Though the pressure of college application season is now largely in the past, the trials and tribulations of high school are not yet over for parents and their students. As March becomes April, three months remain in the school year, and all three of them are important.
If this is your first time guiding a child through the transition from high school to college, you might be wondering what you can expect. Ultimately, each student’s experience is uniquely her own, but the guide that appears below can give you a general sense of what to expect in April, May and June.
This is perhaps the most stressful of the three months that remain in your child’s high school career. If your student has not yet selected a college or university, she will likely need to do so by the halfway point of the month. You may accordingly find yourself visiting prospective campuses once more, as well as evaluating and comparing financial aid offers. This is also an excellent time for your child to touch base with current students and alumni.
Once your student chooses a school, remind her to contact her other options and inform them of her decision. Doing so can open a spot on the waitlist for another individual. And if your child is anxiously awaiting an update on her own waitlist designation, the beginning of April is when she may receive it.
By May, your student will probably have established a new home for the next four years, and her actions this month can affect her transition in August. If she is registered for AP or dual-enrollment courses this year, May is when she will need to sit for an end-of-year AP exam. She may also have finals in her dual-enrollment classes.
Both of these course formats can award valuable college credit, so it is important to ensure your child is well rested and prepared for these high-stakes tests and papers. Fixing your student a nutritious breakfast or helping her study for the AP computer science A exam are just a couple of great ways to show your support. Once she receives her scores, she may appreciate your help with navigating what this means for her freshman class schedule.
This is, of course, the month of high school graduation. While your child should have had an appointment with her guidance counselor earlier in the school year to verify she has met all her academic requirements, it can still be worthwhile to double-check that she has filed all the necessary paperwork and paid any outstanding fees.
Following graduation, your student should contact her college or university to ask the same questions: Are there any fees or forms that must be addressed? And what is the deadline for submitting her final transcript? Then as the summer begins, you and your child can turn your attention to buying dorm supplies, contacting roommates, registering for classes and other exciting pre-college tasks!
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