Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep.
I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.
The journey to college can be a complicated road that is difficult to travel without a reliable road map as your guide. For some, that map is an awesome guidance counselor, a caring teacher, or a parent who has traveled this road before. As a homeschool family, we had some support and guidance from our umbrella school and our support group but getting my boys into college was my responsibility. Summer was a public school junior when she moved in with us and she did not have an awesome guidance counselor at school so, the responsibility of getting her into college was shared between myself and her friend’s mom, who works at the local college.
Thankfully, the Internet was full of information on what we should be doing to prepare my children for college and our umbrella school alerted us to testing opportunities and guided us in our curriculum choices based on our student’s chosen field of study. I am pleased to say all 3 kids have been enrolled at the State College of Florida. Aaron has 1 class left before graduating, he is also taking online courses in audio engineering through Berklee College of Music. Jordan has completed 1 year of college and his education is on hiatus while he is serving on the mission field with The 99. Summer has completed 1 semester of college and is taking this semester off due to finances being tied up in the wedding and her parents not getting the financial aid paperwork filed in time. She will go back to school in January.
Your #JourneyToCollege Starts Early
Parents and students need to take responsibility for making sure they are doing what needs to be done to get into college. This process starts before you are finished with 8th grade! Choosing your freshman year course load is an important foundation to your high school and college career. Do not rely solely on suggestions from your child’s guidance counselor or school. A wonderful guide map to help you on this journey is the KapMap by Kaplan Kaplan Test Prep. This free downloadable guide outlines steps you need to take beginning in 9th grade to make your college application stand out above the rest.
On top of academics and extra curriculars you also need to make sure social media is kept in check. According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 College Admissions Survey:
- 29% of college admissions officers surveyed say they have Googled and applicant to learn more about them.
- 31% of college admissions officers surveyed say they have visited an applicant’s social media pages to learn more about them.
- 30% of college admissions officers surveyed say they have found something online about an applicant that has negatively impacted their college application.
These numbers are increasing each year. As parents we need to be monitoring our kid’s online activities for both their safety and their future education.
If you have a student in 9th grade or above I highly recommend that you download the KapMap and review it with your student. Make a note in your calendar on the 1st of every month to check the map and see what tasks should be done that month to prepare your child for college. There are 1-2 things each month and they will keep you and your student on the right track to college admissions.