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College Planning Jobs for Parents

Updated: Jul 3

As parents, we're used to doing a lot for our kids, but when it comes to the college application process, it will be up to our high schooler to decide on his or her college list and to complete the applications. What can parents do to support their student? While there is no "right" amount of help and our child should take the helm, here are some suggested areas for parents or guardians to assist.

Be the Chief Financial Officer
Know what the family can afford to pay for college. Know how to apply for Financial Aid. Understand net price. Understand student and parent loans, and merit aid.

Be a Cheerleader
The senior year with classes, activities AND college applications can be stressful. Encourage your student to get an early start on applications. Help him or her stay organized. Set goals for completion of each step in the process. Be there as a support if he or she is rejected by a college; and to celebrate when acceptances come in. 

Be the Travel Agent
If it's possible, try to schedule visits to colleges on your student's list. Once they've been on campus, experiencing the vibe and culture, they will have a better idea if it will be a good fit. Some families choose to wait until after the student has been accepted to visit. A student shouldn't be expected to accept an offer of admission to a college they have never visited.
Be a Research Assistant
Students should be invested in researching their schools. But for students with little additional time to research, and parents who can spare the time, they can help by finding the following information on college websites:
Program/major information
Admissions requirements and deadlines
Financial aid and merit aid opportunities
Admissions presentations on campus or in your area
Be a Copyeditor
While only your child should write his or her college essays, you can look over your student's essays and check for:
Grammatical and spelling errors
 Does the essay sound like your child, in his or her "voice"?

Be a College Parent
Once your child has accepted an offer of admission, together you can:
Sign up for housing
Sign up for orientation
Find out how and when tuition is paid
Check emails and the college's portal for any other instructions
Set up your child's personal finances
Explore the college's campus resources
Pick up necessary items for dorm life.
And most importantly, enjoy your summer and time with your child!

Parent Resources

Want a partner in this process?
Check out VP College Consulting's Junior/Senior package or Senior Package for details and schedule a free consultation.


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