The Guidance Office and Counseling Center recommends the following list of 20 tips for parents of seniors (and juniors)
regarding the college search and application process.
1. Be realistic
2. Look for the "right fit." The chemistry between your child and the college is crucial.
3. Be optimistic
4. Be supportive and caring. Nagging helps no one.
5. Celebrate your child's many accomplishments.
6. Listen to what your child is saying. Be a sounding board.
7. Listen to what your child is not saying. (Often fears are not verbalized.)
8. Do not direct. Let your child take ownership of the process. You've had your turn. (99% of the time, the student makes the right choice.) Find a comfortable place between running the college search process and remaining at a comfortable distance.
9. Check many sources. Go beyond US News & World Report and other media sources. Check the accuracy of the information that you will be relying on.
10. Set, at the beginning, the limits that are important to you. (e.g. cost, distance from home, etc.)
11. Drive your child to visit different campuses.
12. Fill out financial aid forms. Read about financial aid.
13. Press to get straight answers from admission and financial aid offices so there are fewer surprises.
14. Encourage your child to take control. This builds responsible decision making.
15. Help your child to think about whom he/she really is, what his/her values are, and how he/she has changed during the high school years.
16. Communicate. It is a family decision on several levels.
17. Be honest about your aims and aspirations for your child. Agree to disagree.
18. Recognize that you child will have his/her own timetable for considering college options, filling out applications, etc. It's not your timetable.
19. Keep a perspective on the process, as well as a sense of humor.
20. Don't bypass the Guidance Office and Counseling Center. Stay on top of deadlines and attend programs offered.
(Thanks to Mr. Burns for this information.)