QUESTION

My son is a senior. Is it too late to start prepping?

ANSWER

I wish more parents would ask this question! The answer is definitely not! There is still plenty of time between now and the start of college for your child to prepare for college.

Let’s take a look at what you and your son can do to get them ready for college.

Take a look at his transcript to see where his GPA is for his junior year and talk to your son about where he wants to go to school. Knowing this information and your financial standing will help you both identify schools that he can be accepted into and afford to attend. You can visit these schools together and narrow down the list so he’s able to focus on the schools he’s serious about wanting to go to.

Next step is to get him prepared for the SAT or ACT by enrolling him in a class or having him work with a tutor. He can still apply for colleges and mark that he will be taking the standardized tests at a later date. However, most colleges will consider his applications incomplete without those final scores. This is just something to keep in mind when you’re figuring out when to register him for the tests. This is also a good time to research scholarships and see which ones he’s eligible for.

As well, this is also the time for your son to seek out teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors for letters of recommendation for his college applications. Most schools require between one and two, but it’s important to check each college for their specific requirements. Using the Common App will help keep both of you organized while you’re getting ready for college.

You’ll also need to make sure the FAFSA paperwork is lined up and ready to go for when the application opens in January. It’s a good idea to have your tax information and your son’s together as much as possible so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

It is critical during his senior year to keep on top of deadlines since we’re on a bit of a time crunch. Most of the things I listed above need to be done in the fall of his senior year.

If that time has already passed, take a look at the deadlines for the schools he’s applying to. Many of the larger state schools and community colleges have multiple deadlines for incoming students. This means there won’t be as much pressure to get everything done between August and November.

He will definitely need to hit the ground running, but there’s nothing standing between him and being prepared for college. There will still be some scholarships available and he can still put in his information for the FAFSA. If he decides that he doesn’t want to stay at the state college or community college he’s able to get into, then transferring is always an option at a later date.

Remember: there are still plenty of possibilities. It’s never too late to start.

LINK

College Board, the company behind the SAT, has this detailed timeline and checklist to help you and your son stay on track during his senior year. It will also help you figure out what areas need to be completed as soon as possible and where you have a little extra time to figure things out. They also put together this checklist specifically for parents of seniors.

We provide test prep services for the ACT and the SAT. Our test prep tutors are all top scorers and will work with your son one on one to make sure he gets the best score he can. We also provide College Consulting services that will go over your son’s academic profile, extra-curriculars, even his social media to identify weaknesses or problem areas for him to improve so he can be accepted to the colleges he wants.

There are a lot of imitation sites out there so be sure you go to the right FAFSA website. They also offer their own checklist that is focused on financial and FAFSA preparation to keep you from missing any important deadlines.