Easier said than done, we know! The college process, for those entering it, can feel overwhelming and scary. But if there is one thing we’ve learned over the years of working in admissions, helping families as college counselors, and as parents going through the process ourselves (many of us additionally have kids who have recently applied to college!) is that trust is the key.
As the title of this blog suggests, I allow my 6 year old to walk to school. In this era of parents driving kids to school, or even bus stops, I get some serious side-eye when I tell other parents that. Now, let’s be clear. He has an 8 year old brother that he walks with. School is about a quarter of a mile from our house with all sidewalks and no major streets to cross. Still, it’s a decision, much like allowing children to play at a playground alone, that could get me thrown in “mom jail.”
It’s admission decision season! Once upon a time, applicants were either accepted or denied to a college. Then came the waitlist. Now, students can hear one of many different “answers” from colleges, and it can be confusing. It can also make the final decision process more difficult. In this blog we will try to shed some light on these different college responses and point out the potential pros and cons of each one.
Many eager juniors are kicking off the college process by taking an official SAT or ACT. Before you do, however, we offer some important and practical advice to consider.
The college process can bring up some complicated feelings for both students and parents, and there are different ways students express themselves. In this blog, we outline three “typical” difficult students and tell you what is really going on. We also tell you how you can have these conversations with your kids, and how Campus Bound can help.
You’ve worked hard on your college list and applications. You researched schools, visited as many as possible and have even written your essays and submitted all, if not most, of your applications. But this time of year, the inevitable “What if?” can set in. Parents can succumb to it just as easily as students. “What if the ideal college is out there and we just haven’t found it?” “What if I don’t get accepted anywhere?” “What if we don’t get any financial aid?”
It will be here before you know it; you will be handed a booklet, or given a website to view, and told to pick your courses for next year. This can cause the common “deer in the headlights” look. How do you even begin? In this previous blog, we outlined some common questions that students have when selecting their courses for the following year so be sure to read that, but in this blog, we will give step-by-step directions for how to make the best decisions about course selection for you.
If you haven’t already read this article from Education Week, I suggest that you do so. It was concerning to us here at Campus Bound, and we wanted to take this opportunity, in this blog, to respond to it.
The take-away from the article, and from this recent study from the National Association of College Admission Counselors, is that only a third of the public high schools in the United States have a college counselor, or designated counselor, to help them with post-high school educational goals. Even more concerning is that the likeliness of a school having a college counselor goes down as the poverty rate of the high school students goes up. So even fewer middle to lower class students are getting this kind of support.
It’s counter-intuitive, but parents who take a step back from their child’s college admissions process may actually hear more. It can be very hard advice to follow; we get it, but stick with us on this.
When I’ve asked groups of juniors and seniors what their parents can do to help them with the college process, their response is almost always… stop asking me about the college process. A student once told me, “I just want to have one dinner with my family where college isn’t brought up.”
It’s no surprise that taking a year off between high school and college is a growing trend in America. The rising number of gap year programs and increase in information about taking a gap year are leading parents to ask the question, “Could a gap year program be right for my son or daughter?” The gap year trend has seen a 20 percent increase since 2006 and the initial data is coming back with overwhelmingly positive indications for student success in college. Yet, many parents are still hesitant and anxious about their student taking a year off. Being informed and seeking help from trusted professionals will help you will make the right decision about whether or not this rising trend is right for your child.