Preparing for College

Parental Prerogatives

In my line of work as an independent college admissions counselor, I deal a lot with parents. They fall into two main groups: (1) those who would be considered so-called “helicopter" parents (usually mothers), and (2) “the uninitiated," those who know that the college process is a significant challenge but who also know that they don't know much about it.

The most frequent type of parent I deal with is the Mom or Dad who is eager (many times anxious) for their son or daughter to get into the Ivy League or other “elite" college or university. Inside this demographic dwell an additional two types: (1) parents who know that their child is a contender for admission to one of these top schools, and (2) those who have no idea about how difficult (and random) the ultra-competitive college admissions process has become.

Accordingly, I would like to address both of these groups with some of my accumulated wisdom from decades of counseling. The focus of my words here is aimed at the parents of younger children, those children who will eventually be heading on to higher education in the increasingly difficult competitive admissions arena.

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