JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

College Planning Guide

Share this College Planning Guide with the parents of your college-bound students to help them plan ahead and prepare for their child's college goals.

  • Start saving early! The cost of tuition rises each year. In fact, over the last 10 years, tuition at Illinois colleges has increased nearly 75 percent. And tuition is only part of the cost of going to college. Other costs include fees, room and board or commuter expenses, books, supplies, etc. Take a look into the world of tuition in Illinois.
  • Support your child’s academic development, interests and talents. Encourage good study habits and be involved in his/her study time, school projects and extra-curricular activities. Keep your child motivated and stress the importance of being active and involved as important to preparing for junior high, high school and even college.
  • Start educating your child as early as possible. Whether your child stays home or attends a preschool, day care center or Head-Start program, help your child develop social and learning skills by letting him/her interact with other children.
  • You may want to take advantage of mentor programs in your area. Local schools, church programs, the YMCA, city-run programs and others, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, provide role models for many children.
  • Ask your child about his/her interests. Do activities and read books that relate to those interests. Based on what he/she enjoys, talk about college and possible careers. Talking about this early is important for developing skills and talents. Also, talking about the future will help develop strong dreams, keeping your child motivated and interested in academic and personal growth.
  • Be open to your child’s interests and dreams.  Encourage the exploration of ideas and offer alternatives.  It may help to research certain areas of interest with your child.  
  • Talk about college early to make the idea of attending very natural for your child.
  • Discuss why all classes are important for learning and growth. Explain the importance of subjects such as math, writing and science as they pertain to your child’s future.