How can parents help students with the application process?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

How can parents help students with the application process?

Cat McManus
Assistant Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

How can parents help students with the application process?

Here is my video response to the question.

Pam Proctor
Author The College Hook

How can parents help students with the application process?

Here is my video response to the question.

Jeana Robbins
Counselor

How can parents help students with the application process?

Parents can help students with the application process in many ways. They can help by providing a supportive and quiet environment for students to complete applications. They can help by being present to assist the student when he/she has difficulty understanding a question or requirement. They can also review the students application prior to his or her submission.

Kris Hintz
Founder Position U 4 College LLC

How can parents help students with the application process?

Parents can help students with the application process by being informed themselves, getting their kids started early on, and providing basic "touchpoint" structure to the process. Micromanaging is not necessary nor advisable, since it is toxic for the parent-teen relationship and does not improve the student's application as much as the parents may think it does.

Patricia Aviezer
President Inside Track To College, Inc.

How can parents help students with the application process?

Although students need to be in the "drivers seat" during the college selection process, parents are a part of the team! Since there are so many changes occuring to the college admissions and financial climate, it is impossible for a student to keep up with all of the information flooding them. Parents can help by keeping abreast and identifying reliable sources of information. Parents have an important role in helping to arrange college visits, exploring career center and support resources at colleges during visiting and reducing student stress by removing obstacles and unneeded worry about test prep, SAT/ACT testing costs and application fees. Open communication, dialogue and patience are essential now, and parents need to resolve their own anxieties about the college decision before they can provide the best support!

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How can parents help students with the application process?

Most of the best things a parent can do should take place prior to the applicant process. All parents can take an interest in and be supportive of their child's goals. Helping them seek out opportunities to explore interests in further depth is great. Parents who have been to college can talk to their kids about what their experience was like and how they selected a college. Parents can also make a point of showing their kids colleges of varying types. A visit to a major city like Boston or New York can mix in college visits with other activities. This will all increase the students own internal motivation for the strenuous application process. During the process, a parent needs to make sure that their child is making appropriate progress, but keeping the college application process in the proper perspective is probably the most helpful thing a parent can do.

Dr. Bruce Neimeyer
CEO/Partner Global College Search Associates, LLC

How can parents help students with the application process?

The best thing a parent can do for their student is to help with organization! There are so many parts to the application process and similar to many tasks in life, it can easily become overwhelming. When it does, students tend to shut down and the process stalls. That is exactly when the frustration start to evolve between the parent and the student. To prevent this from happening, my suggestion is for the parent to help in the planning and organization of the steps that need to be taken for each college application. This is typically tedious and the part that students hate the most. By taking away this burden in the process, it allows parents to feel they are being helpful and allows the student to focus on more important things such as the creation of a meaningful essay, maintaining their grades and doing well in their senior year and just enjoying the whole experience. Their are many other ways in which a parent might be helpful depending on the situation and their relationship with their child or the students particular weaknesses in completing such a process but helping with the overall organization always seems to be a winner for the families with which I work.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

How can parents help students with the application process?

The best way for parents to help wtih the application process is to be involved and supportive while at the same time listening to their child's thoughts and concerns. Take your child on college visits but allow him or her to ask the questions and form an opinion. Encourage them to make notes after every visit and ask about their impressions. College tuition is very expensive and should be calmly discussed in terms of what the family's finances allow. Help your student brainstorm about possible essay topics but let him or her write it themselves. Make comments on the essay rather than do rewrites. Ask you child how you can help but don't take over the process.

Roland Allen

How can parents help students with the application process?

Parents should be partners with their child's college counselor in the college application process. However, it's important for parents to support, rather than drive the college process. One tip is for parents to agree to one time each week to talk about college and stick to that schedule. I recommend Sunday nights.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

How can parents help students with the application process?

Students should be the CEO of the process. Students manage the process and make decisions. Parents serve an important role as key investors, as such they should outline expectations and parameters at the beginning of the process and then turn the reigns over. Investors shouldn't be entangled in day to day operations. If you want to be more involved, think of yourself as a personal assistant to your student. Help make the boss look good. Take great notes that helps the boss prepare for upcoming meetings and appointments. Manage the boss’ calendar and schedule appointments. If you go shopping for the boss and you come back with a suit that he doesn’t like—take it back. Trying to talk the boss into the suit you chose might get you fired. The stakes are too high to lose the job. Don’t make up your child’s mind for him. Don’t make decisions.