As a parent, you want your child to grow up prepared for the future. This can mean many things, but to most of us it means making sure your child is properly educated to enter the career he or she desires and arming him or her with the life skills needed to make responsible adult decisions. That's why a college education is so important! A college education can open up a world of possibilities for your child. College students are exposed to new ideas, activities and people. College graduates have many more career choices than non-graduates. They also earn more and are far less likely to be unemployed.
Parental Guidance Suggested
It's never too early to start planning for college. As a matter of fact, we here at GEAR UP recommend beginning as early as the fifth grade. Thinking about and planning for college early gives you and your child a great jump-start on the classes to take, college costs, study habits and finding the right college for your child. This page is loaded with information to help you help your child on his or her way to the future you both want. More information for parents can be found by visiting OKcollegestart.org. Just click on the menu in the upper left.
Courses Your Child Should Take to Enter Oklahoma Public Colleges and Universities
To prepare for college, there is no substitute for your child getting a solid academic education. This means your child should take challenging courses and maintain good grades in English, math, laboratory science, history, citizenship skills, computer science, foreign language, drama, art and music. Your child's high school transcript could be an important part of his or her college application. A college education builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier years. It is best for your child to start planning a high school course schedule early, in the seventh or eighth grade. To find a complete list of the courses your child must take and grades your child must make in high school to go to an Oklahoma state college or university, visit OKcollegestart.org. These classes will not only prepare your child for college, but also give your child a valuable knowledge base for entering the job market.
College is an investment in your child's future that you should start planning for financially now. Fortunately, the cost of attending an Oklahoma state college or university is among the lowest in the nation, and many kinds of assistance, or "financial aid," are available to help you and your child manage the cost.
As you might imagine, college expenses vary depending on the type of college or university, the number of courses the student takes, the student's major and his or personal lifestyle, among other factors. For more information, visit the Paying for College pages of OKcollegestart.org.
Here is a list of activities that you as a parent can do to prepare financially for college.
- Check out Oklahoma's Promise.
- Investigate different ways to save money, including the Oklahoma College Savings Plan, buying U.S. Savings Bonds, opening a savings account at a bank and investing in mutual funds.
- Start saving money now.
- Help your child investigate the availability of financial aid from federal, state, local and private sources.
- Have your child talk to his or her guidance counselor for more information.
- Help your child investigate the availability of scholarships provided by organizations such as corporations, labor unions, professional associations, religious organizations and credit unions.
- Go with your child to the library and investigate special scholarships such as for women, minorities and disabled students.
- When the time comes, be sure that you and your child complete all necessary financial aid forms.
For more information, visit the Financial Aid pages of OKcollegestart.org.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have provided links to several related Web sites and hope that they are helpful. However, the State Regents cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or content of those pages.
Summer Educational Opportunities for Students
Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program
Education Oversight Board, Office of Accountability
FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid
GradLoans -- The Student Loan Network
Just for the Kids
National Center for Education Statistics
No Child Left Behind Activities
Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program
Oklahoma Money Matters
Oklahoma College Savings Plan
U.S. Department of Education — Financial Aid