College Guide for Aldine Parents

It’s never too early to plan for college

Why is College Important?

  • College is an investment in your future.
  • College graduates have the potential to earn more money.
  • A college education provides more job opportunities.
  • College graduates enjoy a better quality of life. * Most jobs today require some form of college education.

Look How Far you can go!

Higher education is worth the extra effort. Statistics show that the higher your education level, the higher your annual income potential. A college education can open up a world of possibilities for your child. A college graduate can earn up to $1 million more than a person with just a high school diploma.

Education Income Level
Professional Degree $119,343
Doctorate Degree $93,593
Master’s Degree $68,302
Bachelor’s Degree $56,740
Associate Degree $39,662
High School Diploma $31,664
No High School Diploma $23,612

Types of Colleges

Four-year Colleges and Universities – Offer bachelor’s degrees in various fields of study Two-year Colleges and Universities – Offer associates degrees, certificates for specialized training and courses for transfer credit. Vocational and Technical Colleges – Private schools specializing in trades or vocations.

There are over 3,800 colleges and universities in the United States. Encourage your child to research and explore all of their options for secondary education.

College Testing Requirements

Most four–year universities require students to take a college entrance exam as part of their admissions requirements. Colleges in Texas also require students to take the THEA test to determine college readiness. 

PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test)

  • Practice test designed to prepare students for the SAT
  • Test can be taken in both 10th and 11th grade

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

  • Tests critical reading, writing and math skills
  • SAT Subject Tests may also be required by select colleges

ACT (American College Test)

  • Tests English, math, reading and science reasoning
  • Includes an optional writing section

THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment)

  • Test used to evaluate reading math and writing skills
  • Determines if students will take remedial classes in college

Admission Requirements

Colleges are looking for well-rounded students that are able to maintain a good academic record while also being actively involved in their school and community.

  • Academic Records
  • Test Scores
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Essay(s)
  • Student Activities and Employment

College Costs

The cost of college depends on what type of institution your child will attend and whether or not it is public or private. College costs usually include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. While college costs can be expensive, don’t put your dream of a college education for your child on hold because you think you can’t afford it!

Paying for College

Many families pay for college using savings, current earnings and prepaid tuition plans. More than half of all families receive some type of financial aid to pay for college.

Types of Financial Aid:

  • Grants – Need-based aid that does have to be paid back.
  • Loans – Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest.
  • Work-Study – Allows students to work to earn money for educational expenses.
  • Scholarships – Usually awarded based on grades, talent or need.

What can you do to prepare your child?

Prekindergarten-6th Grade

  • Emphasize the importance of maintaining good grades and attending school daily
  • Start talking about college
  • Be actively involved in your child’s education
  • Read to your child
  • Encourage good study habits
  • Visit a college campus
  • Start saving now, every dollar counts!

Middle School

  • Continue to emphasize good grades and attendance
  • Talk about goals and future career plans
  • Talk to the counselor about high school graduation requirements
  • Learn about earning college credit while still in high school
  • Ask about college prep programs such as AVID, Talent Search or Upward Bound
  • Visit a college campus

9th Grade

  • Continue to emphasize good grades and attendance
  • Encourage your child to take challenging
  • Meet with the counselor to discuss college and career plans
  • Encourage participation in extracurricular and volunteer activities
  • Investigate summer college enrichment programs

10th Grade

  • Continue to emphasize good grades and attendance
  • Have your child take the PSAT in October
  • Develop a list of potential colleges and universities
  • Research college admissions requirements
  • Attend college fairs and college and financial aid workshops
  • Talk to the counselor about enrolling in AP, IB or Dual Credit courses

11th Grade

  • Continue to emphasize good grades and attendance
  • Meet with the counselor to review transcripts and graduation plans
  • Narrow down your list of potential colleges
  • Have your child take the PSAT again
  • Attend college fairs and college and financial aid workshops
  • Register your child to take the SAT or ACT in the spring or summer
  • Help your child develop a resumé that list activities and accomplishments
  • Begin researching scholarship opportunities

12th Grade

  • Continue to emphasize good grades and attendance
  • Make sure your child is on track to graduate
  • Attend college fairs and college and financial aid workshops
  • Help your child apply for scholarships
  • Narrow college choices down to the top five picks
  • Begin the college application process in the fall
  • Register your child for the SAT or ACT test
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Stu- dent Aid (FAFSA)
  • Help finalize college plans and financial aid offers

Twiana Collier
AISD Coordinator of Student Financial Aid
Phone: 281.985.6649

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