The College Admissions Process: Are You Helping Or Hurting Your Child?

Once your children are old enough to worry about college admissions, you may assume that you are a seasoned parent, who doesn't need any input or advice. But you can always learn a thing or two, and that certainly applies to parents who have children going through the college admissions process for the very first time. If you are a parent with a new college-student-to-be, here are a few things to keep in mind while your child is writing college essays and interviewing with the admissions office.

It Is Possible To Be Too Involved, And It Can Hurt Your Child's Chances Of Success?

It is important to be supportive, but is also just as important to set boundaries and stick to them. Buying your child an SAT prep book or reading his or her college essay over after it's done is just fine (and these things will probably help a great deal, too!). Writing admissions essays for teens -- or calling the college to ask questions on behalf of your child -- is not acceptable. As for the essay, colleges want to assess your child based on their merit, not yours. And, although it may seem relatively harmless to give an admissions officer a quick call, it can actually send some undesirable messages. Colleges may assume your child is overly dependent on you, or they may think that you're the one interested in the school, not your child.

If your child needs guidance with online college applications, filling out the college application online, and college admissions requirements, a professional college admissions consultant may be the best option. They have years of experience, and they will steer your future college student in the right direction without stepping over the line.

It's Okay If Your Child Doesn't Get Into An Ivy League School

Unfortunately, for most parents, it's not about teens just filling out the college application online -- it's about what college they get into and how others perceive it. That's okay, up to a point. Make it clear that you will be proud if your child gets into one of the nation's 4,000 colleges and universities, and that pride isn't dependent on it being an Ivy League school. Remember, 3.4 million people apply to college every year -- and some lesser known colleges may be surprisingly high quality and/or prestigious.

If your child has concerns about the college admissions process or filling out the college application online, it may be best to be supportive and hire one of the 248,000 admissions consultants for more one-on-one direction.