Tips to Get Your Child College Ready

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The importance of planning ahead for higher education has never been more apparent than in 2008, with budget shortfalls impacting education, unemployment rates increasing, and once prosperous industries closing across the country. In light of National Education Week, we encourage you to help your own children start thinking about college and their future NOW, regardless of how far off college might seem. Unfortunately, making plans about college and establishing goals are typically left for middle school and high school age students. Research shows that the earlier you introduce the goal of a college education, and start planning, the more likely your child is to succeed at their higher education. Here are some tips to get your child on the fast track to college:

  1. Start EARLY! Introduce the idea of attending college as early as possible.
  2. Make exploring career paths fun by taking day trips to museums, or online excursions to different websites like NASA or the White House to highlight exciting opportunities.
  3. Read books with your child where the main character attends college or has an interesting career.
  4. Visit college campuses. Make the goal real, by visiting several colleges nearby. Some campuses may have summer camps for elementary level students that have a focus on music, art, or science.
  5. Most campuses will have virtual tours where you and your child can visit from any computer.
  6. Speak in terms of when, not if, your child will apply to college. Be clear on the message of when.
  7. Be a role model for your child—take a course to retool job skills—enhance or gain new skills.
  8. Work with your child’s school to identify professionals in careers that appeal to the elementary age bracket.