College Prep 101: How can you set your child up for success?

Many students will start college in the fall semester, but just over 60% will walk away with a degree. Even though fall is only a few months away, it's not too late for parents to get their kids on the right track.

More than 3 million kids are getting their high school diplomas this year, and approximately 2 million of them are enrolled and ready to go to college in the fall. Of those students, 61% will walk away with a degree.

“I think the thing that surprised me most was just being surrounded by a lot of people,” said college sophomore Tia Mummau.

“It was really cool to be able to kind of have some more independence, but it was a little nerve-wracking at first,” said UCF graduate Julia Collezo.

The academic, social and emotional stress of college can take its toll. In fact, 30% of college freshmen will drop out in their first year. But there are some last-minute preps you can do to help them succeed.

First, have them get a summer job. It will help them understand the importance of showing up on time and working hard.

“Even if it’s not necessarily relevant to a major, just have work experience is something that it’s a life experience,” said Matthew Ng, a doctoral student at UCF.

Help them track their own deadlines with online shared calendars like Google. Sit down together and create a budget for the year and allow them to come up with their own financial plan.

Many college freshmen say they felt lonely. Now is the time to look ahead with them and discuss volunteer opportunities and sign up for clubs on campus.

“Joining clubs, joining, um, activities extracurriculars was really kind of foundational for me feeling like comfortable in the transition,” Collezo said.

And most importantly, be sure to let them know that even though they may be leaving home, you’ll still be there for them.

The emotional well-being of your new college student is also important. Research the university’s counseling and peer support groups available to students to ensure that your teen knows where to go for assistance.