The College App Process: A Parent’s Guide

The Education Conservancy developed this handy list of guidelines for parents:

  • Recognize that gaining admission to college is merely one step in a process of education that will include your student attending a college where she or he can maximize talents and growth. Emphasize the education.
  • Resist doing for your students what they are capable of doing for themselves.
  • Allow your child to take responsibility for his or her own part of the college application process. Be involved in the process, but do not try to control it.
  • Resist relying on rankings and college selectivity to determine the most suitable colleges for your child.
  • Realize that researching, selecting, and applying to colleges does not have to be an expensive process.
  • Resist attempts to turn the process into a status competition. Develop a healthy, educationally based, and family-appropriate approach to college admissions.
  • Consider that gaming the system may not only diminish your child’s self-confidence, it may also jeopardize desired admission outcomes.
  • Listen to, encourage, and believe in your child. Do not use the term “we” as in “we are applying to…”
  • Discuss the idea of education as an ongoing process, and how selecting a college might be different from buying a product.
  • Love them enough to let them demonstrate the independence you have instilled in them.
  • Keep this process in perspective. Remember that student skills, self-confidence, curiosity, and desire to learn are some of the most important ingredients in a quality education and successful college admissions. Do not sacrifice these by overemphasizing getting into the “best” college.
Help your students prepare for college by using CAP, the interactive and social way to prepare for college at: www.collegelifeplanning.com/workshop
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About Nathan and Joanna Cornett

We are a from San Diego California, currently on a mission trip in Guatemala. Nathan has worked as a youth pastor, teen center director, college advisor, and now missionary. Joanna has worked at LaBahn's Landscape for 7 years in the field, sales, and as the Vice President, she started the Hispanic ministry at Foothills Church, and has worked in youth ministry, she is now working as a missionary. We are both passionate about youth, worship, and missions.

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