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How to Prepare your Child for College: Your Essential Guide

how to prepare your child for college

Sooner than many parents prefer, you’ll be hugging your child goodbye in the doorway of their brand new dorm. You’ll drive back home while your college freshman finishes unpacking their last-minute essentials, knowing you’ve done all you could to prepare your child for college.

Now you may be wondering, “How exactly do I prepare my child for college life before this moment comes?” We’ve got you covered. Our guide on preparing your child for college will teach you all the strategies you need to know to ensure your student is successful and ready to tackle higher education. 

College Preparation Strategies

Knowing how to prepare your child for college will help them to succeed on their own in their journey through higher education. Below is a list of strategies to grow your child’s personal and academic skills.

Consider a College Preparatory School

Set your child up for success with a college preparatory school. These schools are specifically designed to prepare your child for college through an advanced curriculum. For a fully immersive college preparatory experience, consider sending your child to a boarding school that focuses on higher education. Not only will your child be prepared for the rigorous academics of college, but they’ll understand what it means to live on campus independently.

Consult an Academic Advisor

Academic advisors are experts on all things related to preparing your child for higher education. They can help students select the right courses to put them on their intended career path, connect them with college alumni, and keep college applications organized. At Stuart Hall, our college counselors bring a wide range of college admission representatives to campus, help coordinate college campus visits, and help with the entire college application process. Academic advisors are invested in the personal and academic development of each student, so don’t be afraid to reach out and request their help.

Encourage Independence

As you prepare to send your child off to college, it’s vital to encourage independence and personal responsibility. Students have to be ready to tackle and overcome challenges on their own as they branch out into higher education. That means taking action and maintaining accountability when needed. Learning this skill can occur both inside and outside of the classroom, so motivate your child to participate fully in their pre-college experience to gain this independence.

Develop Useful Study Habits

Your child is about to enter the stage of their life consumed with studying, so developing solid study habits beforehand can be extremely beneficial. Avoiding those last-minute cram sessions, setting timers to get up and move every so often, and setting specific goals to accomplish each time they study are great starting points for developing helpful habits. 

Carefully Select Courses

While many high schools programs have set curriculums, there are typically opportunities for extra courses at local community colleges or through numerous online programs. These can further your child’s academic success and help them decide what major they may want to pursue in college. Encourage your student to work closely with their academic advisor to create a schedule that is right for their educational goals. 

Partake in Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars are a great way for students to get involved both in high school and in college. Being a part of after-school activities such as the soccer team, debate club, or student government can introduce students to skills that can benefit them in college and life beyond. Additionally, the social aspect of these activities can help them feel more comfortable making new friends in their new setting.

Instill Financial Responsibility

Though there are plenty of non-financial aspects to cover when preparing your child for college, it’s important to also consider financial responsibilities. Whether this is discussing student loans, exploring part-time job opportunities, or offering another route for funding college, having this conversation early on can help prepare your child for college expenses and lead to financial responsibility.

Prepare for College With Stuart Hall

Now that you know the best strategies for how to prepare your child for college, you can take the first step and explore a college prep boarding school. Here at Stuart Hall, we focus on the academic and personal development of your child to prepare them for higher education. Our college preparatory program goes beyond the classroom, ensuring that our students are immersed in an environment that encourages self-awareness, motivation, and independence. With a boarding school like Stuart Hall, you can feel confident that your child will be more than prepared for college life when move-in day comes.  

Request more information today about our mastery learning program, or come explore campus to find out just how we can help prepare your child for college and life beyond.