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Getting Ready for College

College life is very different from high school. Talk to your child about the changes she'll have to make. Plan for what your child has to do to get into a good college.

Work hard in school.

  • Help your child study hard and get good grades.
  • Help your child choose good classes.
  • Ask for study tips from teachers and other students.
  • Make sure your child gets to class on time.
  • Read about one student's experience at college.

Take tests.

Most colleges ask your child to take certain tests. Please NOTE that deaf and hard of hearing students will typically do better on the ACT than they will on the SAT. The SAT and ACT are not exactly the same. Deaf or hard of hearing students usually do better on the ACT because the ACT asks questions on what students learn in high school.

Here's a list of important tests:

  • PSAT - most students take this their junior year of high school. Scores on the PSAT will help the student figure out how well they will do on the SAT for the PSAT is like a prep to the SAT. Visit the College Board's page on PSATs
  • SAT - The SAT is one of the most widely used tests to get into college. Most students take it in their junior and senior years in high school. Contact your child's high school counselor for a free practice test, and ask for lists of when and where the tests are given. Visit the College Board's page on SATs.
  • ACT - This is the other test that many colleges use to see who they should accept. It is not as old as the SAT so the ACT may not be as well known, but do not worry for most colleges will consider your child's ACT. Your child should ask her high school counselor for a free practice test, and ask for lists of when and where the test is given. And visit the ACT web site.
  • PLAN - this test can help all students who want to go to college. As a "pre-ACT" test, PLAN is a powerful tool to help prepare students to know what to study for on the ACT. You can buy books, like The Princeton Review or Kaplan, to help prepare your deaf or hard of hearing student to do well on the ACT and get into college. Deaf or Hard of Hearing students can take the PLAN in the fall or winter of their sophomore year.

Getting Hep on these Tests.

If your child needs to take any of these tests, send in the application forms on time. She may also need special help, like extra time. Ask the testing company about special help before she takes the test. The following links may be helpful:

The ACT's Services for Students with Disability

The SAT's Services for Students with Disabilities

Extra help

  • Ask your child's counselor for help signing up for tests.
  • Ask your child's school about SAT classes during or after school. These classes will help your child prepare for the test.
  • Some schools have test preparation programs and classes your child can take to do better on the test.
  • Make sure your child signs up for these classes if her school has them.
  • Contact the test preparation programs if they will provide special assistance, such as sign language interpreters and note-takers, for your deaf or hard of hearing child.

Join after-school sports or clubs

Colleges want to see that your child is well-rounded. That means your child can:

  • Get along well with others.
  • Do well in other things besides school.
  • Do lots of different things, like art, music, and sports.

Talk with your child about what she likes to do. Help your child find fun things to do after school.

Colleges want to know that your child gives his time to help others. Your child can:

  • Volunteer at church.
  • Volunteer at school.
  • Volunteer at a hospital.
  • Volunteer at a nursing home.
  • Work with younger kids as a mentor, tutor, or coach.
  • Babysit for a neighbor.
  • Help clean up the community.
  • Teach sign language and educate others about deafness.

Learn to use computers.
College professors expect your child to know how to use a computer. This means:

  • Type all work.
  • Do library research.
  • Know basic programs.

If you don't have a computer at home, your child can practice at school.

Next: Applying to College.

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