Starting the hunt for a school post-high school graduation can be a very exciting and important milestone in your child’s life. As a parent, you play a crucial role in supporting and guiding your child through this uncharted territory. United Career Institute is here to provide some helpful pointers to help make the search for a school more enjoyable and less stressful.
Continue reading to discover our top seven tips for parents helping their children look for schools!
1. Start Your Search Early
Helping your high school student start thinking about their post-graduation plans can help them get ahead of the game when the time comes to start looking for schools. We’re not suggesting having freshman or sophomore students tour college campuses, but as their junior and senior years roll around, they should have an idea of what they’d like to do after graduation.
Starting to explore their options early also gives them time to better prepare for standardized testing, build their applications through extracurricular activities, and possibly register for college-level prerequisite courses during their time as high school students.
3. Explore Your Child’s Interests
Helping your child determine how their interests might translate into a career is a vital step in the process of finding the right school for them. For example, if your child has a strong interest in building and fixing things, a career in mechanics may be a good fit for them. Likewise, if they are interested in healthcare and helping people, a career as a medical assistant might be a better fit.
It’s important to note that it’s okay if your child is still determining what type of career they want. Many free online resources, such as a career aptitude test, can allow them to answer questions about themselves, their hobbies, and interests, then suggest potential career paths based on their answers.
4. Take Tours To Find The Right Fit
Choosing a school with the best atmosphere for your child to learn in can make or break their academic experience. To help them find the right fit for them, make a list of things your child might look for in a school. They can answer questions such as would they prefer large or small classes? Would they like their school to be in the city or a more rural setting? Do they want to live on campus or commute from home? Determining these things before starting the process of looking at schools can help better narrow down the search. Using a third-party search tool like Niche can assist you in gathering more information about the school, the instructors, and reviews from current students.
Once you have an idea of what type of school your child wants to attend, you can help them set up campus visits to tour the school. This is a great way to ensure your child will be comfortable spending their time at the school. It’s important not to be overbearing during these visits. Let your child explore and ask their own questions. You can help them prepare for the visit by compiling a list of questions they want to ask; this article from High Point University provides 16 questions you should ask at your campus visit.
5. Foster Independence
As a parent, we understand that it’s natural to want to help your child throughout this process. However, once your child graduates from high school and begins their higher education journey, they will be responsible for their assignments, homework, studying, and more. By fostering independence, your child will be better prepared for the increased workload that attending post-secondary education brings. To help set them up for success by developing their ability to manage their time better, check out our blog post on tips for increasing time management.
6. Teach The Importance of Finance
As your child starts their schooling journey, there are three significant financing aspects they should have an understanding of:
Attending school is a large financial commitment, so financial assistance can help tip the scale in favor of one school over another. It’s a good idea to compare financial aid* packages between schools to determine which gives your child the best value. At United Career Institute, our financial aid team members are happy to walk you and your child through this process.
Work Study Programs
Some students can have the opportunity to participate in a work-study program. This allows them to earn an income while they are in school, usually working in the field they are studying.
Budgeting is an integral part of adult life, and this can be especially true for students in school. The cost of living, tuition, books, and other needs can quickly pile up. It’s crucial to create and follow a budget that allows your child to have enough money throughout their time as a student. For some budgeting tips, check out this blog post from United’s sister school, East Ohio College!
7. Don’t Rush Their Decision
While there are deadlines your child must meet throughout the admissions process at the school of their choice, it’s important not to rush their decision. Choosing where they will spend the next several years learning is not a decision to be taken lightly. Starting the process early can allow them to have plenty of time to think about how they envision their future and pick the fit that is best for them.
8. Support Your Child
One of the best tips we can offer parents is to support their child, no matter what their decision is! At the end of the day, you can offer them guidance throughout the process, but don’t try to sway them in any specific direction.
Also, be prepared to comfort your child if they do not get admitted to their first choice school. Sometimes, there are required tests or admissions requirements that do not allow students to begin their classes right away. If this happens to your child, be prepared to console them and help them make an alternative plan.
Add United Career Institute to your school list!
If your child is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare at a school that values them, then United Career Institute is a great option for them! Explore our healthcare programs by contacting our admissions team at 724-515-2440 or Request Information!
*For those who qualify.