What you can do to help?
Your support is important to your child's success and
happiness. Let him/her know that teachers, counselors, and
you want him/her to be challenged and to succeed.
From the start, emphasize the importance of going to school
every day and of getting good grades. Colleges look at
grades from a student's entire high school career. Showing
that you care about your child's grades is critical.
If you are concerned about how your child's grades, talk to
teachers and counselors to see how you and they can help.
Take your child with you when go to visit teachers and
counselors. Encourage your child to read for school and
for fun. Ask what he/she is reading about.
It's never too early to discuss college. Visit colleges
that might interest your child. You can call the
admissions office to find out when tours, open houses, and other
information sessions are scheduled. Ask the college to
send your child a packet of information about college.
Paying for college
Financial assistance comes in three main types:
Grants and Scholarships, Loans, and Work-study
Grants and scholarships are aid students don't have to pay
back. Grants are usually given to students whose family
income is not large enough to pay for college, while
scholarships are usually given to recognize the student's
academic achievement, athletic ability, or other talent.
Scholarships may come with conditions, like maintaining a
certain major or grade point average. Student loans must
be repaid, usually with interest, after the student graduates or
stops going to school. Parents may also take out loans for
their child's education. Work-study is a federal aid
program administered by colleges that allows students to work to
earn money to help pay for school.
Encourage your child to talk to his or her guidance counselor
or contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Its
Web site, www.MDgo4it.org
has information about colleges and financial aid. The most
important tool for getting financial aid is filling out the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is
almost impossible to get money from the State or federal
government without completing this form.
Finding More Information
High school guidance counselors, college admission offices,
librarians, and the internet can all provide you with more
information about careers, colleges, vocational training, and
financial aid. The Maryland Higher Education Commission's
Web site (www.MDgo4it.org)
provides extensive information about college options and
financial aid in the State. You may also visit the Web
site of the Maryland State Department of Education at
www.marylandpublicschools.org, which offers information for
parents and students, including homework help.
Other sources of college preparation information
The Kinds College Almanac: A First Look At College
by Barbara C. Greenfield and Robert A. Weinstein.
The U.S. Department of Education offers numerous publications
and Web sites to help you:
www.CollegeIsPossible.org is a Web site for parents and
students with links to more sources of information.
The College Board provides information about the SAT plus
lots of other general information free to parents, students, and
The Maryland State Department of Education's Web site,
www.marylandpublicschools.org, offers information geared to
parents, students, and teachers.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission offers information
about colleges and universities and financial aid:
The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education has a great
Web site for teens,
www.BeWhatIWantToBe.com, that lets them explore exciting
careers and what it takes to qualify for them.
FAFSA on the Web:
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. This form can be completed
online or a paper application can be obtained by calling the
Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FED-AID.
For general information on federal student aid go to
FastWeb lists thousands of private scholarships:
www.finaid.org is a
comprehensive site for financial aid information.