Navigating the college planning conversation with our student (child) is a once in a lifetime experience! Although during this season of school closures and pressurizing times it appears to not necessarily be important to us, it is for our children. Most importantly, it's imperative that we give them hope and something to look forward to. It was such a pleasure to speak with so many college administrators, recent graduates, current students and graduate students about their alma maters and their experiences on Instagram Live this past week. It is so important to reach out to people and learn from them. As a parent, I learned a lot about the college planning process through the individuals I spoke with and I am grateful for their transparency. It's understood we are currently at a standstill and prospective students cannot visit institutions, this is the time our students can learn more about the institutions by calling the admissions office and asking questions. While the campuses are shut down at the moment, the staff is still working around the clock to adhere to prospective students' questions and concerns.
If you tune in to the IG Lives this week, you had a chance to hear about schools in depth, now, you may be interested in taking a look at the campuses. Check out the list below and if you do not see the school your child is interested in, check out eCampusTours.com and you can search over 1,000 institutions. The site provides you with a 360 view of the campus and it's broken down for you by area/building. If you further do not see the college of your choice, please check out YouTube, there are tons of videos created by students and colleges.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO CONSIDER DURING YOUR THE COLLEGE PLANNING PROCESS
Ask about programs in place that assist first year students with the college transition process. These programs could include a campus wide curfew, just as Brea shared with us on IG Live about Hampton University, or Freshman “seminar” classes that also support students during that time, as shared by Kira who attended University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Inquire about 5 year MBA programs for your student. Many campuses do not highlight these programs to Freshman, so it is a good idea to ask about these programs.
Ask about student Financial support services and programs to assist students with their financial obligations and questions.
Ask Does the school accept college credits from the Junior College your child may be interested in attending before matriculation into the four-year program or to allow students to take extra courses (or repeat courses) over the summer.
Ask your child why do they want to go to college, what’s their intent. This is a tough question, but it's important that we have these conversations to hold one another accountable.
Support your child by practicing healthy communication skills. This can be done by performing role-playing scenarios. Students need to know how to effectively communicate in the event situations arise. Because they will!
How do the larger institutions open up opportunities for students to foster a relationship with their professor or teacher assistants, providing the large class sizes.
Inquire about the academic support services that are available on campus and if there is a cost associated with tutors.
Know your non-negotiables. What are some things the college has to ABSOLUTELY HAVE in order for you to feel it's a place where you can thrive.
Does the college have transportation (shuttle bus) in place that allows students to go places off campus?
Scope out campus clubs and organizations. Are there clubs and organizations in place that you feel represent you and make you feel there is a space for you on the campus.
What are the services provided by the campus wellness center? Is there a wellness center? Does my child need to provide medical insurance information at the wellness center?
Look at the neighborhood. Does it feel safe? Is it a closed campus? Is It An Open Campus?
How are the financial payment obligations for the institution designed and what are your options as a parent?