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As parents, you want nothing less than the best for your children. This is especially true when they start preparing for college. Sometime soon, your little ones will take their first dip into the waters that will carry them for the rest of their lives. As that big day approaches, be sure to help get your college-bound kids on the path to success.

  1. Aid in the School Search There are countless colleges and universities all over the world for your children to consider when the time for higher education approaches. Every school has its own ups and downs, and no two are alike. This can be very overwhelming for college-bound kids, and they may be considering as many as 20 possible schools. Talk to your kids about what they’re looking for in a college and help them narrow down their choices–this is one of the best ways you can help them succeed.
  2. Help Out with Applications Kids are notoriously disorganized, and many have trouble meeting deadlines. This can become a serious problem in the college application process, when early applications get priority treatment and late applications get thrown in the trash. The early bird is going to get the worm here, so help your kids finish their applications early and get them sent off as soon as possible. This goes for school applications as well as scholarships and financial aid forms. Missing deadlines can be catastrophic for the college-bound student.
  3. Give Them the Right Tools College education is not the same today as it was 20, 15, or even 10 years ago. Technology now holds an extremely important place in the academic world, and it’s evolving faster than ever. Today’s student doesn’t perform research by flipping through a card catalog and browsing library shelves. They don’t make presentation posters. Everything is going electronic, and your kids are going to need the right tools to keep up. A good laptop computer is practically essential to success in college today.
  4. Talk About Responsibility Going away to college is a major lifestyle change for students, and it will only be a positive change if they know how to deal with it. Talk to your college-bound kids about responsibility. They are going to be on their own in a way they’ve never experienced before. College professors don’t babysit their students or give the kind of treatment younger students often receive. The workload will be heavy, and the kids will be largely on their own. Talk about the best ways to handle this and succeed in school.
  5. Be Supportive Your kids’ college choices may surprise you. They might spend their whole lives studying art, but suddenly decide to work towards an MBA degree online once they start their undergrad terms. Other students go in exactly the opposite direction. Whatever path your child chooses, be sure to support them. Success is found by those who work towards their passions, and your kids may discover entirely new passions in their early college years.

Photo credit: wisechoice.com

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