We asked our admissions counselors for their top tips for parents on helping their student make the most of a college application. Here's what they offered:
About the Process:
Read: Read directions carefully. Make sure you and your student understand exactly what is being asked.
Communicate: (With us and with your student!) Your regional counselor is always available to answer your questions.
Check your e-mail: Make sure we have a correct e-mail address for you and that your student's e-mail address is correct and appropriate. (Many students create a new e-mail address for the college search.) Decide whether you will share access to one college-search account to help your student manage deadlines and requirements. Then, check it often.
Encourage your student to:
Think of the application as pieces of a puzzle or as independent voices coming together to tell your student's story. In preparing it, think about what has yet to be said or what might be elaborated on to give a clearer picture.
We do not admit according to academic program; that is, your student's likelihood of admission will not change based upon what is entered as a potential major or career interest.
Read beyond the essay prompt. What is the college trying to learn through the question? How can your student demonstrate creativity, innovation, writing ability and fit with the college through his or her essay?
Read a memoir for insight into how to write his or her own story, and write from the heart. They shouldn't just write what they think the college wants to hear. And, we've no firm minimum or maximum requirements, though a typical essay will be under 500 words.
Consider that the best recommendation doesn’t always come from a teacher in the student’s best/easiest subject. What would a teacher in a subject which is harder for the student have to say? If that teacher has seen the student dig deep, that’s a powerful perspective which speaks directly to the student’s ability to meet the demands of our faculty.