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Parenting During College Admissions – Our Top Tips!

College admissions is a stressful time for the entire family. Seniors are anxious about starting a new chapter of their lives and leaving the comforts of home behind. Parents are equally worried about sending their children off into the world, hoping that they have prepared them well over the past 17 years.

 

But before families can see their children off, they must first get through the admissions process. Increasingly, parents are taking a much deeper role in the process — some for better and some for worse. Below are some tips on what the parents’ role should and should not be in the next few months.

 

1 – Guide your child in choosing colleges that would be a great fit, but don’t force your child to only apply to schools that you like. Emphasizing rank and brand might cause your child to react negatively to the pressure.

 

2- Read over your child’s essays and give tips, but do not write or rewrite the essays. A teenager’s voice is distinctly different from a parent’s voice. Colleges want to hear from the students about what is important to them, and admissions officers are very savvy about distinguishing essays written by parents and those written by students.

 

3 – Drive your child to an interview or college visit, but let them take control once you arrive. If your child is interviewing with a local alumnus or admissions officer, refrain from introducing yourself or even going into the interview location. When visiting colleges as they come to your school or town, encourage your child to talk to the presenters.

 

4 – If you have questions that can only be answered by an admissions office, have your child call. It helps the student to develop the ability to speak to adults and to take control of the admissions process. Do not call the admissions office every day with questions that can be answered by perusing the website.

 

5 – Students will need to ask their teachers for letters of recommendations. It’s not appropriate for parents to ask on their behalf.

 

6 – Remind your children about due dates and help them manage the process, but don’t micromanage them. Doing so will cause undue stress for everyone.

 

7 – Do not request letters of recommendations from family friends because of their connections if they truly have not had significant interaction with your child.

 

8 – Be ambitious yet realistic in expectations. Support your children in applying to schools they really love, even though they may be a little (or much) harder to get into. Make sure, though, the list is balanced so that there are options in April.

 

9 – Don’t compare your students to others. Seniors are as stressed as they can be right now, and comparisons to other children can only make them feel inferior.

 

10 – Celebrate all successes. Every acceptance is cause for celebration, even if it is a safety school. This will give your child confidence as the other decisions come.

 

While applying to college is a means to an end, it is a learning process nonetheless. Your children are learning to be an adult and you are learning to let them be more independent. Your support and words of encouragement can make all the difference.

 

In a few months, essays, applications, interviews, and supplements will be a distant memory, but the relationship you build and the bounds you establish now can last a lifetime.

 

 

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What Are Insight Students & Parents saying?
  • Thank you so much for helping me formulate my thoughts into words and help me write my essays. I got into Ut Austin for biology – still waiting for the Honors decision. I also got into Drexel undergrad – still waiting for the BSMD decision. I will be sure to update you when I hear […]

  • I just wanted to thank you again for your help during the college admission process. My family and I have been scrambling to figure out the process for years, and especially coming from an immigrant family and being the first in my family to go to college in the US, there was a lot of […]

  • I really couldn’t have gotten to Harvard without you. In shock. Thank you x10000000000000! I have the best college counselor in the world!

  • I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time out of your day to organize a meeting with me and help me in writing my summer program essays. Your feedback really helped my writing and me as a writer. 

  • I just got my SAT scores on Friday, and I am happy to let you know that I scored an 800 on both the Biology-M and Math II tests. Thank you so much for your help and constantly encouraging me. Also, please thank the rest of the Insight team for me for providing complimentary practice […]

  • Our ACT instructor methods were so helpful and wonderful to have.

  • Zach, thank you so much for helping me become a confident and successful writer

  • We were extremely happy throughout the process – got much more than what we invested in Insight counseling.

  • From their knowledge of all the colleges and resources, professionalism and the hands-on coaching, Insight has raised the bar!  

  • Insight counselors truly care about students not only during their time at Insight but further along the road.

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