The summer before your high school grad makes his or her way to college can be an emotional one. It can also be busy and stressful if the family is unsure of deadlines or unprepared for the upcoming change.
Here are some tips on what you and your student should be doing during the summer to be prepared for their transition to college in the fall.
Make your deposit. May 1st is known as “Decision Day” and is typically the day that students have to choose their final college, notify colleges of their acceptance and make their deposits.
Make sure the college knows your student intends to be there in the fall. Although it doesn’t happen often, some students lose their spot by forgetting to let their college know they are attending.
Keep an eye on your student’s grades. It’s important that your student graduate strong in order to keep their offer of admission and preserve any promised scholarships. Keep an eye on your student’s grades and make sure they are not at risk of losing their offer.
Make a financial plan. Be sure to include your student in your financial planning so everyone is clear on how you are paying for college. Let them know how much you will be spending from savings accounts, and what they will be expected to contribute toward costs.
If you are planning on taking out loans on your student’s behalf, research your options. Take a look at our student loan guide for parents.
Make sure your student has a summer plan. Ideally your student will be able to earn some money through a summer job, as well as spend some time researching college majors, as well as clubs or other activities they may want to get involved with at their school. Most students learn who their roommate will be over the summer so see if your student can get a hold of them and if they live nearby perhaps even invite their roommate over for dinner.
Go shopping. Students will typically receive a packing list from their college. Even if they are living at home they will probably need some new school supplies. Take your student to Walmart and have fun, but try not to over-spend! Students are more likely to over-pack than under-pack and there isn’t a lot of extra space in a dorm room.
Enjoy your student and have fun together! The experience of applying for colleges and keeping up grades in high school can leave many students burnt out by the time they receive their letter of college admittance. Plan some fun activities over the summer for you and your teenager to do together before their big life change. It will likely be refreshing for both of you.