Supporting a Rising College Student

A few years ago, I wrote about the college process, and now with a third son readying for the college application process, I still believe in all that I wrote in the post, The College Process. 

There are some high school juniors and seniors that complete this process on their own, but most need a bit of support. With the process in mind, here are the steps my son and I will embark on in the coming months:
  1. Visit a number of colleges and create a list that includes sure-bets (he'll get in), almost sure-bets (he'll probably get in), and perhaps a reach or two (he may not get in, but if he does it would be awesome). Make sure that every college is one that he feels is a good fit for who he is and what he wants to become. Also make sure that the colleges fit what my husband and I are ready to support which is a college that offers him a top-notch liberal arts education.
  2. During the support help my son with the logistics of completing all applications. Summer is an opportune time to complete applications because there isn't the stress of school life and the opinions of peers--he can simply work on his essays and applications with ease and focus.
  3. Prepare envelops and other materials for recommendations. Pass out the recommendations that you're able to and save the teacher recommendations for the first days of school.
  4. Start the school year with both applications and application strategy complete. A good strategy is to apply to all early action schools on your list right away and if you choose an early decision school apply to that too. Have early decision II applications waiting in the wings if you don't get into your first early decision school. Also have regular admission schools waiting in the wings if you don't get into either early decision school and if you don't want to go to your early action.
  5. Feel proud of your plan, work hard to keep up with school grades, learning and activities at high school, and enjoy your senior year.


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