3 Questions Every Junior Parent Should Ask a Senior Parent

If their children applied Early Decision or Early Action, many senior families are DONE with the college application process. They have survived what many call the most brutal 12-18 months of their children’s lives. Why? Because we are a society predicated on success, and nothing screams success more than elite college acceptance.


No matter how you slice it, where your kid goes to college is important. I am not saying he or she must go to a school that is at the top of the rankings, but I will suggest that your child belongs at the right school with the right academic and social resources available to them. That’s why where they go is important.


And now, junior parents, you are watching your friends and children’s older friends blissfully (hopefully) skip through the winter and spring after the all the testing, essays, interviews, applications, waiting grind. They’re where you want to be this time next year. How did they do it? You should ask them.



  • When should Johnny (you know your kid’s real name!) start his Common Application and personal essay?


They should tell you now, since both are available, but they will probably tell you as soon as possible over the summer. You know your kid (Johnny or Jane) and their work habits. Will they do essays when they have the beach as an option in August? Maybe. However, I suggest they start what they can now, and that means the Common Application and the personal essay. You can start one too just see what’s on it. Neither will be submitted. Check it out:


2) Which teachers do you suggest for teacher recommendations? Do they follow through in a timely fashion?

Great question. Whoever the teacher is who will write for your kid should 1) know their academic abilities well and 2) be on top of all things pertaining to the college process.  I have seen students deferred from colleges Early Decision and Early Action simply because their files were incomplete. Why? Because a teacher was slower than they needed to be and it negatively affected the student’s application.


3) What would you do differently?

Open-ended question with many possible answers. I would assume they would say 1) start NOW (I mean, why not?)  2) insist on the child following up with admissions representatives when visiting the campus or when they visit their high school. Demonstrating interest comes in all shapes, and this is one of them. Click here for a full checklist of how to demonstrate interest.


More than anything, celebrate with seniors families. It’s a great time in their lives. Just learn from them as well.


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