Junior year is in the rear-view mirror, which means you are now the parent of a high school senior.

Congratulations to you both! It promises to be an exciting and rewarding year, with college applications right around the corner.

As a parent—especially if you’re going through the application process for the first time—helping to manage your child’s applications, scheduling college visits, and figuring out financial aid can feel overwhelming. The best strategy to combat the stress is to take advantage of the summer before application season to prepare yourself and your teen for the work to come. Here’s how to maximize      your summer to position your child for success.

Create a Schedule for Senior Year

Your rising senior has a lot of important dates coming up. Aside from the college application deadlines, there are deadlines for scholarship applications, schedules for college visits, and timelines to follow for financial aid. Jennifer Nuechterlein, a college and career counselor at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey, says, “Help them get organized by making a chart or shared Google spreadsheet. Almost everything is electronic in this process, so keeping your organization electronic is helpful.”

Try to find a balance between staying on top of your kid’s progress and smothering them with college talk. A schedule can help here too. “Choosing one time each week—Sundays at 4 p.m., for example, at the kitchen table—will force you to save your college matters for that date and allow your child more freedom in knowing that college will not overpower every conversation you have,” says Nuechterlein.

Organize Your Finances and Create a Budget

For many parents, one of the most intimidating parts of sending a child to college is the cost. Even before acceptance letters, award letters, or even a final list of where your child wants to apply, you can begin the process of preparing yourself—and your wallet—for college costs. Take a hard look at your finances, create a budget if you’re helping your child pay for college and consider talking to a financial adviser about what’s possible for your family. Summer is too early to apply for financial aid since the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) does not become available until October 1. But it’s not too early to gather the information you will need when it’s time to apply. You can also use this period to have a frank conversation with your student about what you’re able to contribute to their college education, how to manage student loans and the impact of debt on their future.

Instill Financial Responsibility in Your Child

Paying tuition isn’t the only cost associated with college. Your child is going to have considerably more financial freedom and responsibility when they begin      their freshman year. To help prepare them, high school students should open      their own bank account and learn how to manage their spending. If your teen is already doing this, you may want to consider the next step: a credit card. Michael Roub, parent of a college freshman, recommends getting one in your child’s name before they leave for campus. “We got our son a credit card that he began managing during his senior year. He understands basic finances and spends within his means. It is easy to guide your child when they are still at home, but once they’re away without some comfort and experience, this could be a major problem for many 18-year-olds.” There are credit cards for students that feature lower credit limits, or you could add your child as an authorized user to one of your cards if they aren’t ready for their own. Learning how to responsibly use and manage credit will help your student once they are out of college and living independently.

Raise Your Child’s Social Media Awareness

“One of the most overlooked items on the college prep checklist is cleaning up a student’s digital identity,” says reputation strategy adviser Jonas Sickler. Check up on what your kid is doing and saying online because a college admission officer could do the same. “As a father of a nearly college-bound teen, I frequently remind my son that his online activity can resurface at any time, and it can affect his college enrollment,” Sickler says. “I ask him to spend some time each month removing posts that could be seen as inappropriate. It’s also smart to do monthly searches for your child’s name on Google.”

Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation, but when your high schooler is a rising senior, it’s also the perfect opportunity to begin the prep process for college. By getting started now, you can help your child be as prepared as possible before the school year kicks off—allowing you both to navigate what’s to come with added grace and confidence.

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