June 12, 2024

How to Raise a College-Bound Kid

Raising a college-bound kid involves more than just ensuring good grades. It’s about helping your student find a balance and develop lifelong skills including fostering a love for learning, encouraging curiosity, and developing the skills necessary for academic and personal success. Here are a few recommendations from our experience to help you navigate this exciting and sometimes daunting journey.

  1. Cultivate a Love for Learning Early On
    Start young and instill a love for learning from an early age. Explore museums, surround your child with books and opportunities to explore different subjects, and encourage questions about the world around them. For older children, encourage hobbies and interests that spark their curiosity.
  2. Encourage Academic Excellence
    Setting high expectations lets your child know that you value education and expect them to do their best. This doesn’t mean pressuring them but rather supporting their efforts to excel.
    Parents can do this by being involved in their child’s education and providing academic support. Attend parent-teacher conferences, monitor their progress, and help them with homework when needed. Consider hiring a tutor if your child struggles in a subject or needs an additional academic challenge. Teach your child good study habits, such as time management, organization, and goal setting.
  3. Foster Extracurricular Involvement
    Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities, such as sports, arts, clubs, or volunteering, can help your child develop essential skills like teamwork, leadership, and time management. Help your child find activities they are passionate about starting at a young age. However, we caution against students putting all of their eggs in one basket. Colleges look for well-rounded students who show dedication and achievement outside the classroom.
  4. Develop Strong Communication Skills
    Practice communication. It may sound silly, but giving your child opportunities to develop the art of holding a conversation with someone they don’t know or even an adult that they do know, can go a long way.Good communication skills are crucial for success in high school, college, and beyond. Practicing good communication in daily activities and developing public speaking skills through debate clubs, drama, or presentations in school gives students critical practice they will use during their college search journey and well after!
  5. Teach Self-Sufficiency and Personal Responsibility
    Encourage independence and gradually give your child more responsibility and autonomy to make decisions. Assign age-appropriate chores, involve them in household decisions, and let them manage their own time. High school aged students should know how to manage their time wisely, coordinate their calendar and activities, and juggle academic deliverables and deadlines on their own. These valuable skills will empower students as they advance in school and are required to do more work independently.
  6. Plan Financially for College
    College can be expensive, so start planning and saving as early as possible. We recommend looking into savings plans like 529 accounts that offer tax benefits.
    Talk about this as a family to help your child understand the basics of budgeting, saving, and the cost of higher education.
  7. Support Emotional and Social Development
    Build resilience and grit! College can be challenging, so it’s important to build resilience in your child before they walk out the door to college for the first time. Teach them how to handle setbacks and stress in healthy ways while remaining their biggest cheerleader. We encourage parents to provide emotional support and encouragement, especially during stressful times like exam periods or application deadlines.
  8. Don’t go it alone
    You knew we were going to say it, but we can’t help it. Partner with a college planning expert like Class 101. Having an expert on your child’s side, who will take a comprehensive approach to ensuring your child is getting the best preparation possible for college, is one of the best ways to ensure that your child goes to college and excels.

    A Class 101 advisor will help your child select the right high school courses, monitor grades, prepare early for standardized tests, make a college list, get involved in extracurricular activities, monitor deadlines, edit essays – all without mom or dad having to be the enforcer.

Empowering Your Middle Schooler
When you are ready to set the stage for a successful high school journey, we would love to guide your middle schooler through our High School Prep 101 course, where we’ll equip your soon-to-be high schooler with the essential life skills and knowledge they need to thrive in high school and beyond.

Our tailored course focuses on empowering students with practical strategies, from time management to goal-setting, to help them navigate the challenges and opportunities of high school life. Through engaging sessions, we’ll guide students on a journey of personal growth and academic excellence, preparing them to tackle high school with confidence and resilience.


Course Highlights:
– Mindful Minds: Learn how to manage your mind to perform at its best, staying focused and motivated in your studies.
– Optimized Organizer: Master strategies to effectively manage your time, tasks, and tests, maximizing your productivity.
– Confident Communicator: Gain valuable tips for effective communication with teachers, peers, and adults, enhancing your interpersonal skills.
– Goal-Getter: Discover techniques for setting goals and developing the perseverance to turn them into reality, fostering a mindset of achievement.
– Brainy Breakthroughs: Cultivate problem-solving skills to tackle challenges creatively and approach learning with a growth mindset.
– Study Skills: Acquire essential study skills to become a better learner and achiever, setting a strong foundation for academic success.


Enroll now and empower your middle schooler for a successful high school experience!

Preparing your student for college doesn’t have to be stressful. Call Class 101 to have an expert on your side.
To schedule a free consultation, reach out to us at one of our locations:
Class 101 Brandon, FL | Class 101 Carmel, IN | Class 101 Bloomington, IN

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