For senior students applying to college, the challenge of selecting a major (and finding the ideal institution) is as real as it gets. These tasks are quite tricky, regardless of how straightforward they appear, sheerly because of how important they are for a young person’s future. For instance, selecting a major is a sensitive decision that should be approached carefully, considering that you may get to build a career from it afterward. It often requires a series of deliberations and assessments of one’s skills to discover the course of study that best reflects their personality. Taking the time to reflect early on is worthwhile, though, since this self-reflection will come in handy later. After all, students will still have to solve the puzzle of choosing a college out of the many colleges in the United States.
Selecting a college may not seem as much of a challenge because of how many institutions for higher learning are available within the country. However, the availability of these institutions often creates confusion during the selection process. Typically, picking an ideal college for your preferred major requires that you study each of the colleges on your radar. Many students and families struggle at this stage because they don’t know what to look for when comparing colleges. This is where college admission counseling comes in, and Empowerly provides a data-driven platform that gives aspiring college students counseling resources for success. Such platforms can also help boost your chances of getting into any reach university of your choice.
While the students work on filling out the college applications themselves, the parents also have a role to play during this time. Some parents often make the mistake of leaving the entire admission process to their high school children, which is both wrong and unadvisable. As a parent, you are expected to support your child throughout their application, and one way to do that is to help them with their college search. Here are tips on how you can directly help your child with the college search and their admission process.
Advise them, but don’t take over the decision-making.
There is a thin line between helping your child through their decision-making process and making the decision for them. It may help to know that this is the first step to ensuring a healthy relationship with your child while you help them with their search. Think of it this way: you act as their teammate during the college search—and the entire admission process—rather than playing the role of a coach, and dishing out orders. Once they know that you trust them with the final decision-making, your student will let you in more and respect the opinions you offer.
Make sure they know what they are doing
While you are trying not to overplay your role in the college search process, remember that it’s about balance. On the other extreme, we also don’t recommend any parent just assume their child knows what they are doing, either. Leaving your teen to their decision may feel equivalent to not helping them at all. Therefore, you are advised to ask them questions to ensure that they know what they are doing, and are doing it correctly.
Encourage them to build relationships with mentor figures
Most young high school students find it difficult to relate with people that are not within their age range. Therefore, they hardly get along swimmingly with school authorities and professionals in charge of college counseling. However, building a good relationship with these figures will increase their chances of receiving tips and getting first-class advice. Not to mention, in college, students should be ready to attend office hours with their professors and advocate for their own needs. Practicing now will also help them get used to relating more with outsiders and people of a different age group, as they go on to chase their selected careers.
Remind them about college deadlines
High schoolers are stressed already. During college apps, sometimes these young students get overwhelmed by the whole preparation process and forget certain dates and deadlines. When the application and essays require so much laser focus, it’s easy for students to get carried away. If you notice this happening, your contribution can be to remind them about these dates. By doing so, you can help them keep tabs on college deadlines to help ease the load off their shoulders. This way, you can also ensure that your child does not fail to meet deadlines for college applications and interviews. Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your teenager about what kind of reminders they find helpful, so you don’t find yourself unintentionally adding on additional stress or tension.
Plan college tours together
While some universities operate under a rolling admission system, others practice a regular admission system that involves long wait times. But amid all this process, your child may have to visit some colleges to understand their programs and application procedures. To avoid making unexpected trips, it would be best to plan a college tour in advance, so you can make the most of your visits without feeling rushed and explore the college system before admission time.