The next step requires you to plan for college entrance.
All colleges require some type of college entrance exam. The exams either place your student in the school with a certain score, like the ACT/ SAT, or place them in appropriate level courses.
It may be up to you to motivate your child to take the steps needed to prepare for these exams. This includes college preparatory courses offered in high school, studying with a tutor, practicing online with free ACT/SAT quizzes or going to the library for ACT/SAT study guides.
Once your student is accepted and in school, the next step is to step out of their box.
Encourage them to continue seeking more scholarships. There are many places that offer scholarships only to students enrolled in college.
Urge your student to become active in school and find his or her appropriate niche. Fitting in will make him or her feel more comfortable, keep up grades and stay in school. Finding an academic support system will be important.
Be supportive and encouraging. After the initial shock of the first year, college will seem easier. The classes may be challenging, but your child will better understand professors' expectations and learn new study habits. Statistically, if your child completes the first year of college, he or she is much more likely to complete a degree.
College is a big step and takes time to prepare. Help your child with this next level in life so he or she won't have to walk this path alone. This can be a great learning experience for you and your child. The earlier your family plans and prepares for college, the more choices you create.
Gregg Garn is director of the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma. This column is offered by the K20 Center GEAR UP for SUCCESS program. For more information about the program, go to k20center.ou.edu. For more about college awareness, go to www.OKcollegestart.org or call 225-9239.