Is Your Child Ready for College? CollegeWeekLive 2014


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  • 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 freshmen, including strong students in high schoolStudy 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? CollegeWeekLive 2014

    1. 1. Barbara Cooke, M.A. Career Counselor and Author Parent’s Guide to College and Careers How to Help, Not Hover (JIST 2010)
    2. 2. Reality Check  Over 70 % of high school graduates will enroll in college within two years of high school graduation  Less than 50% will complete a Bachelor’s degree or technical career program within six years
    3. 3. Reality Check  Only 60 % of students who start college at a 4-year school will complete a degree  40 % of students will not  The problem is more than choosing the “wrong” college  More students have the expectation of going to college without the preparation to be successful in college
    4. 4. Reality Check  High school success does not equal college readiness!  Three kinds of preparedness 1. Academic preparedness 2. Social/Emotional preparedness 3. Financial preparedness
    5. 5. Academic Preparedness  What are your child’s basic skills in reading, writing, math, science?  Take the ACT or Compass test  Compare scores to ACT College Readiness Benchmarks  A standardized measure
    6. 6. ACT College Readiness Benchmarks  ACT 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, college algebra, college biology, and an introductory social science course
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. Academic Preparedness  Time management in college  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.  Homework/outside activities in HS
    9. 9. 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
    10. 10. 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
    11. 11. Social/Emotional Preparedness  A more subjective assessment  How mature is your child?  The three “R’s”  Responsibility  Resilience  Resourcefulness
    12. 12. 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
    13. 13. Resilience  Taking criticism well  Realistic expectations of self  The ability to bounce back after setbacks  Self-care:  Eating right  Exercise  Getting enough rest
    14. 14. 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!
    15. 15. Honor the “Red Flags”  Address your concerns about study skills, time management, and responsibility while your child is in high school  Work with your high school counselor to develop an action plan to build skills junior and senior year
    16. 16. Financial Preparedness  How are you and your child going to pay for college?  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: $29,400  Doesn’t include debt of students who leave without a degree
    17. 17. Financial Preparedness Four sources of money for college: 1. Grants and scholarships a student earns or is awarded 2. College savings accounts 3. Monthly family income applied to tuition and living expenses 4. Loans, both student and parent
    18. 18. Financial Preparedness  Total Cost of College (COA) (tuition, fees, room, board, transportation, misc. living expenses)  - Less “Gift Aid” (scholarships and grants that do not have to be repaid  = Out of Pocket Cost of College (pay with college savings, cash, and student/parent loans)
    19. 19. Gift Aid  Scholarships and grants you don’t have to pay back  Scholarships: awarded for merit  Grants: awarded based on need  Outside/institutional scholarships and grants
    20. 20. Scholarships and Grants  Federal aid:  Your state Department of Higher Education website– state grants, scholarships  College websites  automatic scholarships  competitive scholarships  On average, scholarships and grants cover only 30% of the COA
    21. 21. Family Income Used for College  Tuition payments by parents  Student earnings from work-study and part- time jobs  Important: a work-study award is paid to the student and covers indirect living costs  It does not cover direct costs such as tuition, fees, room and board
    22. 22. Student and Parent Loans  More families are borrowing for college  Both parents and students need to know their “debt threshold”  How much you can borrow and comfortably repay the loan?  How much is too much debt for college?
    23. 23. 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
    24. 24. Parent Loans for College  Family income:  $100,000/year  Total debt on mortgage, car payments, credit cards, other debts:  $25,000/year  Maximum amount to add in loan payments:  $10,000 /year
    25. 25. 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
    26. 26. Student Loan Repayment Total Student Loans Annual Salary Needed  $10,000  $17,262/ year  $15,000  $25,893/year  $20,000  $34,524/year  $25,000  $43,155/year  $30,000  $51,786/year
    27. 27. 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
    28. 28. College Majors and Jobs  Some majors develop specific job skills: engineering, nursing, education etc.  Most majors develop nonspecific, transferable skills: English, psychology, communication studies, biology etc.  For most majors, work experience while in college is the key to employment after college
    29. 29. College Majors and Jobs  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 once you are on campus
    30. 30. How 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  Explore careers in high school
    31. 31. Web Resources for Parents  Career information websites  Parent’s Guide to College and Careers/ How to Help, Not Hover (JIST 2010)  Careers by college major websites  Financial aid (FAFSA4caster)and scholarship links  Links to 4-year college websites
    32. 32. Final Thoughts  Affirm your child’s strengths  Don’t be afraid to say “No”  Teach networking  Learn to let go
    33. 33. Barbara Cooke, M.A. Career Counselor and Author Parent’s Guide to College and Careers How to Help, Not Hover (JIST 2010)