Home > Resources > Parents’ Practical Guide to College

Parents’ Practical Guide to College

College is a life-changing event, not just for students but for their parents as well. Parents have a lot to deal with – oftentimes even more than their children – yet are expected to have every answer and remain cool, calm and collected at all times. Well, parents, you can drop the act: We know you’re stressed, sleepless and sometimes downright scared of what lies ahead and could really use some expert advice.

Until now, the content on Scholarships.com has been geared toward potential and current students but with parents like you becoming more and more involved in all aspects of the college process, we felt your very own section was not only a beneficial addition to the site but a necessary one. In the subsequent pages, we’ll give you the real deal on financing, requirements, preparation, campus living and the unexpected circumstances that tend to crop up every so often. No jargon, no condescension: Everything is in language you can understand, relate to and learn from.

We know you have a lot to do so to make a very long story incredibly short, we’ve got you covered...and then some. You’re welcome in advance.

Parents’ Guide to College Campus Living

Now that your child has selected his or her college, the issue of housing should be addressed. When the college is a considerable distance away, residing on the campus is clearly most convenient but when the school is easily accessible by car or public transportation, it may make more sense for your child to live at home and commute. There are also some schools that don’t offer on-campus housing at all, meaning your child will need to find a place close to the school as opposed to on the actual grounds. Decisions, decisions…but which one should you choose? What’s right for one student may be completely wrong for another so by working with your child, you’ll be able to find a situation that suits them (and you!) best.

Parents’ Guide to College Financial Aid

Many parents start saving for college as soon as their children are born but believe it or not, savings accumulated in 529 Plans or Coverdell Accounts over the course of 18 years usually will not cover the entire cost of four or more years of college. Unfortunate, but all too true.

Parents’ Guide to College Preparation

Your child’s applications are in and they’re biding their time waiting for decisions by applying for scholarships, studying for finals and practicing what they’ll say when they accept their diploma. Excellent, you raised them well…but what should you and other parents be doing during this delicate time?

Parents’ Guide to College Requirements

You’ve spent the past 17 or so years telling your child that they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. Unfortunately, your advice wasn’t entirely true: If your child slacked off in high school and opted out of taking standardized tests, he or she will find it much harder to realize goals that require a college education.

Parents’ Guide to the Unexpected in College

No matter how extensively you’ve prepared or how well you think you know your child, a few months away at college has an uncanny way of throwing a wrench into an otherwise well-oiled machine. There’s bound to be at least one issue that books, friends and counselors didn’t detail and when that day comes, many parents stand, mouths hanging agape and hands scratching heads, wondering what their next move should be.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Silver Linings - Transfer Students May Have Higher Acceptance Rates

September 29, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Because of lower enrollment rates, transfer students can stand to benefit from colleges who are eager to hit their yearly enrollment goals. Schools with a smaller-than-average student body this year may be more receptive to accepting a greater number of transfer students than in previous years. [...]

Michigan Offers Free Community College Education to Essential Workers

September 24, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The state of Michigan is set to offer two years of free community college to essential workers who were required by their job to leave the house and work at least 11 weeks in the spring during the coronavirus pandemic. This unique opportunity, called Futures for Frontliners, opens doors to essential workers who are not commonly considered front-line workers and an estimated 600,000 residents could qualify. [...]

Colleges Waiving SAT and ACT Requirements for Merit Scholarships

September 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Many colleges have waived SAT and ACT score requirements for high school seniors currently applying to college due to how difficult it has been to sign up for standardized testing during the coronavirus pandemic. Now some colleges are also waiving standardized test score requirements when awarding merit scholarships to incoming students. Instead of requiring SAT and ACT scores, these schools will award scholarships based on high school GPA. [...]