Monday, August 18, 2014

Destress the College Application Process for Your Child + Turn it Into an Exciting Experience Instead


This is a sponsored post

College Applications Loom Ahead Everywhere,

My Family's #JourneytoCollege

Where have all the years gone? Recently I learned from the first-hand experience of raising four children born within a year, including triplets, that kids really do transform from babies into high school seniors and college students over night. If you're reading this post, chances are that you may be approaching this same milestone in your own family's life or are already in the thick of it now. Either way, there's no better time than right now to talk about the Big C -- College.

Hard to believe my triplets are now high school seniors,

With my oldest having successfully completed his first year at college on the East Coast I've already been through the college prepatory experience once. No sooner did we send my big boy off to school, we found ourselves again entrenched in the heat of the college planning process, which of course doesn't only include picking out the schools each will apply to but also preparing for and scoring well on the SAT and/or ACT standardized assessment tests.

Next fall all 4 of my kids will be in college at the same time, 

4 Essentials for Preparing for the College Application Process

The College Discussion Should Begin Freshman Year of High School
This may come as a surprise, as it did to me. Believe it or not, it's not too early to start chatting with your child about preparing for becoming a university student at the beginning of 9th grade. That's because unlike in middle and elementary school what kids do between 9th and 12th grades both in and out of school matters. Seriously. 

Grades are Just the Beginning, Get Your Child Involved
We're not just talking about getting good grades, applying themselves or doing their best in every class that will eventually appear on their high school transcript, either. It also involves developing into well-rounded individuals with extra curriculars that students are passionate about and of course, giving back to the community.

Partner With Your Child's College Counselor as Early as Possible
Many schools don't seriously encourage freshman and sophomores to meet with a college counselor early on. But, as mentioned above, the clock starts ticking when a child enters high school as to what will matter when it comes to applying to colleges, so it is in you and your son's or daughter's best interest to get to know their college advisor as soon as you can. If none is available at this point, you can always seek out and hire a private college counselor to make sure your child is doing everything they need to right now.

Tap Into Free Resources like the KapMap 
There also are some really good free advice and guidance resources on the Internet for those of you in the same boat as I am with one or more kids in high school this fall. One of the most helpful guides I've found and downloaded for each of my triplets is called KapMap from Kaplan Test Prep. Essentially KapMap is your go-to month-to-month guide of everything you and your student need to be doing on the college preparation front throughout the high school experience starting at the beginning of freshman year. Then, when things kick into high gear when your child is a junior or senior, all the important dates are listed such as prompts for taking practice ACT & SAT tests and registering to sit for the actual exam(s) as well as information on scheduling college interviews and the various university application like Early Action, Early Decision and regular college deadlines. 

It's easy to get stressed out about the college prepatory experience -- believe me, I know because I've been there and done that. Here's a word of advice from a mom who knows: Don't. By remaining calm, collected and methodical throughout the process you can turn this potentially stressful time in your child's life into something that instead is an exciting and upbeat time of looking clearly toward the future.

Student's Tools of the College Prep Trade,
Remember to download the free KapMap first thing so you can get started. Also visit for more valuable information as well as follow them on Facebook and Twitter. By stopping by the KapTest website you'll also find the tools to learn how to coach your student throughout the process, help them make their college application stand out from the crowd on the admission officer's desk, and get more direction on understanding test scores and what requirements your child needs to meet to have a chance at the colleges on their wish list. Also don't miss the Kaplan 2013 College Admissions Officers Survey for college admission trends based on an annual survey that Kaplan Test Prep does of admissions officers at the top national private and public universities and colleges.

Win an iPad at the #JourneytoCollege Twitter Party,

Know someone who is college bound? Then you won't want to miss the #JourneytoCollege Twitter Party August 20th from 1-2 pm ET - including chance to win $1000+ in prizes: an iPad and $75 Amazon giftcards with @MommyBlogExpert serving as one of the panelists. 

#JourneytoCollege Twitter Party
August 20th 1-2 pm ET

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep. I received compensation to write this post, however opinions expressed are my own and reflect my actual experience. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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