A parent’s guide

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Parents, you’ve finally reached the point you’ve been waiting for since they were born – your student’s senior year.  Soon they will be off to college, and it will be time to sit back, relax, and take in the scenery, right?  Well, not exactly.  Making the transition between high school and college is not only an important step for students, but also for parents.  We know this can be a stressful and sleepless time, so below is a list of tips and tricks for you to better help your student navigate the college process:

Keep Them Motivated 

High school seniors are notorious for suffering from “senioritis”, which can set them back once they reach a college setting.  Encourage your student to make a class schedule that strikes a balance between fun and challenging courses.  Keeping a focus on studying and time-management will make your student’s transition to college coursework a lot smoother. Mountwest offers early-entry for high school students who would like to get a jump start on their college education.

Do Your Research

In the land of job hunting, not all programs are created equal.  If your student is interested in a specific field, find out what degrees and certifications are needed to be a top candidate for employers.  Most career fields have professional organizations or associations that can provide you with up-to-date information on job trends and requirements.  Career Services, located in the One-Stop Student Services center, can assist you and your student with resume writing, interview tips, and internship possibilities.

Visit the Campus 

Most people would never buy a car without test-driving it, so why agree to attend a college you’ve never seen?  Visiting campus provides you and your student the opportunity to hear first-hand about college life and available resources from current students, staff and faculty. Remember, your student will be committing two or more years to the college they choose, so make sure it is a place they feel comfortable and successful. Our new campus offers state-of-the-art classrooms with the latest technology and many other amenities, so stop by and let one of our Peer Coaches show you what we have to offer.

Use Your Experience 

Even if you did not attend college yourself, you have something your student doesn’t – life experience.  With that said, it’s important to remember to let your student make their own decisions (and mistakes) concerning their college career.  Wait to offer your guidance, and let them develop their own confidence and critical thinking skills (you can always throw in an, “I told you so” later).  If they get stuck, they can always consult one of our Student Success Counselors on all matters Mountwest.

Know Your Deadlines 

Ever heard the old adage, “Better late than never?”  That person clearly was not talking about paying for college.  Be aware of deadlines, especially concerning the FAFSA and financial aid.  Many grants and scholarships require students to have their information submitted well before the semester begins.  If you are not sure, our financial aid counselors can give you a timeline that can keep you on track with both state and federal deadlines.


If all else fails, ASK 

The only stupid question is the one never asked, so reach out for help if you don’t know what to do.  From the start of your application all the way to graduation, Mountwest is dedicated to providing each student (and parent!) with the support and resources needed to be successful. Whether your student wants to enroll in a full-time associate degree or certificate program, earn transfer credits for a four-year degree or just take a few courses to get their feet wet, Mountwest offers exceptional programs at an affordable price, which is something both students and parents can agree on.

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