Parent Resources

Parent Toolkit is produced by NBC News Education Nation and includes information about almost every aspect of your child’s development, from early education to college and careers.

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Big Future is a free, comprehensive resource that helps both students and parents to make college planning easier. They provide parent action plans from middle school through each year of high school and information on financial aid.

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Parent Action Plan 9th Grade

Summer Before High School
  • Visit a college campus together
  • Get facts about what college costs
  • Learn how to explore career ideas


     

 

Fall
  • Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor
  • Help set goals for the school year
  • Plan to check in regularly about schoolwork
  • Talk about extracurricular activities


     

 

Winter
  • Start thinking about financial aid
  • Discuss next year's classes

     

 

Spring
  • Help your child start a college list
  • See how much you need to save for college
  • Help make summer plans


     

 
Parent Action Plan 11th Grade
Summer
  • Get facts about what college costs
  • Explore financial aid options


     

 

Fall
  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor
  • Help your child stay organized
  • Help your junior prepare for the ACT
  • Encourage your child to set goals for the school year

 

Winter
  • Review ACT results together
  • Discuss taking advanced classes next year

 

Spring
  • Search together for colleges that meet your child's needs
  • Help your child research scholarships
  • Attend college fairs and financial aid events
  • Help your child make summer plans
  • Visit colleges together


     

 
Parent Action Plan 10th Grade
Summer
  • Visit a college campus together
  • Get facts about what college costs
  • Help your sophomore explore career ideas


     

 

Fall
  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor
  • Encourage your child to set goals for the school year
  • Check in regularly about school work

 

Winter
  • Start thinking of ways to pay for college
  • Discuss next year's classes

 

Spring
  • Make a college list
  • See how much you need to save for college
  • Help make summer plans


     

 
Parent Action Plan 12th Grade
Summer
  • Visit colleges together
  • Help your senior finalize a college list
  • Find out a college's actual cost
  • Encourage your child to start applying
  • Gather financial aid documents


     

 

Fall
  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor
  • Create a calendar with your child
  • Help your child find and apply for scholarships
  • Offer to look over your senior's college applications
  • Fill out FAFSA beginning October 1st
  • Encourage your child to set up college interviews

 

Winter
  • Work together to apply for financial aid
  • Learn about college loan options
     

 

Spring
  • Help your child process college responses
  • Review financial aid offers together
  • Help your child complete the paperwork to accept a college's offer of admittance

     

 

Step 1

Create an account (FSA ID)

Step 2

Start the FAFSA® form at fafsa.gov

 

step 3

Fill out the student demographic section

 

step 4

List the schools to which you want your FAFSA® information sent

 

step 5

Answer the dependency status questions

step 6

Fill out the parent demographic section

 

step 7

Supply your financial information

 

step 8

Sign your child's FAFSA form