Applying to college can sometimes feel like playing the lottery in Vegas. It can feel like a shot in the dark and you have no idea what a college is looking for. Applying to colleges would be a whole lot easier if we had some tips, right?
As a high school student, applying to potential colleges can be a fun and exciting experience as you begin to see all your hard work pay off while you chose the college that's best for you. As a parent, this process can be life-changing for your child, yourself and the whole family.
We've outlined a few pointers to serve as a guideline for both the student and the parent!
For the Student:
- Visit the college of your choice and continue to stay in touch with them. Colleges like to track responses to their e-mails, social media, on-campus visits, and interviews. They want to see how you respond and maintain contact throughout the process.
- Getting accepted into the college of your dreams could put loads of pressure on yourself and your wallet. Remember it's not where you go, but what you do when you get there.
- If you are applying to a college that is traditionally competitive, then consider concentrating on unusual areas as your major or minor.
- Only apply early decision if that school is your top choice. Generally this could increase your chances of admission.
- It's much more difficult to deny a person than an application so make sure to connect with your admissions officer. The more information they know about you the better!
- No matter how bad of a writer you might think you are...NEVER hire someone to write your college essays. The voice they want to hear (or read) is yours.
- If you participate in only a few extracurricular activities in high school, make sure you stand out as a leader, innovator, and captain. It's important to be recognized by the success in those clubs rather than the amount of activities.
For the Parent:
- Make sure to research the colleges that your child is interested in. The admission process changes every year and it's important to stay updated on requirements, financial aid, tuition, room and board along with necessary deadlines and fees.
- Build a good rapport with you child's guidance counselor so there's open communication through this process.
- Communicate to your child any financial or geographical restrictions. It's important to save time noting this prior to researching any schools that will result wasted application fees. Focus on key geographical areas and financial ranges!
- Help your child make the most of thier digital presence. Many college admissions are looking at applicants social media profiles. You can help your child navigate social media netwoks such as LinkedIn to help with networking. Also, make sure to help think about consequences and "remind them to evaluate every post before letting it go live and to filter out the ones that won’t help them create a positive footprint." (Read More from Original Article: How to Help Your Children Make the Most of Their Digital Presence)
- Financial aid is there to help families sent their children to colleges. Approaching this situation by being aware of the current economic stance should help target financial ranges on colleges. Encouraging your child to research and include nearby affordable colleges in his college wishlist is a plus!
- Keep track of important deadlines! Develop a calendar for both you and your child to monitor all deadlines. You will have college campus visits, application deadlines, transcript submissions and plenty more pertaining to that specific college.
- Provide guidance, but assure your child this is their life choice. For some students, this could be their first taste of adulthood.
- College should be chosen based off interests and a feeling of comfort. Your child should be focused on furthering their education while feeling comfortable.
- This process is not easy. Children could be set on one specific school and feel anxious as the deadline approaches or rejected. If this alters your child's mindset on career path or academics then understand this is normal! Offer advice and become a sounding board whenever your child has questions.
When this process is over, you should feel a sense of relief and happiness. You are about to embark on a big journey of your life. Enjoy it!