Tips for Parents During the Admissions Process
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Ronni Shaw in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info
- Leverage a Shared Calendar
- Advice for Your Student’s Email
- Help Your Student Manage Their Email
- Manage Social Media Accounts
Leverage a Shared Calendar
A great tip for parents is to keep a shared calendar with their child. The specific calendar application you use doesn’t matter as much, but it’s important to have a place to store and get notifications about critical dates. This will make sure nothing important slips through the cracks and will help lessen the stress of the college admissions process for both you and your child. Developing a system that works for everyone is critical.
A system that works for many families is creating a calendar and color-coding events like college visits, zoom interviews, applications, and scholarship deadlines. You will also want to include reminders in your calendar for a couple of days before the event. That way, both you and your child are aware of any deadlines before they happen.
One caveat to this is your child needs to pay attention to these reminders. It is very easy to click snooze on a reminder that isn’t an immediate concern, but this can lead to additional stress later down the line.
Advice for Your Student’s Email
An easy tip for you and your student is to have professional-sounding email addresses. This might seem like an easy step, but your child might have made their email address years ago when the professional aspect of emails wasn’t a concern. Their email address will appear on their college applications, official college board scores, and any communication between them and the university, so you want to make a good impression by being as professional as possible.
During college applications, both you and your student will receive hundreds of emails. A great way to keep organized is by creating an inbox in your email account specifically for any communication that happens with colleges and counselors. You can do this by setting a list of email addresses to filter into their own folder. This will clean up your student’s inbox and create a space for all of their college information to be stored.
Help Your Student Manage Their Email
Your student should be checking their email inbox at least once a day. Having a daily check-in will help your child feel less overwhelmed because they aren’t letting emails pile up. This will also ensure your child responds to important emails as soon as possible, which is a great way for your student to show colleges that they are taking the process seriously.
If, for example, your child receives an important email from one of their top colleges asking for specific information, being on top of their email account will give them a chance to meet with their counselor in a timely manner, then respond promptly to the university providing everything they need.
Another great way to stay on top of important information is to have your child forward you any important emails. This will help with updating your shared calendar with your student and allow you to help your child when they need it.
Your child will also be receiving questions that they have never seen before, so they might often need to check in with you. If your child reaches out for help in this way, try to be available to assist them with the more difficult parts of their application. Students often get asked questions that only their parents can answer, and this will help you approach the application process as a team.
Manage Social Media Accounts
Many colleges check applicants’ social media accounts to ensure they admit students whose values align with their own. Your student’s information and posts are usually publicly available when they use social media. Whether they have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, all of these platforms could be checked by the colleges they apply to. Help your student clean up their accounts to make sure they are not sharing anything they wouldn’t want admission officers to look at.