Tips for Preparing Your Teen to Apply to University
While my daughter just started high school this year I think it’s important for all parents to have some ideas on how they can help their teen apply to university/college. As someone who worked in post-secondary for several years with recruitment and international education one thing I saw time and time again were both parents and their teens trying to get into a program where the application deadline was long past due.
It never ceased to amaze me how people didn’t have a clue about the deadlines to apply and thinking that if they were loud enough, pushy enough, begged etc.. that they could somehow bypass the rules and still be considered. Of course not everyone was like that but a surprising number would be. The best thing you could do in preparation for your teen applying to post-secondary is plan ahead and think it’s never too early to find out information.
Being able to understand what all goes along with getting college grants and scholarships is also an important part of getting your teen ready to apply to university. However, there are many other things that must be considered.
I have worked for universities for over fifteen years, and can tell you everything that I have seen and haven’t seen. Making sure that you and your student are fully prepared will help you both, and it will make life easier for you and your teenage college student.
#1 Tip Knowing Deadlines
Yes I’ve already said this but it’s worth repeating. Deadlines may have been a big deal in high school, but in college admission, they are even a bigger deal. Turning in that paper or clicking on the submit button for the online application is of the utmost importance, there’s no getting around it. Institutions have these deadlines because they are dealing with hundreds sometimes thousands of students and they need to assess each application. Does the person meet the entry requirements which includes grades, prerequisites and so much more.
This is a picture of my convocation when I got my Master’s Degree at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. The “castle” in the picture has been used in movies like X-Men (Xavier’s School for the Gifted) and many more.
University admission also plays a huge role in deadlines. Applying quickly and early is the key to getting into the school that you and your child want. I have seen cases time and time again, where students wait until the end of the summer of their senior year to look into colleges and apply, and they usually don’t get into the colleges that they want. Apply early for college grants and scholarships as well to make sure that you get the scholarships that you want.
#2 Double check that the application is complete
So many times applications are submitted without all of the proper documentation. If your teen is applying to s specific program there are most likely prerequisites. Depending on the program they may ask for any of the following (or more):
- Reference letter (type depends on program being applied to)
- Sample of work or portfolio
- Letter about the applicant, why the want to do the program
Yep that’s me at my Master’s Degree Graduation, many, many years after high school, my daughter was eight at the time 🙂
Each program is unique and so are there entrance requirements so make sure you’ve gone over everything and submit all of the required documentation.
#3 Ask for Help
All universities and colleges have people there to help you and your teen through the admission process. Again start early, book an appointment with an Admissions Officer, Counsellor, or Recruitment Officer (title depends on the university and country). If you’re confused about the process they can clarify for you, help you figure out if you qualify and if not what you need to do. It’s there job so book early (well before any admissions deadline) as they booked up the closer you get to an application deadline.
You can also meet with Scholarships and Bursary staff to find out more about what might be available and how to apply for them to get help in paying for tuition.
There are so many tips I could give you but that would require a book, the three above are the most important. Just think it’s never too early to find out information and deadlines and you can never ask too many questions.
What tips do you have to share? Feel free to comment.