Preparing Your High Schooler for College

by Adria Saracino

“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To kon wwisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth – Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction”. (Proverbs 1:1-7)

It’s Never Too Early To Start Preparing

As tempting as it may be to allow your Freshman to take it easy their first year of high school, do not fall in to this temptation. In most high schools, there is an academic plan for their high school career to flow nicely in to a college career. Help your young student choose the right electives that will enhance their high school transcripts.

Standardized Testing

Help your child to succeed as much as possible on all the standardized tests that they take. They took these tests before entering high school and you were given the results of these tests. If there are areas where your child is struggling, find ways to help them to increase their knowledge in these areas. Also, don’t forget that your child will need to take the SAT before being eligible for college admittance. There are many great resources for preparing for this test; books, practice exams, classes, and even tutors. Give your high schooler the best opportunity to succeed at these tests as possible.


Becoming involved in volunteer work is very important before entering college. Not only will the volunteer work enhance your child’s college application, but it will also give them valuable experiences for their future. Some areas of education, like a law degree, require a certain number of volunteer hours before being accepted in the legal program. However, if the college does not require volunteer work, like an online school, the volunteer work will help to support their resume when looking for work after graduation.

Choosing the Right College

There are many different options for colleges. There are community colleges, trade schools, online schools, and universities. There is nothing wrong with any of these schools, as long as your high schooler knows what path they want to take in enough time to prepare for the beginning of their journey.

The Financial Part

Not every parent is able to save for their child’s college education. If you are one of those parents, do not beat yourself up as there are things that you can do to help. First, find out if your child will qualify for financial aid. If not, save what you can, when you can and then help your child as you are able with their loans. Also, educate yourself on the different kinds of loans available. There are many successful college graduates who have had to use loans to get them through school.

Not every child will receive a college scholarship. Not even every child who excels academically and/or athletically. Do not count on a scholarship, but be elated if your child gets one. You can do your part in researching the different kinds of scholarships available and which ones your child qualifies for. Start early so that your child can work on what they need to in order to try to obtain these scholarships.

Whether your child is going to a trade school, and online college, or to a university, it is important to start preparing early. There are many forces at work against you and your child when it comes to heading off to college. Make sure you know those forces well and do what you can to defend yourself from them. Research those things that you are not familiar with and talk with college administrators to find out what more you need to know.

Author Joan Tulley is an administrative consultant and writes for, a site that can help you find the best online colleges.

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About Rachel

I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to five children, ages 25 to 4. I am a freelance writer and the editor and publisher of

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