Here are a few excerpts from the CPR Student Preparation Guide:
Age One through Kindergarten. Explore the world with your child and take advantage of any and all learning opportunities. Think small--flowers, bugs and puddles. Think big--trees, pets, and the ocean. Start saving for college!
Grades 1 through 6. Enjoy books together. Praise accomplishments! Get involved in child's school. Help your child develop interests and hobbies outside of school. Continue to save for college!
Grades 7 and 8. Junior high or middle school is a critical time to lay the groundwork for high school. Your child should be getting good grades, participating in school activities and seeking opportunities for leadership. Keep saving for college!
Grade 9. Meet with your guidance counselor... to choose the right courses. Plan ahead so that there is enough time to take all of the math and other classes that college admissions officers want to see. Parents, stay involved. Find out what's involved in various occupations. Seek summer employment or volunteer work in a field that may be related to future career interests. Review your college savings plan and the student's personal budget. Your first "base year" for college aid begins January 1 of junior year.
Grade 10. Parents, plan with your students! Students, attend college fairs. Choose the right courses for college admissions and graduation. Practice for standardized tests by taking the PSAT. Read up-to-date books that describe colleges. Make a list of colleges that interest you. Parents consider your income and asset situation. Aid formulas look at income for base years ... in January of Junior year.
Grade 11. Grades for this year are important for college admission. Keep working! PSAT, SAT, ACT testing are in order. Attend financial aid information nights at school. Begin collecting financial data. This is your first base year. Plan college visits. Familiarize yourself with private scholarships. Check deadlines.
Grade 12. Strategize! Meet deadlines. Plan courses and schedule tests. Decide which colleges are most interesting to you. Prepare/update a college file. Make a list of due dates. Obtain needed recommendations. Family income tax returns should be prepared as early as possible. File the FAFSA. Complete your PROFILE for private college aid. Review the SAR (Student Aid Report). Send transcripts to colleges. Look into private scholarships and other funds and be mindful of the deadlines. Plan for finances and get ready for your first college bill. Receive and open letters from colleges to compare financial aid awards.