March 16, 2019
6 Ways Parents Can Help in the Admissions Process
1. Work with your child to set a timetable. This is a good place to take the lead, especially if your son or daughter is prone to procrastination or doesn't want to think about college yet. At the beginning of junior year (or better yet, in the summer prior to junior year), sit down together and plan a schedule. Things to calendar: making the initial list, visiting the colleges, taking the SAT or ACT, and writing the applications.
2. Offer guidance in developing a preliminary list. With thousands of choices, many students have no idea where to start. Help your child frame his preferences: big vs. small, near home or far away, city or rural.
3. Support your student in doing research. Once your child has settled on a couple of choices, encourage them to locate colleges with similar characteristics using resources such as the search tools at usnews.com (ask Entrance Advisor if you need logon assistance), the "choose a college" function at collegeresults.org and college websites. Discuss pruning any schools you can't afford to avoid disappointment later.
4. Don't commandeer the college trips. Encourage your child to take the initiative in setting up the information session, campus tour, lunch with a student and, most important, visit to a class. Participate in the group activities, but let your child handle the class and interactions with students on her own. Be a sounding board.
5. Be a calming influence. The college search is a multiyear process, with moments of high stress and self-doubt. Kids are not used to this. Be empathetic and encourage your child to take things one step at a time.
6. Let your child "own" the decision. Remember, it's their life, not yours.