College Planning This Summer

Congratulations are in order. Your child has graduated from high school! What an amazing four years it has been. Middle school children walk in and young adults walk out ready for college. Well, almost ready for college. Here are five things your high school graduate can do this summer to be even more prepared for college in the fall:

Summer Job/Internship

College is expensive! Not only do you have tuition, room and board, and technology fees. You have dorm rooms to decorate, floor activities to participate in, road trip to sporting events, etc. Have you and your child discussed the additional costs of college? Might be time to have a talk about the expectations of money while your student is in school and encourage them to get a job. How to budget during college, credit card use and how student loans work.

Is your child on the fast track to her career? Or still exploring what she wants to do with the rest of her life? Either way an internship is a great way to boost their resume, make some money and figure out what they do (or do not) want to do after college.

Summer Classes

Three months is a long time to go without using your brain. And if your child caught a bad case of “senioritis” it may be more like four months. A great way to keep her on track and learning is through summer classes. A class or two at the local community college might be something to look into if your child struggled with a particular subject, or wants to explore a new skill area.


Most colleges offer a chance for incoming students to come to the school for a long weekend to register for classes, meet other incoming freshman and learn about the school’s culture. This is the ideal time for your child to start thinking about what classes they want to take, as well as scope out interesting sport and club activities. Depending on what school she attends. Your child might get the chance to pick her roommate while at orientation. Plus, they can start thinking about what kind of legacy they want to leave at the school.

Stocking the Dorm Room

Your child now has a summer job and is making some income to contributing to their college fund. They’ve gone to orientation and found their roommate. Now you need to go shopping. There are mini fridges and extra-long sheets to buy, toiletries and towels. It is important to plan ahead to equip your child with everything she will need to live on her own for a couple of months. Encourage your child to talk to her roommate about what each can bring from home. Make a list and stick to it. Home furnishing stores are a huge budget killer and brilliant at suggesting things your child will “need” when they are in college. Stick to your list.

Enjoy it

This might be the last summer with your baby. Spend as much family time as possible. Encourage her to spend time with their high school friends. And let her sleep! College is a four-year, stay up all night studying or playing adventure. Your child is still a teenager and needs all the rest she can get before this next chapter of her life begins.

What is your college-bound student doing this summer to stay on track?