Preparing students and parents for college

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For Noah Heath, the reality of college hit hard while he was a junior at Dublin Jerome High School.

"It dawned on me that I needed to focus more on what I wanted to do than the social aspect of college," he said.

So did the questions: Where to go? What to study? What scholarships are available?

His mother, Tanya, felt that reality, too, while toeing the line of assertive coach and caring parent.

"It's daunting to try to know where that line is and how many times you take the ACT and how much do you keep going back and how much help do you get in order to be ready for it," she said. "So, it can be a little overwhelming."

Overwhelming, but necessary.

The Heaths say when it came to being college prepared - they weren't prepared.

"Not even close," Tanya said. "No, really, we would have no idea, I think, without their help."

Without the help of Bethany Schweitzer, who has spent the last 11 years helping to prepare high school students for college with ACT/SAT prep, focusing on their interests and college applications.

She also focuses on making sure the school is an academic fit, a social fit and perhaps the biggest: a financial fit.

This is where she says students and parents tend to make the biggest mistake by not paying attention to GPA, which can be on a student's transcript as early as the eighth grade.

"The higher we're able to help students get their score up, the more scholarship money they're able to find," Schweitzer said.

She likens college to buying a car. The more you put down, the less your payments will be. It's why it's so important to save money. Or, when it comes to college, it's why it's important to keep your GPA and test scores up to be able to qualify for more scholarship money.

"I would argue if you are a C-student with a 20 on the ACT, often times sticker price is what you're going to be paying," she said.

Heath says he stepped up his game as a junior. Now, as a senior, and because of College Ready, he is narrowing down his college choices.

"He really responded to it great and I love to see him now excited about his future and focuses on what he needs to do in order to get there," Tanya said. "He's done an excellent job making great opportunities for himself."

For more information on College Ready, click on www.collegereadyus.com or call 740-972-0700.