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College Affordability and Preparedness

How Parents Can Make College Prep Less Stressful and More Efficient for Their Kids

Campus visits, essays, SAT scores, applications, financial aid — the list of college prepration tasks is endless. While an exciting time, the run-up to college can be overwhelming and stressful for students and families. As a parent of a high school senior, I have experienced this firsthand.  

The best thing we as parents can do is to be supportive throughout the process. 

Support from above

First, talk with your teen about their college goals. Then, have a conversation with their teachers and school counselor about the best ways to help your child achieve these goals. Ask about the best ways to prep for the SAT, connect with college advisors, apply for financial aid, etc. 

You and your teen are not alone in this, so remember to reach out to your network of family, friends neighbors, and community members who have gone through the process and get their advice. And don’t forget to celebrate successes along the way.

Taking off the pressure

In addition to being supportive, minimizing stress for your child during this time is crucial. Here are a few tips on how to do that: 

  • Encourage your teen to practice healthy sleep habits: Getting optimal levels of sleep will make a difference for your teen’s physical and mental health and academic performance. Research shows that adolescents require 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. More sleep can also help improve other aspects of your teen’s life, including extracurricular activities and work schedules.
  • Ensure your teen eats healthy foods: Nutritious foods fuel our minds and bodies. Eating nutritious foods is critical to children’s success and their health and well-being. Surround your teen with healthy options at home and demonstrate good nutrition for your child. 
  • Make sure your teen maintains good study habits: Practicing good study habits will help your child balance college prep activities with their regular schoolwork, ensuring they complete all requirements and finish the school year strong.

This is an exciting and important milestone for your teen and family. As you work collaboratively with teachers, counselors, and other advisors, you are providing the critical support your teen needs during their journey to college and ensuring that their dreams become a reality. 

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