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The beginning of your child’s college life can be a bit too overwhelming for both you and your child. It is necessary that you take an active role in ensuring that your child succeeds. College life awaits many challenges and hence it demands a lot of planning in advance. It’s your child’s first time away from home while taking up new responsibilities like managing time and finances.

5 effective ways which can help prepare your child for college:

1. Understanding Their Interest – Your child’s interest may not necessarily fall into the realm of academics. His or her interests may well revolve around sports, drama, writing or dance. Once your child is clear where his or her passion lies, the choice of college course becomes relatively easy. Hence, understand your child’s interest or if he or she is confused, you can help in making a choice.

2. Preparing Them Academically and Financially – One of the many ways your child can simplify the transformation from high school to college in terms of academics is to include any type of college level course in the high school syllabus itself. The earlier they start giving standardized tests the more it will help them tackle academics in college confidently. Also, college education is expensive. This is precisely why you and your child must plan the related finances. You can encourage your child to go for a scholarship or a part time job which will help them understand how to handle personal finances. You can also consider the option of online education. It offers numerous and diverse competitive courses which are convenient and affordable to pursue.

3. Preparing the Essentials – Your child will require certain important things which may or may not be mentioned in the college brochure. Here’s some of the most basic yet essential things to help you start preparing:

  • Laptop
  • Desk lamp
  • Alarm clock
  • Laundry bag, basket, soap
  • Weather specific clothing
  • Umbrella, raincoat, jacket, shoes, etc.
  • First aid kit with pain relievers
  • Health insurance information
  • Iron and small ironing board
  • Bedding
  • Backpack
  • Cell phone
  • Extension cord and power strip

4. Teaching Money Management – Teaching your child to set a budget early in high school is important. This is beneficial as well as a great opportunity for you to get your child a checking account and teach them how to make sharp financial decisions. It is important to teach them about the use of credit card and its debt early. It’s equally critical that you teach them to pay off the card debt every month or use the card only in case of emergencies. Encourage them to take up a part-time job and teach them to be responsible about spending and saving their earnings.

5. Benefiting from Online Courses – Enrolling your child for online courses while they are still in high school not only saves a lot of money but also takes off a huge load which they would probably carry in their freshmen year. Online courses come with many advantages including convenience and affordability. You only need to ensure that the colleges shortlisted by your child accept these online courses, which most of the colleges normally do. Online education will help your child prepare for college substantially in terms of coping with academics.

These 5 simple yet effective steps will not only prepare your child for college but will also teach them the life skills they will require when they are responsible for their self during college.