The College Search
Recruitment materials in the mail
Take time to look at all materials that arrive in the mail, especially from those you are interested. Most contain valuable information on admissions requirements, academic programs, scholarships, financial aid, and housing.
Know your child’s high school policy on absences to visit college campus. Don’t wait until their senior year if the school only allows students a limited number of days away from school. Many will allow students to start visiting their junior year. Visit NIACC.
High School visits
Most area colleges and universities will send Admissions Representatives to your child’s high school once or twice a year. Encourage your son or daughter to visit with these Representatives. Connecting with the Admissions Representatives can prove to be invaluable.
Almost all colleges and universities offer websites that provide much more information than their mailing pieces do. You can often view catalogs and academic calendars. Most will offer the ability to apply for admission and scholarships online, as well.
Timeline for the college search
Although it is never too early to begin the college search, the following are suggestions to aid you and your student in the college search.
- Talk with the high school guidance counselor. They can offer suggestions of colleges that may offer the academic areas of interest.
- Check the admissions requirements of the colleges your child is considering.
- Attend a college fair with your child.
- Encourage your child to visit with college representatives when they come to his or her high school.
- Have your child take the ACT.
- Suggest that your son or daughter start to make a resume of accomplishments and leadership roles. This will aid them when filling out admission and scholarship applications.
- Help your son or daughter search for scholarship opportunities and keep a list for next year.
- It is not too early to start visiting college campuses with your child.
- Help your student begin to narrow down his or her final list of colleges.
- Visit college campuses with your child (It’s ok to visit the same one for a second time).
- Encourage your child to apply for admission to several colleges.
- Remind your son or daughter to keep adding to his or her resume of accomplishments.
- After October 1, file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); insist that your son or daughter help in this process.
- Remember to remind your son or daughter to apply for scholarships as application deadlines approach faster than you think. Many are due by February or March.
- Submit housing contract/fees to the colleges your son or daughter is seriously considering, once your child has made a college selection; encourage him or her to notify the other schools of his or her decision.
- Have your child respond to his or her registration invitation.
- Remember to have your child send an official copy of the final high school transcript to the college of his/her choice.
- Investigate tuition payment plan options.
- Attend Registration, meet your child’s academic advisor, and encourage him or her to register for classes on his own.
- Sign-up for tuition payment plan.
- Attend Summer Orientation—Parents are welcome to attend!