So it’s June 1st and the son, daughter, niece, nephew, hard-headed student in your life that didn’t heed your fall warnings/death threats about applying to college has decided to go to college. Don’t panic. While their options are limited they still exist and while you were right about the whole having a plan thing, now is not the time to point that out. They are going to need your help and here’s your chance to offer them something that will benefit you both.
- #1—Rolling Admissions: Let’s assume that your student got a late start and academically he/she is a fairly decent student. If that is the case rolling admissions is your friend. Rolling admissions means that a university will still look at an application even if their priority deadline has passed. Many schools have rolling admissions to find out which ones are right for your student go to http://www.princetonreview.com/college/apply/articles/types/rollingcoll.asp
- #2—Winter/Spring Admissions: Like most parents mine wanted me in college the September following high school graduation. However, not all students are ready that soon but many still want to go college. Depending on their academic cycle (semester, quarter) most schools will have a winter or spring admission deadline which generally is late summer or early fall. Check the website of the university of your choice for specific deadlines.
- #3—Public vs. Private: On the secondary level public education, is pretty much extended to any student via the public school system. On the collegiate public universities (most of your state colleges/university) serve a similar purpose. While they are not free, at this time their admissions office is much more likely to talk to you and much more likely to have space. Depending on available seats admissions criteria is either higher or lower than average.
- #4—Community College: Now admittedly, I’m not a fan of the community college, due to the fact most students end up staying longer than intended. Therefore, if community college is a viable option for your student make sure he/she understands a couple of things before enrolling.
· See the college counselor—many students make the mistake of not consulting a counselor before enrolling in community college classes. Huge mistake. Not all community college classes are transferable to a four-year university. Talk with a counselor and make sure that the classes that you are taking will transfer once your two years are finished. It makes no sense to spend four years in college for an AA.
· Transfer Arrangements—many community colleges have transfer arrangements with four-year schools. Find out if your school has one and if so with which universities. Then follow the details of the transfer arrangement.
One last note keep in mind that you will need to start thinking about financing this endeavor. The downside of applying late is that most of the grant and scholarship money is gone. Additionally, on-campus housing may prove to be a challenge. So unfortunately, you may have to finance the first with loans and whatever monies you have in your savings. On the bright side if you apply early next year for financial aid & housing you might get it!
Ed Rice is an educational consultant for College Summit, Inc. He is also the founder of firstfathers.org, the first online community for new dads.