College planning begins in middle school
Parents are sometimes surprised to learn that college exploration benefits from beginning early in the middle school years, but studies have shown that middle school may be the best time to build college readiness, access and success. Here are a few things you can do:
- Help your student explore interests and talents and how those might translate into a college major or a career.
- Make sure your student takes challenging classes. These often are prerequisites for getting into honors, AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) classes in high school.
- Identify any areas where your student needs additional help. The earlier you do this, the more time your student will have to get back on track.
- Begin thinking about how you plan to pay for your student’s college education. If you haven’t already started saving, it’s not too late! The middle years still provide you with several years to build a college nest egg.
- Start exploring and researching the different college options that might be suitable for your student. This will save you and your student time later in high school when identifying which campus visits to go on.
The key takeaway is this: What you do now really does pay off later.