10/8/14

Reflections on our #JourneyToCollege

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep.
I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.
My boys have just started their sophomore year in college this fall and they've both grown up so much in the past year. I distinctly remember the fear in my heart as I dropped them each off at the college they had chosen and drove away. Both had a different "Journey to College" experience as they prepared for the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Ryan is a highly organizational person. He registered for his college entrance exams early in his high school years. John is more of a laid-back person. I believe he rushed to take his entrance exams on the very last date available and he had to drive quite a way to where it was held. Ryan studied for his college entrance exams and John didn't bother. Both did well and got into the Texas college of their choice. As a mom, I encouraged both of them to prepare. Kaplan Test Prep is one of the leading college planning websites, full of tips and advice on the SAT, ACT, PSAT/NMSQT, AP Exams, and SAT subject tests. It's also a wonderful resource on college financial aid scholarships, plus information about applying to college.

Ryan and John both knew they were going to need financial aid to go to college. Ryan began applying for scholarships very early on, and managed to secure a $10,000/year scholarship at his college. He also needed a few student loans and started working a part time job a few months after he started college. John needed student loans too and secured a near-full-time job within a month of starting college. Ryan and John both worked closely with their financial aid officers at their colleges to make sure they turned in all the required paperwork, and trust me, there was a lot of paperwork! But both boys led the way and came to us only when they needed our help with something.

This year, they are both living in off-campus apartments while they take classes on campus. I'm so proud of them both. Ryan works as a computer science tutor and even teaches some of the computer science labs at his college. John is working as a supervisor at the same job he started over a year ago. They've learned that college can be challenging, and that preparation and organization go a long way in easing the stress associated with college. They have both grown into wonderful men and it makes my heart happy to watch them succeed.

If your child is preparing to go to college soon, visit the KapMap and get your free KapMap College Planner and stay ahead of the curve! It's a month-by-month planner that includes when to apply, why test prep matters, how to apply for financial aid, what to consider when choosing a college, and much more. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy your child's #JourneyToCollege!
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