Preparing for College - Parents

Welcome to the Winthrop Flight Plan for parents and guardians! This guide is intended to assist you as you support your high school student in the decision to become a Winthrop Eagle. In addition to the high school grade level checklists, below are reminders of the important role parents and guardians have in supporting their children in reaching their educational goals.

The process of applying to college is something parents and guardians can assist their children in. As the world changes and grows, so has the application process for college. Although many things may have stayed the same, be aware that some changes and updates have been implemented over the years. Below are a few suggestions for parents to keep in mind as their high schoolers navigate the college admissions experience.

  • Set Goals for Your Childs Future – In order to your child set their goals for selecting, applying to and enrolling in a college or university, you’ll need to know how much support they will need. Is your child task oriented, uses a planner and studies without having to be told to do so?  Or does your child need constant reminders, weekly meetings regarding what is due and when with encouragement to complete schoolwork?  Regardless of where your child falls on this spectrum, they need parental support in the form of encouragement, validating their choices and cheering them on as they complete each task along the way.

  • Exploring College and Universities – Consider using some time during family vacations as opportunities to visit different colleges. The is an exciting time for both you and your child as you explore the possibilities of a college for their future. Visiting a campus allows you both to see first-hand what campus life is like, talk to students, faculty and staff, see your child’s interaction on campus, and leave you with the feeling that they would be in good hands at that college or university. Register for one of Winthrop’s Campus Visit Experiences here!  If you're looking for things other than a campus visit, you can take part in the following:

    • Virtual Tours – Currently, most colleges and universities have a restriction on the number of people allowed on campus. With that in mind, there are virtual tour options opened to families to explore what the university has to offer from the comfort of your own home. Click here to enter a virtual tour of Winthrop's campus

    • College Fairs – Many high schools will offer college fairs for students to meet admissions representatives from different colleges and universities. This is a great opportunity for your child to ask questions they might have and collect more information about the school. You can also register for online college fairs that allow you to virtually visit different booths and live chat with admissions counselors. To see if Winthrop will be near you, visit our Find Winthrop page.

    • Admissions Events – For a more in-depth experience, contact your admissions counselor to learn about special programs and events for prospective students and families. Many of these will include meeting professors and current students. The intent of these special programs is to give your student the opportunity to discuss your academic interest with like-minded faculty and students and understand more of what to expect at the university. Winthrop offers multiple events every semester – like 1st Look Fridays, Open Houses and more. Check out our event dates here!

  • Discuss the Cost of College – Considering how to pay for college is an important stage in assisting your high school student in the application process. It is important to evaluate your family's financial situation and share this information with your student to find the best fit. While all colleges and universities have ways to bring the cost of tuition down through scholarships and financial aid opportunities, the resulting cost of some schools may be higher than your family is comfortable with. Understanding and using the tools high schools, colleges and universities have to navigate assessing the cost of school is crucial – like our Net Price Calculator. Please keep in mind that by May of your child's senior year, a deposit to the college they intend to go to will be due. 

  • Advocate for their High School Counselor – Your child's high school counselor can be a key guide to helping them narrow down their college list, and a great reference for letters of recommendation. With this in mind, it is important for parents to encourage their student to meet with their high school counselor a few times a year so that they are able to make a connection and assist them in the college process. As each high school has different scholarship opportunities available for their students, high school counselors can assist students in finding, applying for and interviewing for appropriate scholarships to help with the cost of college.

  • Encourage Communication with their Admissions Counselor – An admissions counselor’s job is to assist prospective and accepted students in the process of finding their new home at college. Our Winthrop Admissions Counselors are assigned by counties and states, and are available to help you via phone, text, and e-mail. Want to meet our admissions team? Click here!

  • Assist with the FAFSA – The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is administered by the Department of Education. This free application assesses your family's financial situation to determine how much you can afford to pay and your eligibility for student financial aid for college with resulting grants and scholarships, work-study jobs and paid or part-time work on campus. All colleges and universities have links to assist you in this application for student financial aid process. Winthrop’s FAFSA code is 003456.