Surf and Seek

surf & seekSummer break is, for obvious reasons, a highly recommend time for doing some college searching and scholarship researching. Students, possibly parents, will have some days, nights, and evenings free to surf the internet, and possibly travel to some campuses of interest. There is lots of good information out there, most of which is now just a click away. Some families even find it beneficial to plan some visits around their other summer vacation travels. It’s never too early to start (but 11th grade is late!) Let’s go surfing!

If you are unsure, or your child is unsure about a future career path, feel free to check out the Florida State University Career Center (see http://www.career.fsu.edu/alumni-family-community/community-member-services ). They have plenty of exploratory resources there, and they are open to the community. Give them a call before you head over. They’ll be happy to help.

Make a big, long list of colleges you and your child might be interested in. Cast your nets wide! Look up north, out west, big city, little rural campus, Alaska (yes, even there!). Look at private, public, and schools where family members attended. Don’t forget your favorite local schools and affiliated favorites’ rivals. Look at his/your dream university. Target your “safety” school. If you need help putting this list together, try the College Board’s site, for their BigFuture© College and Scholarship Search (see https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search ). This search engine will do some good filtering for you, based on a few questions your child needs to answer, and is a great way to add schools to your list that you may not have heard of, or might not have considered. Also have a look at College that Change Lives (https://ctcl.org/about/).

After you have gotten a few ideas and some new schools to look into, surf over and through each school’s website, right to an intended major’s or majors’ department web pages. Familiarize yourself with the course offerings, graduation requirements, and breadth and depth of offerings. Check out the Student Life, Athletics, Honors Programs, tuition, and the like. In addition, make sure to look at the profile of admitted students. This will give you an idea of what students (grades and test scores) typically gain admission. Keep your eye out for deadlines. Sometimes there are separate applications, tests, and deadlines for Honors or other special programs. Parents AND kids should have fun on the surf!

Once you get your long list, you’ll start to narrow that down (definitely try to have a narrow list by the end of junior year) to a reasonable number of schools to apply to. Applications have fees, and you don’t want to apply to every school on your big, long list. Speaking of applications, make sure you put eyes on the Common Application (http://www.commonapp.org/), and the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success (http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/) to learn about online application resources that allow you to apply to many schools with one application, and a little bit of fine print (sometimes, member schools will still ask for unique items through the online application apps).

Pull out two or three years-worth of calendars and strategically schedule your college admissions exams. The SAT and the ACT usually have dates planned a few years in advance. Consider which of the two you will take (or if you will do both), any SAT Subject Tests needed, and give yourself a rough testing plan, that gets smoother as you approach Christmas of the Junior Year. You can check dates at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/dates-deadlines for SAT dates and http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html for the ACT dates. Add in dates for known sporting, family, and other events that you typically attend during the school year and summer.

In keeping with the task of searching and surfing, you’ll need to keep in mind what you child’s strengths are, what his/her potential career might entail, and what his/her future life might be like, all things being ideal. Thinking about colleges can be stressful, with all the testing, angling, essay writing, planning, applying, and matching interests with campus. We want them to have a good experience and maybe a little fun. We want them to interact well with their peers and professors. We all want our children to achieve some level of success that involves them moving out of our homes and refrigerators. We want them to have scholarships, as much as possible. We want their college to have some esteem in the professional community. We want them to earn a good living, or provide for and/or make a good home. We want all of these things … the Gentiles seek after.

Melodee Blog surfNow comes the seeking. Our Heavenly Father knoweth (knows) that our children have need of all these things. Even as we and the children surf for the best opportunities for the next phase of their lives, keep the seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Keep foremost in your thoughts and prayers what would help your child learn and live out the mission God has for his life, including his education. If you have made it this far with Rhetoric School at CCA, you have already prayed past some doubts and resisted some temptation to just take what the world has to offer. (For more encouragement, see “The Long Haul: When Classical Education is No Longer Cute” (http://www.christclassical.com/the-long-haul-when-classical-education-is-no-longer-cute/). Continue to seek the kingdom of God, even in your college, or post-secondary option search. God is good. We are striving to live for His Glory. That includes sending our kids off into the big, wide world of college. Christ Classical Academy is working hard to accomplish this in your children, to prepare them not just for college, but for life! They are being educated to seek, find, know, and share Truth. Surf, and seek for this to continue in their lives.

Have a productive summer!

This was a lot! Be sure to join me at the beginning of next school year four our First CSPaAN (College and Scholarships Planning and Advising Night). I’ll be happy to walk you through some things!

 

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_wave_surfing#/media/File:2010_mavericks_competition.jpgPh

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/10535148634

Comments

  1. Erika Rowette says:

    This blog was very helpful!!

Speak Your Mind

*