College and Career Planning

A college education is more important than ever before. The Department of Education of New York City is here to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for college and the 21st-century workforce.

Preparing your Child for College and Careers

Now is the right time to start thinking about college and careers. No matter what grade your child is in, you can help them begin preparing for their future.

Families of Elementary and Middle School Students

  • Talk to your child about how important it is for them to go to school every day. Attendance is a strong predictor of your child’s academic success.
  • Encourage your child to read every day. Reading will help them do well in every subject.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences and school activities. Talk with teachers about how your child is doing in school and monitor your child’s progress.
  • Help your child develop good habits such as being punctual, organized and working well with others. These are all habits they will need to be successful in college and in their career.
  • Help your child to explore their interests and join clubs or programs. Ask your child about their favorite subjects, hobbies, and activities.

Families of High School Students

Continue doing the activities mentioned above and:

  • Talk to your child about getting good grades in high school and make sure your child is on track to graduate high school. Your child needs to get a high school diploma or get a GED/HSE to apply to college.
    • To graduate from high school, your child needs 44 credits and pass five Regents Exams.
    • Visit the Graduation Requirements page to learn more about credits and state exams your child needs to graduate from high school.
  • Encourage your child to take challenging classes and do well in those classes.
  • Visit at least two colleges with your child every year and attend college fairs. Take a list of questions and listen to what they think about each college.
  • Help your child prepare for the SATs. Some colleges also require college tests called ACTs.
  • Meet with your child’s school counselor and teachers, ask them to share information on colleges that match your child’s interests, paying for college, and begin planning for their future as a team.
  • You can also use The College Board's Family Action Plan for high school students and the First in the Family website to plan for their high school years.
  • Encourage your child to take challenging classes and do well in those classes.

Educators can find resources to support students in college and career planning on WeTeachNYC.

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