HOW YOU CAN HELP:
LISTEN to your child.
TALK to your child frankly about any concerns you may have regarding the college search and list (location, cost, etc).
Try to steer away from showing favorites, even if it’s your alma mater. We’re trying to minimize the stress your child is already experiencing-- and fear of disappointing you could be one of the biggest stressors the next several months.
This is REALLY tough, but try not to talk about where your child is applying, what his/her grades are, what AP classes fill the senior schedule, what his/her test scores are-- with other parents. This is a private matter and we need to protect your child.
ON COLLEGE TOURS:
Leave siblings at home if possible.
Let your child schedule the tour AND make the calls to admissions.
Let your child do the research on the school and begin to take ownership of the process.
On the tour, try to avoid taking the lead or monopolizing the tour guide’s time. Let other students go ahead of you. This tour is about the students, not the parents.
Don’t ask about the tour guide’s test scores and if your child will be competitive enough for admissions.
Don’t use the Q&A with admissions after/before the tour as a time to talk about your child.
AFTER the tour, spend some time with your child. Talk about what he/she liked/didn’t like. Try to keep it friendly, not an interrogation.
WHEN THE TIME COMES TO APPLY TO COLLEGE:
Set aside two days a week (45 minutes to an hour) when you talk about college together. Save your questions throughout the week regarding essays, applications, deadlines, college testing, etc for these sessions. Your child will avoid you if every time you see each other, you’re asking about something related to college.
I will encourage your child to share his/her college essay with you so you can share any pertinent details. Your feedback is important, but try to remember this is your child’s personal statement. I will edit all drafts, but your child will write all essays.
ON COLLEGE INTERVIEWS:
You will likely NOT be invited into the room where your child is interviewed. After the interview, YOU might be asked if you have any questions.
Try not to say, “WE…”
GOOD QUESTIONS to ask might be:
How is roommate matching done?
What kind of student does well here?
How would you describe the typical student?
What kind of internship or research opportunities are available to students?
A FINAL NOTE:
If you feel like your child is not spending much time on college applications, please let me know. Procrastination can be a sign of stress.
If you have ANY concerns, please know that I am here for YOU too.
Hang in there—I’m excited about sharing this ride with you!
MY PREP 4 COLLEGE
Judy Bailey College Planning