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Helping Your Teen Decide What to do After High School

Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you'll have as a parent. Although it can be difficult to imagine your baby as an adult, with the right approach, helping your teen make the transition into adulthood can also be rewarding.

Going to college, getting a job, or taking time off are the common choices your teen will likely face. Here's how you can help your adult-to-be make the decision that's right for him or her.

College or Technical School

Although you may remember starting your own college search in the fall of your senior year, many teens these days need to get started earlier because of the extensive research involved and the deadlines for early admissions programs to more competitive programs. In fact, many students begin as early as the fall of their junior year.

A good preparation for your teen is to sit down and start writing - this is great practice for the application process. Teens should list their goals as well as their accomplishments, even if they haven't yet decided on a field of study. Ask your teen to write down a list of:

* academic and personal strengths and weaknesses
* extracurricular activities
* awards
* grade point average (GPA)
* class rank
* SAT, ACT, or AP scores

Next, your teen needs to think about and list the qualities he or she is looking for in a college. Does your child want to go away to school, stay close to home, or take online courses, for example?

Armed with the preliminary information your teen has gathered, it's time to begin the research. Guidebooks, the Internet, and counselors at school are particularly helpful resources. As your child chooses potential schools, you and your teen should start to make campus visits, during which time he or she can talk with students attending the college.
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Categories: Teens, Children,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Should Students Take a Year Off After High School?, Involved Parenting of Your High School Student,

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