College application season can be a tricky and stressful time for students and parents! The process goes far beyond just filling out application forms (and those are complicated enough); colleges usually require additional application materials including grades and unofficial transcripts, standardized test scores, awards and extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, and resume/CV, among others.
Parents can help by encouraging students to organize their application materials in a timely manner and helping to create a binder or folder to track their academic progress and gather all of the necessary materials for applications.
Timing is particularly important for tasks such as requesting letters of recommendation, ordering transcripts and sending test scores. Parents can assist by keeping an eye on deadlines and making sure these important tasks are handled promptly. Students may also benefit from help with drafting resumes, writing emails and thank you letters, and preparing for interviews.
Parents should help their students with the process of identifying areas of academic interest and shortlisting colleges with suitable programs that have entry requirements that align with the student’s academic profile. By starting the conversation about academic goals and target schools early, in 9th grade or even earlier, parents can help students allow time to plan courses and extracurriculars and address academic gaps or weaknesses in their profile. The college application process is stressful for everyone, and an adult point of view may help students maintain their mental and emotional balance and provide a different perspective on the pros and cons of various schools. Parents and students may also find that a professional college advisor is extremely helpful during this process.