What can parents do to support the university application process?

Discuss Career Goals 

Encourage your child to explore career paths and develop career goals with the clear understanding that initial interests may change over time. Really, it’s the thought process that counts. Help your child to identify interests, likes and dislikes, not just in academics, but in all areas. This will help to focus on specific goals. Encourage your child to discuss career options with others, such as the Higher Education Counsellor, teachers and recent college graduates who are working professionals in the community. Emphasise that academic and co-curricular engagement now will help pave the road for university choices and the transition into higher education.

Discuss Expectations

Make sure that you and your child have discussed each other’s expectations in regards to the university search. What regions of the world are being considered? What academic subject(s) are being pursued? What type of institution and environment will lead to success, both academically and personally? Will you be looking for scholarships? Having frank discussions around your child’s and your own expectations at the outset will make the process transparent and fluid throughout. 

Suggest CAS activities

Encourage your child to become active in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community service activity. Remember that universities would rather see real involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several.  In addition, CAS activities help students develop time-management skills and enrich the school experience.

Meet with the Higher Education Counsellor

You are welcome to make an appointment to come in with your child during the school year and discuss future plans with the Higher Education Counsellor. Please note that this process is best worked through as a team effort, including ownership by the student, partnership with parents, and guidance and expertise of the counsellor. 

Encourage Participation in Meaningful Summer Activities

There are myriad summer opportunities available for students. Many universities offer summer school programmes for high school students, while some companies are willing to hire students for (usually unpaid) internships. These activities can provide practical ways of finding out more about potential career choices.

Learn about External Tests

Tests such as the PSAT, SAT & TOEFL provide valuable feedback, and students can then work on academic weaknesses while there is still ample time to improve them. The SAT is required for many universities in the USA and the TOEFL and IELTS are used worldwide for English Language Learners.

Attend University and Career Fairs

These often take place in September - December at various locations throughout Hong Kong. Many universities also visit our school, during break and lunch times, and after school. Encourage your child to attend as many of these visits as possible. Please regularly check the Discovery College website for upcoming visits.

Tour University Campuses

If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel opportunities to visit universities and see what they’re like. Even if there is no interest in attending the university you are visiting, it will help your child learn what to look for in a university.