Types of Colleges
Choosing a College
Cost of College
Paying For It
Long Range Plan
What can my child do outside the
classroom to prepare for college?
Interpersonal and leadership skills, interests and goals are all important for
college preparation. Independent reading and study, extracurricular activities,
and work experience will all help your child develop his or her skills,
interests, and goals.
Independent Reading and Study
Independent reading and study will help your child to prepare academically for
college. This is a good way to develop interests, expand knowledge, and improve
the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for college and the SAT I
or ACT. Encourage your child to read all kinds of books for fun -- fiction and
non-fiction. The school library and the local public library are good sources of
books, magazines, and newspapers.
Creating a Good Place To Study
Your child needs a quiet and comfortable place to study. Here are a few things
that you can do:
- Help him or her find a quiet place with some privacy.
- Set up a desk or large table with good light and place reference books such
as a dictionary on the desk or nearby.
- Make sure your child studies there on a regular basis.
Many school, community, and religious organizations enable high school students
to explore their interests and talents by providing activities outside the
classroom. Colleges are often interested in a student's extracurricular
activities such as school clubs, the student newspaper, athletics, musical
activities, arts, drama, and volunteer work, especially if a student has
excelled in one or more of these areas.
Work Experience and Community Service
Work experience -- paid or volunteer -- can teach students discipline,
responsibility, reliability, teamwork, and other skills. Some students
participate in community service activities such as tutoring elementary school
children or volunteering in a local hospital. Such activities make valuable
contributions to society and also help students to identify their career
interests and goals, gain workplace skills, and apply classroom learning to
real-world problem solving. Many colleges view community service as a valuable
experience that enhances a student's college application.
Some schools offer academic credit for volunteer work through
"service-learning." This is a teaching method that integrates hands-on
learning (through service to the community) into the school curriculum. To find
out if your child's school offers "service-learning," talk to your
child's teacher, guidance counselor, or school principal. For information on how
to start a "service-learning" program, contact the Learn and Serve
America Clearinghouse at 1-800-808-SERVE.
A summer job is also a good way to gain experience and earn money for college
as well. If your child works during the school year, he or she should not work
so many hours that the job interferes with school work.
From: "Preparing Your Child for
College" Copyright© 2000-01 The U.S. Department of Education, All