Senior year isn’t the time to decide how you’re going to afford college nor is it the time to think your kid better be able to complete all the college applications themselves if they want to go away and live like adults. Do you really think getting them this far is the time to walk away now? High school seniors still need us parents.
I did the things that seem to matter in the moments: my two year old was reading short books and spelling big words like helicopter; he could add and subtract by three; and was potty trained at eighteen months old. BUT, I didn’t save for college and that shouldn’t be his burden.
A kid who is in the top of his class, who excels in academics, plays sports, and will achieve an Associate Degree shortly after graduating high school shouldn’t have to hear, “we can’t afford college.”
It doesn’t start August of any year, it begins the day you become parents- get involved, go to PTA meetings, attend Awards Days, plan to be present when your high school holds open house. If you don’t fill those seats, your child’s potential may never be known. Kids will rise to the expectations we set. And trust that if you show stress, they will too. Relax and help them on their journey.
Thus far, three SATs, three ACTs, FAFSA is complete (learn the importance of filing early), four applications submitted, two acceptances, scholarships applied, and it doesn’t happen on its own. Make what is important to your senior your priority. They do homework, why shouldn’t we?
Put aside time early because senior year is supposed to be fun. My advice to rising senior parents is to start the process in the summer, don’t let waiting overwhelm you and steal the joy. Budget for cap and gown, senior shirts, annual, test fees, application cost, etc…, but most of all, budget time- talk to them and listen. You won’t be flawless but you can be present.
See ya in nine weeks,
Rebel Mom of a Senior
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