Student in the Driver’s Seat
Encourage your student to take ownership of the admissions process. As a parent, it is crucial that you don’t become overly involved in the college search and applications process. Your student will soon be in charge of his own life and you won't be there to make decisions or remind him of his responsibilities. He soon will be navigating a new campus, a new world, and it is time to let him begin now.
Financial Aid Discussion
Parents must have a frank discussion with their student regarding finances and the cost of college tuition. There can be vast difference between the cost of a public university and a private university, and students need to understand the financial commitment involved. If student loans are necessary to fund college tuition, parents must have a lengthy conversation regarding debt and the future impact on the student.
Once a balanced list of colleges has been compiled, parents can assist with the planning of college visits. Parents can begin by mapping out the school year calendar and determining which holidays and long weekends can be used to tour campuses. Parents can feel free make travel arrangements, book hotels, and MapQuest directions. But once on campus, parents should step back and hand the reins over to the students.
Parents should read their student’s essays to check for grammar, spelling, etc. But please, please do not write the essays or over-edit the essays. The essay should clearly reflect the student’s voice, not the voice of a 50 year old parent. Colleges are looking for authenticity – an essay written by a parent will only raise a red flag.
The most important role parents should play in the college admissions process is listening to what the student wants from a college experience, instead of projecting their own aspirations. Just because you attended or dreamed of attending a certain college does not mean it is a good fit for your student.
Contact Mears College Consulting LLC for professional advice on the college admissions process today.