Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Take Your Kids to College This Summer

No matter how old your children are, they are (almost) never too young for college. Each year (including during the summer), colleges and universities hold many family friendly events. Most people know about the football and basketball games which are held on campuses near them, of course. But not everyone is aware of other activities. Some sporting events which families may attend are free, others have a nominal fee. The easiest way to find out what’s going on is to subscribe to the various online newsletters published by local colleges and universities. Practically every department on campus has an online publication of some sort.

Each season I receive brochures describing various performances held on the campus of a community college in my area. I went to a Christmas concert with a friend a few years ago, and have received mailings regularly since. Children benefit from attending sports, music, drama and other events on college campuses. Not only do they provide low cost entertainment, attending events on campus exposes children to collegiate life. They learn that college isn’t some far off fantasy, but a reality in their own neighborhood.

In addition to providing entertainment, colleges and universities often hold summer classes, workshops or programs for younger students. It may not be too late to enroll in such classes for this summer. I would check. Even if it is, connecting with these programs this year may make it easier to enroll next summer. My nieces were enrolled in Minecraft workshops at a university near their homes last summer. Their mothers learned of the program via word of mouth, but all such programs are announced online. Simply type “summer college enrichment programs” into your favorite search engine, and you’ll find lots of them. If you wish to stay close to home, go to the website of colleges near where you live and search there.

In addition to the enjoyment and learning children of all ages obtain from visiting college campuses, watching sports or other performances, or participating in enrichment programs, they can also improve their odds of earning scholarships for college. Be sure to record attendance in any program or class. List the names and dates of each, including the name of the instructor, and obtain a letter of recommendation, if appropriate. One of the most significant habits major college scholarship winners develop is attending enrichment programs on college campuses. Although attending these activities may just seem like a way to keep kids busy and entertained over the summer, it could end up paying for college later.

For more information, you'll want my new book, Free College Awareness, coming soon from Griffin Publishing and Watering Seeds. How to avoid needing college loans; available soon to families of Pre-K through High School students.

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