Admissions Advice

Parents Told to Step Back During College Admissions

Three-quarters of admissions officers advise families to step back when it comes to the process of a young person applying to college. It's no wonder after hearing some of the stories they share regarding how involved some parents get. Take the mom who called the admissions office pretending to be her own child, or the ones who won't let their children speak during admissions meetings or who call the college requesting a change in major because they don't approve of what their sons or daughters have signed up for.

Those are some of the findings offered by Kaplan Test Prep, which did a survey of 354 admissions officers at colleges and universities across the country.

One in five respondents (18 percent) said that parents should be "very involved"; and just 1 percent advised extreme involvement and taking care of everything.

What should parents do? The admissions officers suggested accompanying their children on campus visits; helping them meet application deadlines; and assisting with financial aid paperwork.

Kaplan's advice to parents: Step in only when your student requests it; otherwise, "on the road to college, let them take the driver's seat."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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