The Do's and Don'ts for Parents in the College Admissions Process

Happy summer day to you!

I want to continue our series on supporting our kids through the college admissions process. As a parent and educator, I understand how challenging it can be to strike the right balance between involvement and letting our children take the lead. That's why I want to share some essential do's and don'ts that I've learned as a college counselor and as a parent. By following these guidelines, you and your child can get on the same page and navigate this process with confidence.


Don't Write the Essay

One crucial "don't" in this process is to resist the temptation to write your child's college essay. It's important to let them take ownership of this vital piece of their application. Avoid the use of writing services or even relying on AI tools like ChadGBT. Instead, encourage your child to spend quality time introspecting, understanding their values, and learning how to express themselves authentically through their essay. You can help them brainstorm ideas and provide guidance, but ultimately, the essay should be a reflection of their own voice and experiences.

Help Them To Stay Organized 

The college admissions process involves numerous moving parts, from test scores to deadlines to college visits and interviews. To support your child effectively, help them stay organized. Create a spreadsheet, work with an independent consultant, or collaborate with their school counselor. By ensuring that important dates and tasks are well-managed, you can alleviate stress and keep everything on track. Remember, your experience and maturity can be invaluable in keeping the process organized.

Listen to Your Child

Listening to your child is a fundamental "do" in the college admissions process. While it's natural for parents to have their own opinions and desires for their child's future, it's important to allow your child to express their own thoughts, dreams, and aspirations. Encourage open communication and create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their desires and concerns. By truly listening, you can gain insight into what they want and provide guidance that aligns with their goals. 

Block Out Outside Noise 

Amidst the college admissions frenzy, it's easy to get caught up in the opinions and experiences of others. However, it's vital not to let outside influences dictate your child's decisions. Block out the noise and focus on what truly matters within your family. Prestige, caliber, and financial considerations should be secondary to your child's personal growth and fulfilment. By staying true to their unique journey, you can ensure that your child finds the best-fit college for them.

To recap, in the college admissions process, it's crucial not to write your child's essay but instead guide and support them. Help them stay organized, listen to their thoughts and desires, and block out the external noise. Remember, this process is about your child's growth and future, and your role as a parent is to be their partner and advocate. If you have any more questions or need further guidance, schedule a free Discovery Call with Strategic Admissions Advice. Together, let's navigate this journey and ensure your child's success!

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