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.
Many students and families will face a waiting period after college admission applications have been submitted and before the admission decision has been rendered. This is a perfect opportunity for families to familiarize themselves with the financial side of the college selection process and begin planning on the financial commitment to come.
As we mentioned in this previous blog, winter and spring of junior year is the optimal time to visit colleges. And, you can click on the “tours and visits” blog category on our blog’s main page for more advice about how to make the most of your visits and why they are important.
During your first winter meeting with your Campus Bound counselor, you will get a list of colleges that fit what you are seeking. But once you get that list, and if you are looking at colleges farther away, how do you go about planning these trips? Campus Bound will attempt to be a travel agent in this helpful blog.
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.”
Much of the staff at Campus Bound has worked here for several years. It’s a fabulous place to work for many reasons, including: the collegiality among the staff, the guidance of the senior staff and supervisors, and, most importantly, the clients we serve. One of the great things about working at Campus Bound is the honor of being able to work with a family over several years. It’s one of the true joys of my job.
“I don’t think I’ll get anything, is it even worth it?” I receive that question often this time of year. Financial aid applications have been compared to a root canal so it’s not exactly something one would choose to do unless it was going to have some benefit.
From time to time, I like to tap into the wealth of college counseling and admission counseling experience of the staff at Campus Bound and ask them for the “inside scoop” on a particular topic. For this month, I asked them:
“What is one thing parents can do to help their child during the college admission process?”