During normal times, successfully navigating the college admissions process requires purposeful intent and consistency throughout high school. Each year may be focused to cover these key highlights:
- 9th grade – develop time management and study skills
- 10th grade – determine interests
- 11th grade – build college list
- 12th grade – apply to colleges
Sure, there are numerous other steps in between, but these highlights provide a framework for each grade. For a more detailed action plan for each grade, check out these parent checklists.
Covid, Race and College
Now with the Covid-19 crisis and racial tensions sweeping the nation, the world as we knew it a short time ago has changed. The college admissions process, however in the midst of this environment, is still the same. It’s now become more complicated than ever, by ACT/SAT test dates cancellations, college campus closures and the fact that remote learning has widened and deepened educational and racial equity gaps. The racial protests, especially during a pandemic (really!?) will forever shape the way our Black youth see their future.
In my meetings with students during this time, I have focused more of our time together on their mental health. Being quarantined suddenly has had a profound effect on all of us. Although the college admissions process has continued through these crises, some students are just not motivated and I get it. Our scheduled meetings, however, gives them the space to process how to stay engaged, answer their questions and develop resilience.
Community for Parents
It’s even more important now for parents to connect with our online FB group community “Helping Parents Get Their Teen In and Get Money for College” to get their questions answered during such a time as this. We also know that having a community, especially during a crisis, is a form of self-care. (I’m all about self-care. . . it’s so needed as a woman and mother.)
It’s a fairly young community in that I just restarted the group in January of 2020. Prior to then, the group had been formed for the benefit of an online parent course I offered. My purpose for this group is to partner with more parents to find a college that feels like home for their teen and avoid overpaying. I have visited over 450 colleges and bring that lens to address questions about the various campuses that come up in the group. Likewise, 95% of my students have been admitted to their top choice colleges and received an average of $75,000 in scholarships.
Questions that have come up recently include:
- How do we know which college should be on my teen’s list?
- Now that my son’s class are pass-fail, how will his transcript be viewed?
- What are the cultural factors to consider for a good fit?
- My 9th grader was planning to volunteer. What can she do now that everything is closed?
Within the FB group, I go live each week. In recent weeks, I conducted two classes, “College in the Era of Covid-19” and “Sending Your Black Child to College” in response to the questions and concerns that I’ve received from parents.
Helping parents reach the educational vision for their child is my passion and life’s calling. All of my guidance is from the heart with love and joy. If you have questions about navigating this complicated process and this sounds like a community where you want to be a member, please join us here.