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Getting Into A Good College: How-To Tips

written by: •edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 8/6/2013

If you want to help your child get into a good college, then these ideas will show you how to be encouraging and supportive to the best of your ability. Colleges typically seek out applicants who achieve solid grades, are involved in school activities or after-school jobs, and who are well-spoken.

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    More and more, a good college education is a requirement for a well-paying career. Getting your child into a good college is often forefront on parent's minds. Though colleges application requirements will vary, you can increase your child's likelihood of receiving acceptance letters from reputable schools by following some simple suggestions.

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    Encourage Good Study Habits

    Not only are good study habits important to have when applying to college, but they are also necessary to maintain when balancing course assignments and exams at the college level. High school students who aim to attend academically strong colleges should have appropriate and effective study habits in place. You, as a parent, can help in the following ways:

    • Start as early as possible in establishing a consistent homework routine. Encourage your child to complete assignments and study for tests at a time (such as late afternoon or early evening) when he or she is best able to concentrate.
    • Be available to your child when homework questions or concerns arise. Consider hiring a tutor if your child struggles in a certain subject and wants to improve his or her scores.
    • Keep track of how your child is performing in school so that any concerns can be addressed before the college application process begins.
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    Extracurricular Activities

    Colleges with strict admission guidelines often prefer to accept students who regularly participate in several school clubs, sports, or activities. After-school, weekend, and summer employment is also beneficial to include on college applications. You can assist your child in developing a well-rounded personality and sense of responsibility by encouraging extracurricular interests.

    • Help your child to choose activities that are suited to his or her strengths. Some high school kids excel at sports, while others do best in academic clubs or the arts. A high schooler who enjoys a certain activity is likely to stick with it and succeed.
    • Make sure that your child is not too overwhelmed with after-school activities or jobs. Participation in a few preferred extracurricular interests is sufficient when preparing to apply for college.
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    Research College Requirements

    Many high school juniors and seniors express interest in applying to a number of colleges or universities. If your child has a few good colleges in mind but isn't sure which factors are most important to each school, you can help to make the application process easier by researching college manuals and guides.

    • Help your child search online for college information. Most schools have websites that outline admission requirements, test score requirements, and course descriptions.
    • Encourage your child to obtain brochures and manuals at college fairs or through the mail. Read through the materials with your child while he or she determines which schools to apply to.
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    College Interviews

    Once your child has narrowed the selection pool of potential colleges, he or she will likely want to tour the schools they are applying to and may be required to attend in-person interviews with collegiate staff members. Many good colleges use the interview process as a way of determining which students are best fit for enrollment, sp you will want to help prepare your child in advance.

    • Organize a "mock interview session" with your child. Prepare questions that address your child's high school career, future goals, and interest in a certain college.
    • Encourage your child to be polite, communicative, and enthusiastic when attending a college interview.
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    Other things you may need to work on include composing an application letter and writing an application essay. When following these suggestions, you can play a substantial role in ensuring that your child is accepted into his or her school of choice!