Spring College Choice Tips for Parents of High School Seniors

Published by Wendy Nelson on

Grad CapIn most areas, high schoolers have started their last quarter of the school year.  What does this mean to you as a parent in the college choice process?  Well, it depends on how close to college your student is.  This week, I am focusing on parents of high school seniors.  Next week I will talk about high school juniors.

Your high school senior should have received college acceptances by now, assuming he or she completed applications.  You should have received financial aid package details as well.  Your student typically has until May 1 to make the final decision.

Here are some helpful resources for making the decision and after the decision:

  • The final college choice – Read my posts in the category Making the Final College Choice for tips on how to decide.
  • Comparing financial aid packages – In determining final college choice and what you can afford, read Stuart Nachbar’s guest post, What is ‘Total Cost of Attendance’? to make sure you take into account all of the costs that will come with selecting a particular school.  Make sure you know how to compare financial aid packages.  Some numbers that look impressive really aren’t when you do a full comparison.
  • Negotiating college cost – Yes, you can negotiate your out-of-pocket cost at many schools!  I have provided tips for how to do that.  Your approach is the most important part.
  • Not ready for college yet – What if your student is behind schedule and hasn’t applied to enough schools yet or isn’t sure he or she even wants to go?  Don’t worry, there are still options.  Read Didn’t Make a College Choice Yet?  There are Still Options.  This post has a link to the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Space Availability Survey from last year, but they should be putting out one for this year after May 1.
  • After the college choice – Once your student has committed to a school, there are still things to think about and emotions to deal with.  Check out my posts in the category After the College Choice.

Good luck with the final pieces and enjoy the time you have with your high school senior.  College move-in day will be here before you know it!