For me, learning how to be my kids' teacher was a breeze compared to figuring out how to be their guidance counselor. Back when I was in high school, the college application process was a lot simpler than it is today -- and tuitions were a lot lower.
Some families hire private guidance counselors to shepherd their kids through the process, but that simply wasn't in our budget. In desperation, the summer before my older son's "senior year," I contacted our local high school guidance office for help.
To my surprise, the guidance counselor offered to help my son through the entire application process, and invited me to an information session for parents on financial aid. He even wrote my son a letter of recommendation!
Not every school district is going to be as accommodating, but I learned that it never hurts to ask for help. And I found that some of the things I did with my older son really came in handy as he was putting together his applications. Now that I know what works, I'm able to give my younger son an earlier start on getting ready for college.
Image: Kathy Ceceri