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Your influence as a parent or mentor is a major factor in helping your student in his or her college and career choices. But the path to their success can be difficult if you don’t know all the ins and outs of helping them prepare for, get into and succeed in college. These articles and activities can help you and your student as you make decisions about college and the future.

Planning for College

One of the best overall sites to visit is the Students and Parent Page of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. This page contains a variety of resources for planning, selecting, saving and paying for college.

First Steps. KnowHow2GOKy is a great place to start. This website is filled with advice, resources and step by step guidance on planning for college.

College Planning Checklists. There are specific things you can do in elementary and middle school, and during each year of high school to plan and prepare for college. ACT’s College Planning Checklist and the College Preparation Checklist created by the Federal Student Aid office are a couple of college planning checklists to keep track of your progress and important application deadlines.

Helping Your Child Become a First-Generation College Student. If you haven’t been to college and your child is planning to go, you can help more than you might think. Here are some tips for success.

Find The Right College For You. Choosing a college is a big decision. College Search can help you make the best decision for you. Here you can generate a list of colleges that match your preferences or research a college that you already have in mind.

Understanding Community Colleges. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about community colleges. http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/where?to?start/150494.html

Helping Your Student Think About Career Readiness. One of the main goals for most students attending college is to find a job after graduation. This article will help you be better prepared for the road to your ideal career.

College One Stop. This site provides plenty of information for students and parents thinking about college in Kentucky.

Applying to College

The Application Calendar. There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re applying to college. This site provides an overview of the college application and admissions process and the deadlines you have to meet.

Free ACT Prep Help at the Louisville Free Public Library

Paying For College

Financial Aid Planner. Paying for your college education is no small undertaking. There are many questions to consider: what will it cost, how much can you save, how much can you and your family afford to pay, how much to borrow, and what scholarships are available to you. Not sure where to start? Here’s an overview.

The FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step in the financial aid process. You use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as grants, loans and work-study. In addition, most states and schools use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid.

Scholarships, Work Study and other alternatives. Grants and loans are not the only way to find help for college costs. It is well worth your time to research scholarship and work-study opportunities. The KHEAA website is a great resource for information on scholarships, work-study, tuition waiver and savings/prepaid plans.

Ten Things You Must Know About Financial Aid.

Transitioning to College

College Lingo for College Parents. College administrators, faculty members and students develop a set of shorthand terms that can be confusing to those not familiar with them.  As a college parent, you may be surprised at how quickly your college student picks up the appropriate lingo. Here is information to get you started in the language of “college speak”.

Conversations You Should Have Before the First Year of College. Your expectations and your student’s expectations for college may not be the same. Using the summer months for some open conversation will clear the air – and possibly help you avoid difficult situations later.

College Parents Learn to Survive the First Year. During the first, most critical year, nearly 25 percent of students at four year institutions drop out.  This is a significant financial and emotional cost to them as well as you, their parents. So, to assist you along the way, here are 10 tips to help you survive your child’s first year at college.

Parents of College Students iVillage. Has your child left the safety of the nest for the uncertainty of a dorm room? Join other parents of college students to discuss your thoughts, feelings and fears.