Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Road to College...

My dh thinks that I should document what we did Allison's senior year to get her into college. I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous to write this all down. There are NO guarantees that we'll even get her into a four year college. Although that may be the case, I will not consider it a failure if she ends up at our local community college for her AA degree. That, in itself is an accomplishment worthy of cheering and rejoicing. I'm thankful that Allison has goals and we have 3 plans to accomplish those goals. My plan is to update the blog throughout the process, so this will be more of a series instead of one long post.LOL

Now, on to part one...

The first thing we did to help Allison look more marketable to colleges this year, was to enroll her in the Dual Enrollment program at our local community college. Most colleges that I researched were looking for some outside accountability, somewhere. Did it have to be college course work? No, but for us it was the best option. Colleges want to know that your student can do the work and they like to see that your student can complete work from an outside teacher. We happen to live right next door to our local community college, so it was a shoo-in for ease and access. If you are looking to have your student enroll in the DE program, start early! It was a lot of paperwork and we ended up walking a lot of it through all the different channels.

Something else to consider is outside work. Colleges like to see responsible young adults that can manage work and school. Finding a good part-time job can help your student look responsible AND that employer makes a great reference letter later on to your top college pick. Allison has worked part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer for two years now. She's proven herself responsible, hard working, AND able to balance work, school, and extra-curricular activities.

Work and school are great but without any fun your student looks a little boring on that application. Now it's time to look into some fun activities that your student might be good at. Allison picked swimming for our local highschool. She loves the water, it's an extension of her job and it shows that she has interests outside of school. She's working extremely hard to lower her times right now and if she can get them low enough, she may even qualify for college sports scholarships. If not, then she still has interests to put on that all important transcript.

All of the things listed above, had to be completed before the school year began. Surprisingly enough, the swimteam was most important to set up before the year began. Because of rules by the FHSAA, if she had decided after the year began, she would have been ineligible to join the team. We barely got her in and it was dicey that she'd get to stay in. She proclaimed her decision two weeks before the year began thankfully.

Once the year began, her primary job was to keep her grades up and learn how to juggle all of her outside commitments. It was tough at first but she has really thrived in this environment.

On the college front, she decided to take a full load for DE. She has three classes consisting of College Algebra, Spanish 1, and English Composition. Not even half way through her 1st semester, she had to decide and pick her next semester's classes. Things move quickly in college, we've She picked Spanish 2, Elementary Statistics, and Chemistry 1 for her next semester. These are all classes she needs for college and for highschool graduation. So far, she's doing wonderfully in her classes. She loves her teachers and has made some friends. It's been a good fit for her.

Next, we had to begin to study and plan for her SAT. Yes, we really needed to start this much earlier but since we're new at this this is when we began. Allison took her first SAT in her Jr year. She scored well enough to enter the DE program at any level that she wanted to. They allowed her free reign of any classes. But her scores are not that great for someone who would like a scholarship at a 4 year college, so we signed her up for the October test date. We wanted the scores to be in before the November 1st early action deadline for her top pick colleges. If she did well, then I think she'll be accepted by her favorite colleges. If not, then we'll sign up for the next available test date and study

So those are the things that we've already done and Allison is currently doing. Next I'll talk about what I'm currently doing and what she's gearing up to



Cynthia said...

Good job, Lisa!

Kristine said...

Lisa, thanks for this post. I found it particularly encouraging. I totally agree, there's nothing wrong with a community college--we'd not really considered it in our long term planning, but with the economy now, it's more appealing than ever!

I've always looked at Lee's website for support and advice, but what makes your post so great is that Allison is a regular person, not practically a child genius (like I see Lee's boys, lol). Your long terms prayers for your daughter, for your hs, are being answered, and what a blessing and encouragement to YOU too as you work with your younger children.

Great post!!

Jodi said...

Very interesting to read how you're going about this stage.