Five Ways Parents Can Be of Help in the College Application Process

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  • The early days of searching for a college are exciting and fun. Once it comes time to actually fill out the applications, the process becomes quite stressful; it’s a reality check that reminds students about the important decision they are about to make. As a parent, it’s important to lay the groundwork for a smooth application process. When you do, you make the process easier on you and your child.

    There are a few areas where most students need help that a parent is suited to provide. Before your child sits down to start the application process, you can help them in the following ways:

    Build A Resume

    Encourage your child to build a resume throughout their high school career. When they track their activities, accomplishments, honors and rewards in one place, it’s easy to remember them when it comes to application time. It’s hard to remember things after the fact, so a running tally is your child’s best bet.

    Brainstorm Essays

    Almost all college applications require an essay. Usually, the essay asks students to reflect on an experience that they had during high school. Go over some potential essay topics with your child; when you do, you get them thinking about what to write before they need to complete their essay. This gives them time to think about the structure and content of their essay.

    Create A Calendar

    When you create a calendar, your child can see where they are in the application process. When they track deadlines and due dates, they won’t be blindsided by tasks that they forgot to do. If you help your child make a detailed calendar, it helps them complete the application process without feeling rushed.

    Help Your Child Prepare For Tests

    Tests like the SAT and ACT are an important part of the college application process. By helping your child prepare for the ACT with prep courses and study materials, you are optimizing their chance of receiving a high score on these standardized tests. Most colleges and universities will judge an applicant’s potential based on their ACT or SAT scores, putting almost if not as much stock in these scores as they do in grades. The higher your child scores on one of these tests, they are more likely to get accepted by the college of their choice. Help your child study, research prep courses in your area, and make sure they report their scores to the schools they are applying to.

    Check Application Quality

    You shouldn’t fill out your child’s application, but it doesn’t hurt if you act as a proofreader after they’ve completed it. Proofread their application, and let them know if you spot any areas that they need to work on. Simple mistakes look bad on an application, and it’s easy to help your child avoid them.

    Applying for college can be both an extremely stressful and wonderfully exciting time of your child’s life. As a parent, you want to see them succeed and have their best interests in mind when it comes to their education. When you help them compose an accurate and impressive record of their academic and other achievements through a well-written application, you increase their odds of getting into their dream school.

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