In 1995, my high school had a college day, local, state colleges came to the school with tables set up, and you could ask questions, get information and even apply to some of the colleges. At the time, I wanted to be a teacher and had my mindset on two colleges. I applied to Western Michigan University and was accepted on the spot. I came home from school and announced I was a WMU BRONCO and that was it. I had no testing stress. I did not fret over an essay or worry about admission envelopes arriving. I did not visit the campus until the day my dad brought me to my dorm room. No costly college tour visits. I was accepted and that was good enough for me.
Today everything is very different. My younger cousins are hiring tutors for testing. They are taking practice tests and retaking tests until they get the desired score for admissions. Long road trips and flights to visit potential colleges are booked as early as their 10th grade year.
After applying and agonizing over essays, they are losing sleep over the college admission envelopes arriving in the mail. It is nail biting to witness and hear about, let alone experience. If you are a parent going through this, I feel for you. Check out these parental tips from the educational experts at Magoosh. In addition, if you are looking for online test prep that is enjoyable and affordable, check them out.
Keep an open mind — there’s no such thing as one “perfect” school. There are many schools that offer great educational programs and opportunities that are unique to their name. There is always something special about the school your child decides to go to.
Have a plan to finance the education. Whether parents have already saved for their child’s tuition, plan to use financial aid, or will be relying on students loans, always make sure you know how much the total cost for attending each of the college options will be.
Stay off social media. You don’t want to see other parents boasting about their child’s admission to their favorite school—it will just make you more stressed while your child is waiting for their results.
Don’t let your child take it personally. Millions of national and international students apply each year to attend college. Even if you child is at the top of their class, sometimes things are out of their control.
Have a Plan B. If they don’t get into their dream college, they can take a gap year which will strengthen their application for next school year. Always have a backup plan so they’re not at a loss after college admissions season.