3 Ways to Prepare Your Child for the College Application Process

The Graduating Class of 2025

It’s possible that students who are in third grade today will make up the largest-ever pool of U.S. college applicants when they graduate high school in 2025, according to analysis by the Pew Research Center.

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Dr. Kimberly O’Malley, a senior researcher at Pearson, says it’s important for students to start preparing for college or career success early.

“Our research shows that learning lessons about things that go beyond academic achievement, like motivation or behavior, are key factors in a student’s preparation for college,” Kimberly says. “The good news,” she says, “is that we can measure these factors as early as middle school, when there’s time to intervene and help students get on track.”

Parents and College Readiness

Parents play a fundamental role in their child’s education, especially as a partner with teachers and schools. Seventy-eight percent of parents acknowledge their role and say they sometimes unfairly blame schools for things that should be their responsibility, according to a 2015 national survey of parents conducted for NBC news.

Here are three ways parents can develop their child’s learning skills at any age:


Seek out grade-appropriate tips for helping your child strengthen their learning abilities at every stage—in categories ranging from academic achievement, health and wellness, and social and emotional development. Parent Toolkit, produced by NBC News and supported by Pearson, provides benchmarks for students in these areas for each grade from pre-K through 12th grade.


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Choose educational games to make learning fun. There are a number of options for parents to choose from in this area, including FunBrain, which offers more than 100 free educational games, online books, and comics suitable for kids in preschool and up to the 8th grade.


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Constantly seek opportunities to enhance your child’s learning. Parents can help their child set future goals, like, for example, college graduation. Discus the benefits of college and support their child’s passions by emphasizing on a regular basis how math, science, and social studies – or whatever subject interests them—can be a college major and/or a potential career track. Parents can take their child on college campus visits and for information sessions in order to bring a level of grounded reality to their goals and aspirations.


You can find additional resources for parents at ParentToolkit.com. Please visit our Facebook page to share tips and information about what’s most relevant to parents and caregivers when it comes to kids and learning.