Advice for Parents Starting the College Admissions Process

Step 1:  Get Organized

You’re probably great with organization. That will be helpful along the road to college applications. You should help your kid get organized, but one word of caution: don’t start doing things for them. Help your soon-to-be applicant create a good system to keep all of their pertinent information in order. 

Step 2: Get Out of It  

Once you’ve helped your kid get started, get out of it. And stay out. This piece of information is so important, we wrote it in two separate sections. We don’t need to tell you this but with teenagers, the more you tell them to do things, the less they want to do them. So, resist the urge to be involved (unless, of course, they ask for your help) and incentivize their ownership of the process instead. Your kid will eventually ask for your help if they need it. Lead the horse to water.

Step 2a: Realize This Isn’t About You

We find that during the college admissions process, parents often begin rehashing their own lives at 17.  They think about all of the things they wish they had done and start projecting or trying to protect their kids from their own past pitfalls. You can’t prevent everything bad from happening. If you didn’t get into the Ivy League, you should not necessarily push your kid to apply if it’s not right for them. We’ve found that parents are just kids with more responsibility. The best advice we can give is really just to stay out of it.

Step 2b: Hire Someone

If you can afford to, hire a college counseling service. We don’t write the essays for your kids. We do the job you want done: we manage the process and help them brainstorm and write every piece of writing. We also give parents weekly progress reports so they can stay informed. If you can’t afford a counseling service, welcome to the blog!


Need help with your college essays? Reach out to us here. We are great at helping kids write unique, impressive essays.