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How to Help Your Child with the College Application Process


The college application process can be quite daunting for anyone. Younger students in particular need guidance and support to get through the process easily and with success. Not only are there tuition and costs to consider, but applying to colleges also includes a great deal of anxiety for students who have their heart set on getting into a particular college. Realize that your child is an unique individual who may need very specific things as she applies to her desired colleges. Here is how you can guide her through the application process: 

Step 1: Be Calm and Supportive

Decide to help your child with the process, while being logical, grounded and supportive. Offer assistance and advice, while guiding the process gently. Let your child know that you respect her choices and do not offer to do everything. You may receive many solicitations from college consultants who will offer to help your child through the process on a fee basis. However, this really shouldn't be necessary, unless you are confused enough to need special advice. It is far better to save the money for the numerous school expenditures that will occur once your child has been accepted, enrolled and attends college.

Step 2: Establish Guidelines

Know what your budget is. Be honest about what your family can actually afford. Do not be embarrassed about the facts of your financial situation. If you will need to rely on public assistance and loans, know what those parameters are ahead of time. Find out about funding from your local colleges, online and through counselors at high school.

Step 3: Access Free Information

There is literally a wealth of free information available. School and college counselors generally have a ton of information that can help to guide you. From local to far away references and those online, individual schools and college websites are designed to assist with every aspect of the college application process.

Step 4: Establish Goals

Make an outline with your child to distinguish what her goals are. It may be the first time you're confronting life goals. Putting this information in writing can be challenging. Having an outline will sort out how to proceed for the college application essay requirement. Give your child the time to adequately express herself. Encourage her to always keep options open. Ensure that she understands if she isn't accepted, it has little to do with her as a person. 

Step 5: Help Build a Resume

Unless she's already had a job which required a resume, many children will not have a clue as to how to proceed. Help her design a resume that highlights her strengths or an activity list that outlines how she's been involved in the community. This information will be reviewed by college entrance examiners, so it needs to be done with great care. Help your child get letters of recommendation in order.

Step 6: Be Thorough

Ensure that you check over each document to be submitted for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Check it over for flow and content to ensure that it is logical, complete, makes sense and is compelling.

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