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Ease Your Way Through The College Planning Process #JourneytoCollege

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from SheSpeaks on behalf of the Kaplan Test Prep. We received a stipend to share our honest experience of the College Planning Process.  I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.

Ease Your Way Through The College Admissions Process


It seems like only yesterday that I graduated from college. My second college degree came late in life.  I was 42 years old.  So when my son graduated from high school four years ago and joined the work force instead of heading off to college I wasn’t the least bit worried.  I knew when he was ready he would make the journey and when he was ready we would go through the college planning process together.  Although it was only eight years ago that I got my degree we relied heavily on Kaplan‘s KapMap to help us map out his future.  We want to share our experience here for you in hopes of making it easier for other parents…


Frequently Asked Questions on the College Planning Process

How did you approach the college application process?

We began over a year out preparing for college admissions by visiting each college online and making notes on what they require for their applications. We found some schools required  references and SATs while others had different requirements.  This made it easier for when we sat down to do the applications.

What advice would you give moms who are currently going through the college planning process?

Take meticulous notes. Getting all the requirements a college has for admissions, financial aid, proof of residency, etc. can be tedious and you wont believe how many times they will ask for the same paperwork.  I swear there is an abyss of forms at every school.  You have to stay organized!
What are some of the challenges you faced during the college admissions process?

Financial aid and residency were our biggest problems since we moved out of state and my son is still considered a dependent.  Although we did this for the same school each department needed their own set of forms and proof of income, etc.  When we thought we satisfied everything we found out we needed to turn the same paperwork into the other department.
What are the things you wish you would have known prior to starting the process?

I wish my son had known how important SAT scores were for enrollment into some of the schools he was interested in and I wish we had kept better records for admissions purposes.
What have you learned about your child through the process?

I learned my son was much more capable than I gave him credit for!
What surprised you about the college admissions process?

The time it takes to get everything done. Applying for college can’t be a last minute thing.  It takes a lot of preparation and more paperwork than you can imagine!
What did you learn after downloading the KapMap?

Since my son didn’t go to college right after graduation he never got recommendations from his high school teachers.  Big mistake!  After 4 years a lot of his teachers are no longer there and since we moved out of state it was difficult getting references.

Would you have found the guide helpful when you were going through the process?


How would you go about the process if you had to do it all over again?

We would have prepared more through high school, as suggested in the KapMap.  Had we been preparing all along not only would my son had more options, but possibly more scholarships.

How did you manage all the key factors in the college admissions process?

We found the KapMap a great resources for managing grades, test prep, my son’s course load, admissions and application timeline, the application essay, your my son’s social media profile.  We weren’t really worried too much about his social media profile though because we beat that into his head ever since he made his first profile.

Kaplan’s Special Offer:  Save $100 when you enroll in Kaplan’s SAT and ACT course through 8/28.* Promocode: SHESPEAKS100

My best advice is to check out what Kaplan has to offer and to encourage others to download the KapMap – it’s never too early!



  1. Mary Ambrosino says:

    Some great advice and Kaplan’s sounds like just what resource someone headed to college needs.