First, your child will need to study hard and take the courses in middle school and high school that will help them succeed in college-level courses. OKcollegestart.org provides information about college course requirements. Second, it is important for you and your child to try to put money aside for college and be well informed about sources of financial aid for college. Learn more at Oklahoma Money Matters.
In addition to helping your child focus on doing well in school, encourage your child to begin thinking about careers. Also, help your child research areas of interest to get more information about what those careers mean and the specific jobs available in each field. Students and families can explore careers at OKcollegestart.org.
Beginning with the class of 2023, every graduating high school student is required to complete an Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP). During that process, students will explore careers, set goals and make plans for life after high school. By encouraging your child to think ahead, you can help them choose middle school and high school courses that may influence their future career path. Learn more about ICAP at Oklahoma EDGE.
The Student Preparation Office of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education helps PK-12 educators and parents effectively prepare students for college readiness. Through online resources, regional workshops, on-site training and conferences, the student preparation team provides educators, parents and students with the resources necessary to ensure all Oklahoma students and their families are college ready.
In addition to academics, start looking at your financial situation and how much your family will be able to contribute to your child’s education. Look into college savings plans, such as the Oklahoma 529 education savings plan, which offers tax advantages, a low start-up investment of $25, and contributions as small as $25 per investment option per pay period through payroll deduction.
Also, start researching grants and scholarships that may require that your child apply while still in middle school. For more information, click on the Financial Aid link on the left.
Learn about applying for federal student aid at StartWithFAFSA.org. The site provides students and parents with information about specific FAFSA topics and allows them to ask questions, watch FAFSA video tutorials in English or Spanish, and download publications. New topics and answers to important questions are uploaded weekly.