There may be some additional colleges not listed above in attendance as well.
How can parents help?
It is important for the student to know themselves and for a parent to know their child. Consider how well they adjust to new situations and how resilient they are.
Perhaps the biggest tip Payner provides parents, however, is to communicate with their child about what is realistic for their family. Is it realistic financially for you to go to a private college? “It’s important for parents and students to have a conversation about what is realistic before your start filling out applications because it can be devastating to get into one of your top choice colleges just for your parents to say, ‘I’m sorry honey we can’t afford this.’”
Then talk about whether they want to be in-state or out of state. “Really narrow it down because location makes a huge difference,” said Payner. “If it’s hard to get back and forth from a place and a student is homesick that could make a big difference on whether they stay there and finish, whether they’re successful. Climate makes a huge difference, especially for students from Florida who are not used to the cold.”
When it comes to financial aid, Payner suggest students apply to colleges early, get accepted early and complete their FAFSA early because that puts them in line for the money that is given away on a first come first served basis.
She suggests having these conversations the summer before their junior and senior year and being ready to finish college applications by November 1. “That’s going to put you in a better place for scholarships. The majority of the scholarships are going to come from the colleges themselves, and students will be assessed for those scholarships based on their application. Sometimes there’s a secondary process where they have to apply to certain scholarships separately from their application even still, they have to have been accepted to the college first in order to apply for that scholarship. So that’s the biggest tip I have is do you applications early.”
If you do not attend one of the high schools the Florida Christian College Fairs are visiting, you may still be able to attend; however, please contact the guidance counselor at the host school to gain access.