The Launch: 3 Ways Hubby and I are preparing our Rising Senior for College and Life Beyond

Ramona DeBreaux is getting you ready for back to school!

July 23, 2019
Ramona and family

I know every parent and student hears this, “what you do now will determine the rest of your life!”

Reflecting back on my junior and high school years, it was 100% true.

The grades, the books I read, the volunteer hours I spent in junior high - all of them led to my experience in high school which set me up for my college experience. 

I was fortunate enough to have received a full academic scholarship to college while my husband had a non-traditional path so all this to say that we all too familiar with the college application and interview process that our Leah is embarking on. 

We know what a whirlwind senior year is for most students. There’s prom, pictures, rings, senior trips, etc, but this is also the most critical time. I call it the "quiet before the storm of life”. Dramatic I know but it’s true. That’s why we’re trying to give the balance between fun and academia because we’ve been there and done that.

Of course, every child is different and we are finding that what motivated us may not work for her. Nonetheless, here is a checklist that we have set for this 2019-2020 school year to get her off the school.

1. We created a master list to start the year

  • Tests you’ll take and their fees, dates, and registration deadlines 
  • College application due dates 
  • Required financial aid application forms and their deadlines (aid applications may be due before college applications) 
  • Other materials you’ll need (recommendations, transcripts, etc.) 
  • Your high school’s application processing deadlines

Our Comments:

From our experience, and as teachers advised, students forget. This is your list, not theirs. The bottom line is yes, we want them to learn responsibility but WE have to stay on their sometimes wandering minds. Opportunities should not be missed just because of a deadline or two that WE should have been on top of.


2. School Counselor, Teachers, Advisors are there for YOU, so reach out to them now! 

You are not alone.  Not only can they help you with important dates to remember but they can help you request fee waivers if you can’t afford application or test fees. They know prospective school deadlines and even recruiters. They are the Gatekeepers to the Gatekeepers. They will also be bombarded with seniors and their parents they have not met before. If this is you then don’t be discouraged. Jump in and take charge. You can still make and prepare for crucial deadlines now.       

Our Comments:

My teen’s school college advisor is a beast. He set up weekend college tours in the offseason and kept up with Leah’s college aspirations. Please email yours today and be present for the open house.    


3. Follow the Money        

There’s an app called Scholly. It creates a new list (every week) of scholarships and grants based on your child’s interests, achievements, etc.          

There is also a plethora of information in your school's college advisory office. Libraries- yes libraries- have books of scholarships and with the internet- come on. There’s nothing but space and opportunity and they’re not all based on academics either.  

Our comments:

We are relentless because we were blessed enough to have information about the resources that go untapped, particularly in our community. I don’t know if we’ll find anything but so far it looks promising. 

Speaking of money, MONEY MANAGEMENT is a thing. Really. If your teen has no concept of what things cost or needs to learn quickly before life hits them…try the CURRENT card. My sister and I have it for our teen and they get money based off of chores, tasks, grades, etc, being completed. Leah started to do chores quicker for money. I know, they have to do them anyway but this helped her experience what it was like to earn like she had a job. 


In conclusion, these are just 3 things that we’re doing to get Leah ready for her Senior year which is really just getting her ready for college. Please feel free to send me your tips so I can try them and also add them to this list.