The courses required to graduate from high school are different from the courses required to gain admission into college
A very important part of your kid’s college application will be the official high school course transcript. It allows the colleges to which your kid applies to know whether or not your kid took the required courses to be considered for admission at those institutions.
Selective colleges and universities have additional requirements
Although most colleges and universities have, for the most part, similar course requirements, different colleges have different requirements. This depends on several factors, including how selective those colleges or universities are.
For example, you may see that a school requires that your kid takes 2 years of high schoolHistory and Social Sciences courses, while another school asks for 3 years of the same type of courses, but those courses “must include the writing of essays.”
Did I give you a headache already? Seriously, how is a parent supposed to know what courses a kid is supposed to take to meet the admission requirements to a specific college? The good news is, you do not have to worry about doing that yourself.
A high school guidance counselor will draft a 4-year course plan for your kid, so that he or she stays on track every year of high school, and is able to meet the course requirements for admission into the colleges to which he or she wants to apply. The guidance counselor knows the course requirements for all colleges and universities.
Make sure a meeting is scheduled for your kid, the high school counselor, and you, early in the freshman year
Your job as a parent, is to make sure a meeting is scheduled for you and your kid to meet with the guidance counselor early in the freshman year. It would be even better if the meeting can be scheduled before the freshman year begins, if at all possible.
Make sure your kid is included in that meeting, so the three of you are on the same page. Let your kid take the helm so he or she could begin to take ownership of the college admission process. These meetings are great in that they create a sense of community between your kid, the school, and yourself.
They also allow kids to demystify the college requirements, understand the progression of courses to be taken, and feel a sense of responsibility to do all that is within their control to do well in those courses.
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