Answering Parent College Question on Applications

Question: I am a first generation American, both my parents were born in a former Eastern European communist country, they moved to the US in their 20s.  My question is about my mother’s college attendance and what to fill in the appropriate field on the application.  My father never attended college buy my mother did, she attended 3.5 years of college.   Close to graduation, she was kicked out of college because of her application to leave the country and emigrate to the US. 

Not sure what to fill in the application?  She did not graduate in her home country and she was only able to attend one college semester in the US.

Who keeps these college records? How do colleges check when and where parents attended college?

The Common Application (and most others) allows students to indicate that a parent has completed some college but not graduated. Thus, you should respond that your mother attended two different institutions but did not earn a degree. There is a drop-down menu that lets you name the schools she attended, so use that list if it includes your mother’s colleges. (There are many overseas institutions on the list but not all.)

It is unlikely that admission officials will follow-up to see if the information you provided is accurate. However, you want to be as honest as you can possibly be on all applications.  If any intentional falsification were to come to light, your offers of admission could be rescinded and, if you’ve already matriculated, you could be expelled.  This probably won’t happen, but you don’t want to take a chance.