Parents as Partners
Yes, students are the ones going to school; however, parents do have a part in the selection process. Some parents choose to remain fairly non-involved in the selection process, while other parents want to make the entire decision. Actually their role lies in between. Even though the decision is the students, parents should have some input if students plan to receive parent’s financial and/or emotional support along the way.
Communication— Speaking with (not at) and listening to each other is the key to communication. Cooperation will produce a decision with which everyone can live. Some students do not expect to involve parents until it is time to get a ride to visit a school or time to write a check as a tuition deposit. Parents are much more cooperative at this point if they have been a part of the entire decision process. Remember, too, that your counselor may be able to help you and your parents through this sometimes challenging process. Perhaps a conference involving you, your parent(s), and your counselor would be helpful.
Tips for Students
- Keep parents informed as you go. Many difficulties arise between parents and students because parents have no idea what is happening.
- You should begin this entire process with a self-assessment. This would be an excellent time to involve your parents. Together you could discuss how you see yourself, how they see you, and what direction you see yourself going. Their input now could save headaches later.
- As you fill out applications, be sure your information is accurate. Parents can verify occupations, requested background data, etc.
- Have your parents proofread your essay and your application.
- Attend interviews and college visits together.
- Have your parents meet the college representatives from your “choice” schools.
- When you file an application or file for financial aid, do not wait until the last minute. The financial aid form is particularly long and difficult, so give your parents plenty of time to complete it.
Tips for Parents
This process can be long and difficult, and you can be of great assistance to your son or daughter during this time. You are welcome to make an appointment with the school counselor, if you need assistance. It is important for you to know what is expected of you and your child. Also, it can be quite helpful to discover all the resources the Counseling Office has to offer.
- Begin by discussing your role in the selection process with your son or daughter. If you have an understanding from the beginning, it will save you headaches later.
- Guide your child, but do not dictate or do it for him/her. It is important for the student to take responsibility for the college application process.
- Think about your own ideas for your son’s/daughter’s college selection. Evaluate your thoughts to be sure you are “on the same page” as your child.
- Be realistic.
- Encourage your son or daughter to begin this process early.
- Encourage him/her to seek the assistance of the counselor.
- Accompany him/her on interviews and visits whenever possible.
- Be organized.
ACT vs SAT
Writing Your Essay
Types of Admissions
Resources to Decide
Making the Final Choice
College Evaluation Chart