Sunday, January 3, 2010

January Back to School is a Great Time to Request a Senior Credit Audit

As High School Seniors prepare for exams, it is a great time to approach schools about a senior credit audit. Most schools should do this for parents in the fall, but not all do. Even students who we assume should be in the clear can find that with changing requirements, cuts in available courses, and promised waivers that fail to materialize problems can arise. Parents who ask in January to have this done can prepare for any possible issues. Parents who find out in May have few options to assist their children with finishing the school year and being allowed to graduate.

Truthfully, it is never too early to start asking for credit updates. Juniors should also be aware that they are on target to graduate. With courses being cut and requirements changing, it is easy to believe students are working hard and on target to graduate, only to find that there is a minor requirement that has not been met. Sometimes students are meeting outdated course requirements only to find that they are not aware of adjustments. Other students have fallen off the radar and parents need to be informed.

The best way to find out is to ask for a credit audit. Schools can help parents and students determine if children are on target to meet graduation goals and parents can help students make alternate plans if additional outside work will be required.

For those with college students, it is not a bad idea to talk with your children about doing the same thing on their own. Not all colleges grandfather students into programs. Children can start in a program with a set number of requirements and the program can change. Some schools will honor the original contract if the student gets the appropriate waivers. However, since many schools use a computer to generate graduation lists, it is important that students have verification that the computer agrees with their credit count. It is never fun to be fighting these battles during graduation week.

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