Many parents wonder how they can help with the college application process. Here are a few tips on how to help without taking over.
– Create a spreadsheet to keep track of all application and financial aid deadlines for each college. Be sure your student requests transcripts and recommendations from teachers and the guidance office well in advance. Remember, it is better to have your student follow-up with colleges to be sure all documents have arrived on time than to have a college requesting missing documents.
At CRMS, most of this paperwork process will be started during your student's college counseling class. However, it is good for all parents to be aware of what is needed for each college or university.
– Encourage your student to visit the campuses of his/her top choices. You can only learn so much from a viewbook or from speaking with an admissions counselor at a college fair. Take a campus tour and/or having your student schedule an interview with his/her admissions counselor.
Here are a few tips from CRMS's Director of College Counseling on what to do before heading out on a campus visit.
– Your student will want to choose recommenders who know him/her well. Some of the best letters of recommendation come from people who can attest to a student’s character. Consider teachers who have had your student in class
as well as in extracurricular activities. This allows the recommender to speak to your student’s academic potential as well as character.
One of the benefits of attending CRMS is the relationships our faculty and students foster. When adults are present not only in a classroom setting, but in the active program (trips, sports, and service) as well, they truly get a sense for who that student is and can not only speak to their academic accomplishments, but to their character as a whole.
Encourage creativity in the essay
– Most college applications require students to write an essay. Encourage your student to be creative with the essay. The essay provides students with the opportunity to share their uniqueness with college admissions offices. Once your student is satisfied with the essay, proofread it for grammar issues only. Let your student’s voice shine.
Take a back seat
– The college search process is one that will take you and your student on a journey of change. Allow your student to take responsibility for submitting applications and requesting documents from schools or testing agencies. With your support, your student will begin to learn how to manage their time and priorities, crucial skills for a successful college experience.
This was originally published on , a website geared towards parents of teenagers and young adults.