Preparing for College – Things To Consider

There is a lot to consider when preparing for college. Some of the questions you might have include:
  • What college is best for you and the career you want to go into?
  • How will you pay for everything?
  • Will you have to work while you are in school?
  • Do you want to live on or off-campus?
  • Should you go to a junior college before transferring to a university?
  • Do you want to choose a college close to home to save on living expenses?
Thankfully, there are many ways to help make college less overwhelming. Take a look at these tips to help you get started.

What Careers Are You Interested In?

There are so many career choices and pathways, and not everyone is born knowing what they want to do. Here are some ways to help you decide what your college path should be:
  • Asking family members and other adults in your life about their careers
  • Asking questions and researching careers
  • Taking an aptitude test to help you find what you’re good at and passionate about
  • Joining groups such as Junior Achievement
  • Attending College and Career Fairs
High school guidance counselors, like Mr. Beebe at TIA, are a valuable resource. They can help with college preparations. In addition to working with you to choose high school courses that will benefit you in your transition to college. They can also:
  • Help make lists of colleges and college majors that suits you
  • Provide information and help you qualify for scholarships, grants, and financial aid
  • Give guidance on standardized testing, scholarship essays, and admission essays

Extra-Curricular Activities

Get involved in extra-curricular activities — it looks good on applications and helps you develop life skills. Extra-curricular activities are also a great way to learn networking skills that can help in your future career and help improve your overall college experience.

Create a Budget

Starting a savings account early can be a good strategy for preparing for college and the many financial costs. Having a cushion of savings can help relieve some of the stress of deciding where to go to college. It will also be a big factor in deciding if you will have to work while attending classes. Working part-time while in high school is a great way to start saving. However, you shouldn’t neglect your schoolwork for a job. Deciding on living situations is another important aspect of your first year in college. How far away from home your choice of school is will have a factor in your options. Living at home while attending college has benefits like not having to buy groceries or pay rent. The first year of college can also be stressful, and it may help to stay close to friends and family. If you choose a college farther from home, living in a dorm versus living in a house or apartment with others will affect your budget.

How Can You Earn Income and What Are Some Potential Expenses?

Income can come from:

    • A part-time job
    • Parental support
    • Work-study
    • Scholarships and grants
    • Financial aid and loans
    • Other income, such as if you sell crafts or do freelance work

Expenses you might have include:

    • Groceries
    • Transportation costs such as fuel, insurance, or bus fares
    • Rent if not living on campus, as well as utility bills
    • Entertainment costs
    • Tuition, books, and supplies
    • Clothing
    • Beauty supplies
    • Savings

What Can Parents Do to Help?

There are a variety of ways you can help in your child’s college preparations:
  • Start saving money early. There are options like 529 plans that allow you to save money tax-free for your child's education. Creating a Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) account also gives you resources for scholarships, grants, and other ways to invest and save money for your child’s college needs.
  • Model healthy life habits and teach them to your children. Instill a love for knowledge by reading, learning, and exploring together. Time-management skills can help them when creating their class and study schedules, as well as making time for fun.
  • Help your child figure out how they learn best and study skills for their style of learning. Create an open dialogue with your child so that they feel comfortable talking to you about their hopes, dreams, and plans for their future.
  • Research colleges with your child and schedule campus visits during their junior and senior year to learn about the atmosphere of their favorite schools. You can also help your child take note of application requirements and keep track of deadlines.

What TIA Does for Their Students

Every graduating TIA student gets accepted to college with financial aid and/or scholarships due to the help that the TIA leadership teams contribute to each student. TIA middle and high school students have many opportunities to explore careers and college through events such as the College and Career Fair, fields trips to tour colleges, business classes, clubs such as Junior Achievement, and one-on-one help from Mr. Beebe, (the College and Career Readiness Coach).

Looking for a great school to help you prepare and get accepted to college?

Enroll Today at TIA!

Preparing for College - Things To Consider

How Early Should You Prepare for College?

...And What Does That Look Like?

TIA is a free charter school with 100% of the graduating seniors accepted to college. That is an amazing statistic and shows the level of commitment that TIA staff has for their students. They specifically create opportunities for students to grow in leadership, travel and have experiences that prepare them for college. But many people feel that college planning only begins in high school.

Prepare for College in Grade School and Middle School

At a young age, parents and teachers should start talking with children about what careers spark their interest. At TIA, preparing students with the college mindset starts in Kindergarten. When they are in middle school, students should visit occupations that interest them. Career fairs are another option like the one Tucson International Academy has every year. Even though the student may not choose a career path at this point, a general idea will help guide them towards the right college. Believe or not, students can start applying for scholarships in grade school as young as 5 years old. While you may not be able to use these scholarships right away, the money can be put in the bank to help pay for college later.

College Prep in High School

TIA offers many extras that help each student get accepted to college like assistance from a Student Success Coordinator (currently Mr. Basurto). The school also offers students opportunities to take trips to visit college campuses in person, as well a sponsored trips to foreign countries. TIA hosts high school events like Senior Day, FAFSA Night, Senior Interviews, Facing Dragons and the Career Fair, which are all geared towards helping their students go to college and be successful in life.

College Planning Freshman & Sophomore Year

All freshman and sophomore students start choosing high school courses based on college requirements. Colleges require the basic general courses such as two years each of Social Studies and Science, four years each of Mathematics and English Language Arts, and two years of Foreign Language. Certain colleges, however, may require more advanced classes such as Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and others.

College Planning Junior Year

Junior students should be signed up and well prepared for college PSAT, SAT, & ACT entrance tests that are taken throughout the year. Free practice tests are available on various online websites. This is also when many high school students start researching scholarships, although some may have started in previous years.

College Planning Senior Year

The summer before a students senior year they should be applying for scholarships if they haven’t already started their search prior to that. By the beginning of their senior year, students should have narrowed down their college choices and applied to those colleges (if they haven’t they should do so now) and filled out their FAFSA information online. While some seniors wait until the spring of their senior year to apply for scholarships, it’s best to have started this process well before then. The earlier you start the process, the less overwhelming it can be and the more options you will have at receiving scholarship money.

TIA is a College Prep School - How They Help Their Students

TIA is very serious about their role as a college prep school. The position of Student Success Coordinator was created with basically one goal: to give individual attention to every TIA student on their way to college. That navigation starts as early as the student’s freshman year and follows through with help applying to colleges and for financial aid. The Student Success Coordinator gives one-on-one attention to each student. Being able to help them with their particular circumstances, abilities and interests are what makes the difference at TIA. Each student is given the assistance he or she needs to fill out applications, write the required essays, and explore the financial aid and scholarship options. That is why 100% of TIA's graduating students get accepted into college!  

TIA Makes College Come True - Enroll Today!

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TIA Senior Success

100% of TIA's 2016 class of graduating seniors have been accepted to colleges and the amount of scholarships given to TIA students totals over $900,000. That's amazing! Congratulations to all the students, parents, and teachers for their hard work in making this happen. Enroll Today at TIA! Watch the short video below.
100% of TIA 2016 Seniors Accepted to College

College Scholarships Pave the Way to Higher Education for TIA Students

It’s truly amazing when one realizes that every single senior from Tucson International Academy has been accepted to college. But without college scholarships, many of these students’ dream for a university level education would end before it even started! That is why TIA administrators like Mr. Lin Wu put so much time and effort into guiding each student through the scholarship application process.

How Do I Complete a College Scholarship Application?

Students are not only encouraged to apply for several college scholarships, but are guided through the sometimes complicated process. Each scholarship has its own required elements. Each application will not only include completion of basic information about the student, but often requires the applicant to write an essay. The required essay can  range in topics, but generally asks the students to write about their goals and why they would be a good candidate to receive scholarship funding. TIA provides students with the guidance and editing they need to write the very best essays possible.

How Much Does a College Scholarship Cover?

College scholarships vary in the amount of money offered and the length of time funding can be used. The biggest scholarships are those known as providing a “full ride” where all four years of college are covered for tuition, fees, books and sometimes a living allowance. Smaller scholarships combined together can also end up providing what is essentially a full ride for students. That is one of the reasons why it is wise to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Some scholarship programs have a requirement that the student must maintain good academic standing to continue receiving the annual scholarship.

What are Some of the College Scholarships Available?

Some students at TIA are encouraged to apply for the prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship sponsored by Bill Gates and his wife. This scholarship can provide a full ride for 4 years and requires it’s applicants not only to be in good academic standing but also to be able to present themselves as well-rounded members of their community. Because many TIA students are from a Hispanic heritage, many apply to receive financial help from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This scholarship program also reviews its candidates using academic and social standards. Certain universities have their own scholarship funds. Northern Arizona University, for instance, sponsors the Lumberjack Scholarship which is based on academic achievement. For lower income families, another option is FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Federal Student Aid is a part of the U.S. Department of Education and is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. It provides federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to students for college. Without college scholarships, many students would not be able to attend school beyond their senior year at Tucson International Academy. Helping students apply for these scholarships as they prepare for a higher education is just another integral part of preparing our students for a global society.    

Interested in a school that can declare 100% of their students are college bound? Enroll Online Now!

Article by Betty Kruszka~TheJ3Effect

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What Is A Dual Credit Program- 5 Things You Should Know

Ever suffer from the “if onlys” when you missed out on something great? “If only I had studied a little more...” “If only I had saved the money I earned...” “If only I had asked that girl out...” Tucson International Academy, a Tucson Charter School,  has an opportunity you do not want to miss! Don’t end up being one who says,  “If only I had signed up for the dual credit program at TIA!”

What is the Dual Credit Program?

TIA, in partnership with Pima Community College, provides a dual enrollment program which allows students to earn up to 10 real college credits while still in high school. Students can attend the college level classes right on the TIA campus during their regular school day.The courses currently available are Reading 112, taught by Dr Jennifer Herrera (4 credits), Writing 101, taught by Mr. Lin Wu (3 credits) and Math 122 (Intermediate Algebra), taught by Mr. Young (3 credits).  Mr. Wu was also able to help 5 students who did well in the dual credit program to get merit scholarships at Pima. That means those students are getting two more years of college for free!

Is it really free?

Amazingly,  eligible students can earn up to 10 college credits in those three courses absolutely free! Just ask any college student drowning in student loans and you will fully understand the magnitude of this opportunity! Tuition alone for 10 college credits at Pima can run from about $650 to $1000! But what about books? Remarkably, TIA also covers the cost of all required books for each course!

Who is eligible to apply?

The program is for advanced TIA students in their junior and senior years. Students need to pass an entry exam to get into each course, and TIA provides transportation to the Pima College campus for the exams.

How long does it take?

Three classes are available. The reading course and the writing course can be taken in the fall semester and the math course is available during the spring semester. In order to complete all three classes, you should sign up by your junior year. You do not have to complete all three classes to be in the program.

How do I get started?

Mr.  Wu is the chairperson for TIA’s dual enrollment program. To get started, meet with him and he will assist you through the registration process. Mr. Wu is really excited about this program and he works tirelessly to help students who participate make huge strides toward college and beyond. Does TIA sound like the school for you? Enroll Here!  
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