking accounts, debit cards, saving for purchases
  • Resilience
    Taking criticism well
    Realistic expectations of self
    The ability to bounce back after setbacks
    Eating right
    Getting enough rest
  • Resourcefulness
    Problem solving skills
    Connecting with other people to identify resources
    Talking with instructors
    Creating and using a support system
    “Helicopter” parents: teach your child to solve the problem, don’t solve it yourself!
  • Financial Preparedness
    U.S. student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt – over $830 billion dollars!
    College debt is an issue for both of you
    Average student debt for graduates: $24,000
    Doesn’t include graduate school $$ or credit card debt
  • Financial Preparedness
    Sources of money for college:
    College savings accounts
    Monthly family income applied to tuition and living expenses
    Loans, both student and parent
    Grants and scholarships a student earns or is awarded
  • Savings for College
    529 Plan and other college savings accounts
    Divide $$ by 4.5 years in college
    Add a year to college costs if:
    Remedial courses are required
    College major changes several times
  • Monthly Income Used for College
    Tuition payments by parents
    Student earnings from work-study and part-time jobs
    Important: Don’t borrow money for what you are already spending for cell phone, food, clothing and other expenses while your child is in high school!
  • Student Loans
    More families are borrowing for college
    How much is too much student loan debt?
    Both parents and students need to know their “debt threshold”
    How much you can borrow and comfortably repay the loan?
  • Parent Loans for College
    Parent guideline:
    Your total household debt payments all your debts -- including mortgage payments, credit cards, car loans and education loans -- shouldn't eat up more than 35% of your gross pay
  • Parent Loans for College
    Family income:
    Total debt on mortgage, car payments, credit cards, other debts:
    Maximum amount to add in loan payments:
    $10,000 /year
  • Student Loans for College
    8% rule
    Your child’s total student loan payments should not exceed 8% of monthly gross income after college
    For $30,000 student loan, payment will be $345/month
    Salary needed: $52,000 /year
  • Student Loan Repayment
    Total Student Loans
    Annual Salary Needed
    $17,262/ year
  • Student Loans for College
    8% rule connects amount to borrow with the student’s marketability after graduation
    Some majors command more money in the job market than others
    $345/month loan payment will be the same for an English major or engineering major
  • College Majors and Jobs
    Some majors develop specific job skills: engineering, nursing, education etc.
    Most majors develop non-specific, transferable skills: English, psychology, communication studies, biology etc.
    For most majors, work experience while in college is the key to employment after college
  • Scholarships and Grants
    Scholarships are awarded for merit
    Grants are based on need
    Outside vs. institutional scholarships
    Outside vs. institutional grants
  • Scholarships and Grants
    Department of Higher Education website for your state –grants, scholarships
    Free scholarship databases on the internet
    College websites - automatic scholarships and competitive scholarships at the school
    Use “Actual College Cost” worksheet
  • Ways to Insure Preparedness
    Take rigorous courses in high school
    Four years of college-prep math
    Writing-intensive courses: research papers
    Use AP and dual-credit wisely
  • Ways to Insure Preparedness
    Begin exploring careers in high school
    Career exploration vs. career decision-making
    Understand how different majors play out in the job market
    Separate choosing a major from choosing a 1st career
    Use career resources on campus
  • Ways to Insure Preparedness
    Understand the “big picture” of college and careers
    Don’t try to do it all at once
    Encourage use of all campus resources
    De-brief and follow-up!
  • Web Resources for Parents
    Career information websites
    Careers by college major websites
    Financial aid (FAFSA4caster)and scholarship links
    Links to 4-year college websites
    Parent’s Guide to College and Careers (JIST 2010)
  • Final Thoughts
    Affirm your child’s strengths
    Don’t be afraid to say “No”
    Teach networking
    Learn to let go
  • Is Your Child Ready for College?
    Barbara Cooke, M.A.
    Parent’s Guide to College and Careers (JIST 2010)