We know how important your involvement is in your child's education - we also know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the important steps in planning and preparing for college.  

Below you'll find this month's content - LEARN (info to know), DO (action to take), and TIPS (insights for success)


The College Application Process

The college application is the greatest form of demonstrated interest. Therefore, it is imperative that your student take the time to complete each application with the time and care it needs and deserves.

This is, hopefully, not the first time the college will have met your student. Campus visits, communication with admissions personnel, attending college fairs are the best opportunities for initial contact. If you haven’t taken advantage of these opportunities, the application will be the first impression that a college has of your student.

There are no perfect applications and there are not perfect applicants. However, each student has the chance to complete an application that can really catch the eye of admissions personnel.

Help your senior figure out the answers to the following questions:

  • What do I want the admissions people “to get” about me?
  • Who am I as a person?
  • What is important to me?
  • What makes me interesting, unique or different from other applicants?

Some applications are merely a listing of data: name, address, birthdate, anticipated major, etc.  But others ask for more, like essays and/or an activities resume, which are opportunities to show a college what really sets your student apart from the rest.  Help them find their niche and show it off!

Does your teenager have an abundance of volunteer hours, clubs, work experience? Your job is to help your senior see past the surface of the words and find meaning: community service advocate, leadership activities, ability to work with all types of people and multitasker. Find the strongest line and make it the thread that is pulled through the application and the essays and resume.

Be sure to make sure each application is unique to that particular school. The more your teenager is able to connect their experiences and passions to that of the college the greater likelihood of acceptance.

And, most importantly, turn in the entire package: application, transcripts, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation at least 2 weeks before they are due.


Meet with the guidance counselor

The start of the school year can be a busy time for counselors of high school seniors. Early this month, be sure to schedule a time to meet with your son or daughter’s guidance counselor.

In this meeting be sure to let them know what colleges your senior is going to be applying to. Ask questions about the teacher recommendation process (writing letters), the transcript request process for your high school, and any other important information they may have.

This is also a great time to inquire about fall opportunities to take another standardized test (in case there may be a need to re-take an ACT or SAT).

TIP #1

Meet the teachers – Most schools have an Open House or Back to School Night, be sure to attend!  It is important to share with them a bit about yourself and your son or daughter as a student and more importantly as a person.

TIP #2

Homework – While it may not be very fun, it is important.  Remind your teenager that learning doesn’t end 3pm and that homework is just another way to increase learning.  Encourage your student to embrace the idea of self-directed learning by creating their own homework schedules.

myOWNEDU for Schools!

We work with schools to bring college planning courses to students and offer free College Planning Presentations for parents.  Learn more by clicking here.