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Reality Bytes. Getting Ready for College Early. What is “College”?. Public and private 4-year colleges and universities 2-year community or junior colleges business schools proprietary schools vocational-technical schools. Keep Your Options Open.

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Reality Bytes

Getting Ready for

College Early

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What is “College”?

  • Public and private 4-year colleges and universities

  • 2-year community or junior colleges

  • business schools

  • proprietary schools

  • vocational-technical schools

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Keep Your Options Open

  • Does that mean your child needs to know now, what they want to do “when they grow up”?


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Then, why worry about college now?

  • College can be the key to the kind of life you want for your child

  • It gives your child choices

    • In the kind of jobs they can choose

    • How much money they will make

    • In helping others

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There’s money if you need it

  • Everyone can afford to go to college

  • Everyone is eligible for some kind of financial aid

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Steps to getting you and your child ready for college

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Step 1: Helping them make the decision

  • Importance of college:

    • Better utilize technology

    • Choose careers based on interests

    • More career options

    • Increase earning potential

    • Opportunity to make better decisions

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Step 1: Making the Decision

  • Choose the type of college

    • “4-year” college (university or college offering a bachelor’s degree or above)

    • “2-year” college (community or junior college offering a training program, certificate, or associates degree to include transfer options)

    • Technical Schools (skill centers and other schools offering entry level occupational programs)

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Step 1: Making the Decision

  • Explore careers.

    • Help your child choose several careers

    • Help them find the educational requirements for their career interests

    • Help them talk with people about their interests (job shadowing)

    • Find articles of interest about their career choices

      • On the internet

      • In magazines and newspapers

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Reality Byte:

  • You can encourage your child to explore careers.

    Changing their mind about

    a career choice is okay,

    Failing to plan ahead is not.

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Step 2: Getting Ready

  • You, your child and their school are working together to prepare him or her for a good life after graduation

  • Taking the right courses for college starts NOW!

  • Help them select the right courses to get the most out of high school - encourage challenging courses

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Step 2: Getting Ready

  • Consider this:

    • Research shows that if students take algebra and geometry early (8th and 9th grade) they are more likely to go on to college than students that don’t

    • These courses can also help them get into college

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Step 2: Getting Ready

Recommended High School

Curriculum for College

  • English 4 units

  • Mathematics 4-6 units

  • Social Studies 4-6 units

  • Science 3-4 units

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Step 2: Getting Ready

  • Many colleges require additional courses in:

    • Foreign Language

    • Fine & Performing Arts

    • Computer Science

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Step 2: Getting Ready

  • College credit while in high school

    • Advanced Placement (AP) - college level courses offered by the high school

    • Articulation - occupational courses in H.S.s or career centers that “transfer” to some college programs

    • Dual Enrollment - taking college courses while in H.S. that may apply to both the H.S. degree and the college degree

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Step 2: Getting Ready

  • College admission’s exams

    • Encourage your child to take the ACT or SAT in their Junior or Senior year

    • Encourage them to take the MEAP early

      • to qualify for Dual Enrollment

      • to earn the Merit Scholarship ($2500)

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Reality Bytes

  • Course selection: Easy is not best

    Many times a student will choose their schedule based on what is fun and

    which course is easy.

    It’s up to you to encourage the challenging choices.

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Step 3: Planning ahead

  • What Does College Cost?

    • College is probably not as expensive as you think it is

    • However, parents and students need to begin saving NOW!

      • Tuition, fees and books are only part of the cost. They will need money for transportation, food, clothes, entertainment, etc.

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Step 3: Planning ahead

Pie chart on college costs

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Reality Bytes

  • Don’t eliminate any college because of cost

    Even the most expensive college

    may be affordable

    after you look at all your


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Step 4: Paying for college

  • What you and your child can do:

    • Save

    • Use Federal income-tax credits

    • Use Student Financial Aid:

      • Gift Aid - grants and scholarships that do not have to be paid back

      • Work Aid - a job during college to earn money

      • Loan Aid - money for college that must be paid back

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Step 4: Paying for college

  • How financial need is determined:

    Cost of Education

    - Expected Family Contribution

    Financial Need

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Step 4: Paying for college

  • Other sources:

    • Military service scholarships (full-time and part-time service)

    • Americorps, community service program

    • Civic groups and organizations, foundations and businesses

    • Web services (such as

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Step 4: Paying for college

  • Cautions

    • Scholarship Scams

    • Compiling debt

      • Excessive student loans

      • Credit cards

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Reality Byte:

  • It’s all about choices:

    Boat, cars, snowmobiles, pools or….


    for your son or daughter.

    You make the choices

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Reality Byte - Final

You can change college from

a dream into a reality, so…

Make planning for college part of

your child’s daily life.

Think College Early!