Admission News

How Parents Can Help with the College Application Process

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More and more parents are getting involved with helping their son or daughter apply to college. And, there are good reasons for them to do so. One is because of the competitive nature of college admission today. Students need all the help they can get, and that’s what parents are for, after all. Also, because of the serious nature of applying to college in a competitive atmosphere, parents want to make sure their son or daughter is really applying him or herself to the application process. Finally, going to college is a large monetary investment which involves contributions from parents so parents should have a hand in it.

Here are some tips for parents to be better helpers in the application process for college admission.

Frist, help your son or daughter right away make a college list – Students should have a list of five to seven schools. Help them decide which are reaches and which are likelies. Make sure to also look at net price calculators for colleges to eliminate schools that are not affordable. Once you have the list and the colleges have been separated, let your son or daughter start applying right away to schools where they will likely to get in. This will give them both practice and confidence and free up yours and their time for the more difficult schools.

Make sure your son or daughter takes responsibility in the application process – There are two things you can do here as parents to help that to happen:

• Together set a timeline – Make sure you have down dates for taking the college entrance tests (SATs and ACTs). Set dates for sending test scores, note deadline dates for applications to be mailed, and divide the tasks of each application form and set times for those things to be accomplished (essays, résumés, etc.) When your son or daughter meets a deadline, offer a reward like a favorite meal or keys to the car.

• Have your son or daughter keep track of college application costs – Your son or daughter should see how applications can affect the budget. One suggestion is to give your son or daughter a debit card for a college account and have him or her pay the costs as he or she goes along to see what monies are spent.

Oversee the whole application for product quality – Make sure to use the print preview for each application. Your job can be to proofread and make final suggestions to assure the best application is going out.

There is one major DON’T for patents! Don’t write or over edit the college essay. College admission officers say they can spot too much parent help in an essay right away. Let your son or daughter write about what he or she is interested in so it will be more passionate. Also your son’s or daughter’s voice is important to make the essay sound more genuine. It should not be adult-sounding. Finally, too much editing and too many adult suggests can make the essay seem overdone.

Parents are there for all kinds of reasons, and helping out with the college admission process is important, but it is also a learning process. Make sure you involve yourselves and your son or daughter in a balanced way.