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.

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

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.

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

How can parents help students with the application process?

Here is my video response to the question.

Kiersten Murphy
Executive Director and Founder Murphy College Consultants LLC

Let your student drive the college process

The best way that a parent can help their child is to let their student 'drive the college process'. If a student wants to go to college, they will put forth the effort and do the work themselves, which includes the search and the application process. Parents can assist with college visit planning and acting as a sounding board when students need to bounce ideas around. Otherwise, parents should be hands-off and encourage their child to do the work.

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

Parents should plan on playing a supporting role!

Your child needs to be the one who actively drives the process. If they have trouble getting their applications and essays completed then how successful will they be at college on their own? Now is not the time to make excuses and "baby" them by filling out their applications and/or writing their essays. Your job is to chauffeur them to college visits and try to wait to hear their reactions before jumping in and telling them how much you loved/hated a particular college campus! You should encourage them to reflect deeply on what type of environment would suit them best. Be honest as to what you can really afford to spend and how far from home you might be comfortable with. But allow them this opportunity for some independence here. Show them that you trust them, within boundaries, to make good choices. Read and comment on their essays, but do NOT rewrite them for your kids, just because you think that you could do a better job! And most importantly, allow them to take on the risk of failure. That will make them so much more resilient for their future.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Parental Support

Parents will be best served if they view their role in the application process as that of support person. The whole application experience is a "first" for their child, so with that will come a certain level of anxiety. The skills the the student is developing during the admissions cycle will serve them well in college. Often the best thing a parent can do is hire an independent educational consultant to help them maintain perspective.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

self educated parents can help or don't even try

most parents are out of schools for years and did not have the updates about currently school setting and changing enviorment. they normally upgrade their knowledge during the college visits and improve themselves online. the best way to help the student during the application process is hire the right counselor.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

How can parents help students with the application process?

I always like to give parents a supportive role in the process. Mom and Dad can help to keep the process organized. You are also essential for helping with the college visits--those road trips can be prime family time if they are well thought out with fun activities included to alleviate stress. You can be the official photographer (too many colleges in too few days tend to run together) but stay in the background when it comes to asking questions during the information sessions. Remember that the student should be invested in the process!

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Parents: Be Supportive, But It Must Be Your Chld's Application

The best way parents can help students with the college application process is by allowing the student to make it their own. While parents obviously have a perspective and may have experiences to share, there have been vast changes since we went through it and as a result our experiences are of limited value. But more importantly, the process is about the child and their future, and the best assistance a parent can offer is support and a faith in their children’s decision making ability. With the ultimate goal of the process being to achieve the best fit for the student, it must be about them Parents can and should serve as sounding boards and where there are financial considerations, they owe it to their children to be honest about what that means, but ultimately the best way help is not to. Be there for them, but let it be their process.