With the college application process getting more and more complicated and competitive every year, parents and children must start preparing for college very early on. During the 2015 application season, Stanford and Harvard Universities both rejected over 95% of their applicants! So what can you do to help your children prepare for the more competitive global world?
Start Early By Choosing a Good High School
Actually, this step is often taken very early, when your children are still sometimes in diapers! Matter of the fact is, many parents buy their home after they have kids. Most of the time, the parents are looking for a nice spacious home and yard. But actually when they are buying that home, they are also buying their lifestyle and future education of their children, unless they plan to send their children to private schools.
So how can you find out how good the schools are in the neighborhoods you are looking at? There are many factors to look at: test scores, graduation rates, class size, diversity, teacher qualifications, etc.
Some of the websites that provide these data for you include education.com. If you are located in the New York City area, you can check out these stats to find out the best high schools in the suburban New York City area, which includes Westchester County and the Hudson Valley region.
Choosing a Dual-enrollment Program
Once your children are in high school, there are many things to keep in mind as you help them plan their classes. While you want to be sure that your children meets the high school’s requirements, you also want to assist him or her in showing the best possible work to potential colleges.
Dual-enrollment programs allow students to take some courses on a college campus for credit while they remain enrolled in high school classes. Admission officials are always pleased when students take advantage of challenging opportunities. In this competitive age, any additional effort taken by your children will help them stand out a little more in the college application process.
Every Year Counts for College Admissions, In and Outside of School
Although the overall GPA is important, colleges realize that it is calculated based on the average of all four high school years. Colleges like to see an “upward trend”- so if your children did not do well during their freshman or even sophomore years in high schools, some colleges maybe overlook that when a student has shown impressive improvement as a junior and senior. They may also be willing to overlook one awful grade or an entire catastrophic semester if followed by a strong rebound.
Colleges are impressed by students who have been serious in their college prep and sought enrichment opportunities outside of their school, both during the academic year or in the summer. Volunteering, extra projects showing creativity and initiative, are extremely important during the college application process.