Six Ways Parents Can Help Their Students Succeed at Applying to College
- Know the important dates, but let your student sign up and keep track of them. This can include the upcoming SAT/ACT, the Common App deadline, Early Action/Early Decision and Regular decision deadlines. Keeping track of your students’ deadlines can be a great safety net, but they should keep their own primary schedule. It’s a great way for them to learn to be independent before they leap out of the nest for good.
- Help your student make their own academic choices. Students are already stressed out with pressure from classmates, teachers and themselves--you’re their best advocate and support! While you can’t choose their major for them, you can help make sure they know the real world applications of the majors and programs they plan on pursuing, and put them in touch with adults you know doing the jobs they’d like to do. If they’re going into a field you’re unfamiliar with, more power to you! You’ll get to witness a unique academic journey.
- Be honest with your student about financial expectations. No matter what you can contribute financially to your student’s education, being honest and upfront about finances and loan options will help your student make a responsible and adult decision about their future. It’s your responsibility to fill out the FAFSA and CSS financial aid forms when your student applies to college, so this is the one step that you really are in complete control of. Take advantage of it and have a comprehensive conversation about expectations well ahead of time.
- Let your student take control. It’s tempting to take initiative on revising or editing or even writing your student’s essays (you CAN write a great one) or applications, but ultimately it needs to be their voice and their responsibility. Giving honest feedback can help, but this is often a great time to step back and let your student’s teacher or advisor handle the critiques.
- Recruit outside help when you both need it. It’s hard to help your student succeed at both school and applications, so having an outside influence can help mitigate the stress of juggling everything at once, and can help keep the process exciting and fun for both of you. Hughes College Prep was designed for this specific purpose! Let our advisors help your student design the perfect school list, essay and application. We’ll help take the pressure off.
- Relax! Enjoy watching your student flourish and seek their own future. They’re going to find the right fit, even if it takes some time, and they’ve made it here because of you!