Thursday, February 28, 2013

York Prep: How to Help Your Child During the College Search

According to the staff of private school York Prep, parental involvement during the college search process plays a major role in that child’s success. Parents who act as a support system and provide guidance often find that their kids get more acceptance letters. Students who are left to navigate the process alone often encounter frustration, and may not end up going to the school they’d hoped they would attend. While you want to help your child through the process, it’s important not to get too involved. Finding a college is a chance for your student to learn about independence, organization, and responsibility. Here are some ways you can help your son or daughter, without getting too involved:

Take yourself out of it

It’s easy to encourage your kid to apply to schools based on where you would have liked to go. Though you may have the best intentions, letting your own preferences guide your child’s college search process is a mistake. Instead of suggesting that small liberal arts school that you wished you’d gone to, listen to what their needs and preferences are. If they want a larger university, help them find one that meets their needs. If they want to stay close to home, help them find the best schools in your area.

Encourage organization

The college search and application processes include plenty of forms and deadlines. Without proper organizational skills, this will quickly overwhelm your student. Encourage them to stay organized using spreadsheets and folders. This will help them stay on top of deadlines and keep track of important papers. Ultimately, though, understand that you can’t get organized for them. If your child chooses to go through the whole process with a mass of papers tumbling off of his or her desk, that’s their choice. Let them face the consequences when they’re up until two a.m. trying to find a paper they need to submit the next day.

Don’t write the essays

If your kid isn’t a strong writer, you may feel tempted to help them as they’re crafting their admissions essays. You want to ensure that they get into their dream school, so you try to help by spicing up their essay. While this is a kind gesture, it doesn’t benefit your child. It teaches them that shortcuts help them to get what they want in life. Instead, offer to proof the essay, and offer suggestions about how they can make it a more powerful piece. Give them ideas if needed, but don’t sit down and write the entire document for them.

York Prep knows that the college application process is a stressful one both for students and their parents. To minimize this stress, organization is key. Stay aware of deadlines and make it easy to find papers. This will help cut down on frantic moments as deadlines for application draw closer. York Prep reminds parents to provide encouragement during the application process, but not to insert their own wishes into their child’s search.



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