COLLEGE PLANNING

Savingforcollege.com

Want to help your child get into college? Take a step back.
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/want-to-help-your-child-get-into-college-take-a-step-back-1045

Posted: 2017-04-01

by Kathryn Flynn

The college application process can be daunting, especially for a high school student. Between filling out forms, gathering transcripts, scheduling interviews, asking for letters of recommendation and crafting standout essays, trying to get into college can feel like a full-time job.

This can also be a stressful time for parents, who understand how important a college education is and want to see their child get accepted. And as a mom or dad, your first instinct is to do whatever it takes to make it happen. But new research from Kaplan Test Prep suggests that in some cases, too much parent involvement can end up doing more harm than good.

Kaplan surveyed college admissions officers from across the country and found that 75 percent feel parents should only be "somewhat involved" with their child's college application process. 18 percent recommend that parents are "very involved", six percent suggest "not very involved" and only one percent advise parents to be "extremely involved.

So what does that mean exactly? Simply put, college admissions officers want to hear from the student first, but admit that parental guidance may be helpful in certain areas. Here's a breakdown of do's and don'ts for parents, taken from the Kaplan study:

RELATED: Are college admissions officers checking out social media profiles?

DON'T

1. Speak for your child. College admissions officers want top get to know your child, and that's hard to do if you don't let them speak up. And according to Kaplan's study, some parents have taken things so far that it hurt their child's chances of getting accepted into a school. One admissions officer recalled,

"I once had a parent call pretending to be the student, but I had met the student before so I knew how their voice sounds. I called the student's cell phone after to suggest that her mom not pretend to be her and call other schools because that's fraud."

2. Choose your child's college or their major. It's your child who will ultimately be the one attending college, so it's important to let them be independent when selecting an area of study. The transition from high school to college isn't always easy, and you want to be sure your child is comfortable with their class schedule. Another instance of overstepping your parental boundaries is trying to change your child's major. According to another admissions officer surveyed by Kaplan,

"There have been parents who've called requesting to change their child's major because they don't want their child in that major."

3. Complete your child's applications. The application is a college's first look at how a student can potentially contribute to their community. Admissions officers look for insight on what they have to offer, including talents, interests and perspectives. During this process, authenticity is crucial and applications filled out by someone other than the student may be considered void. Admissions officers have even experienced parents submitting applications without consulting their child. One reported to Kaplan,

"There have been parents who've called requesting to change their child's major because they don't want their child in that major."

RELATED: Here's how you can help your child pick a college major

DO:

1. Attend campus visits with your child. Parents can help by paying attention and taking notes during presentations, but just be sure to let your child ask and answer any questions.

2. Help them stay on top of application deadlines. Make sure your child understands when applications are due, especially if he or she is applying to multiple schools. You'll also want to help them decide if they want to apply early decision or early action.

3. Oversee and assist with financial aid paperwork. According to Kaplan, admissions officers feel that parental involvement is helpful when it comes to financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is a complex document that requires financial information that your child may or may not have access to. Help them by gathering the necessary documents and reviewing the form before it's submitted. FAFSA mistakes can end up being costly, so this is one area where adult supervision can come in handy.

4. Be supportive and encouraging! Above all, be respectful of your child's decision to pursue higher education. Giving them ownership of the application process is a first step toward preparing them to be independent while in college.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Parent PLUS loans

The college application process can be daunting, especially for a high school student. Between filling out forms, gathering transcripts, scheduling interviews, asking for letters of recommendation and crafting standout essays, trying to get into college can feel like a full-time job.

This can also be a stressful time for parents, who understand how important a college education is and want to see their child get accepted. And as a mom or dad, your first instinct is to do whatever it takes to make it happen. But new research from Kaplan Test Prep suggests that in some cases, too much parent involvement can end up doing more harm than good.

Kaplan surveyed college admissions officers from across the country and found that 75 percent feel parents should only be "somewhat involved" with their child's college application process. 18 percent recommend that parents are "very involved", six percent suggest "not very involved" and only one percent advise parents to be "extremely involved.

So what does that mean exactly? Simply put, college admissions officers want to hear from the student first, but admit that parental guidance may be helpful in certain areas. Here's a breakdown of do's and don'ts for parents, taken from the Kaplan study:

RELATED: Are college admissions officers checking out social media profiles?

DON'T

1. Speak for your child. College admissions officers want top get to know your child, and that's hard to do if you don't let them speak up. And according to Kaplan's study, some parents have taken things so far that it hurt their child's chances of getting accepted into a school. One admissions officer recalled,

"I once had a parent call pretending to be the student, but I had met the student before so I knew how their voice sounds. I called the student's cell phone after to suggest that her mom not pretend to be her and call other schools because that's fraud."

2. Choose your child's college or their major. It's your child who will ultimately be the one attending college, so it's important to let them be independent when selecting an area of study. The transition from high school to college isn't always easy, and you want to be sure your child is comfortable with their class schedule. Another instance of overstepping your parental boundaries is trying to change your child's major. According to another admissions officer surveyed by Kaplan,

"There have been parents who've called requesting to change their child's major because they don't want their child in that major."

3. Complete your child's applications. The application is a college's first look at how a student can potentially contribute to their community. Admissions officers look for insight on what they have to offer, including talents, interests and perspectives. During this process, authenticity is crucial and applications filled out by someone other than the student may be considered void. Admissions officers have even experienced parents submitting applications without consulting their child. One reported to Kaplan,

"There have been parents who've called requesting to change their child's major because they don't want their child in that major."

RELATED: Here's how you can help your child pick a college major

DO:

1. Attend campus visits with your child. Parents can help by paying attention and taking notes during presentations, but just be sure to let your child ask and answer any questions.

2. Help them stay on top of application deadlines. Make sure your child understands when applications are due, especially if he or she is applying to multiple schools. You'll also want to help them decide if they want to apply early decision or early action.

3. Oversee and assist with financial aid paperwork. According to Kaplan, admissions officers feel that parental involvement is helpful when it comes to financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is a complex document that requires financial information that your child may or may not have access to. Help them by gathering the necessary documents and reviewing the form before it's submitted. FAFSA mistakes can end up being costly, so this is one area where adult supervision can come in handy.

4. Be supportive and encouraging! Above all, be respectful of your child's decision to pursue higher education. Giving them ownership of the application process is a first step toward preparing them to be independent while in college.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Parent PLUS loans

 

Reset email successfully sent.
Please check your inbox.

Close
page loadtime mark

Advertisement


close