When to Hit ‘Submit’: Finding the College Application Timing Sweet Spot
Sep06

When to Hit ‘Submit’: Finding the College Application Timing Sweet Spot

When should you apply to college and when do college applications get reviewed? It’s all about schedules and timelines — the colleges’ — not yours.

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Parent College Coach Tip #70: Don’t Make These Fatal Application Mistakes
Jul10

Parent College Coach Tip #70: Don’t Make These Fatal Application Mistakes

The college application is the place for your teen to put their best foot forward. It’s what colleges use to get to know your teen and find out if they want them to be a part of their college community. It’s crucial for your student to market herself to the colleges; and that marketing means putting her best foot forward. Following are some application mistakes your teen should avoid when completing the college application: Not knowing what “prepared” means—The worst trait your teen can have during this process is procrastination. It will show in the application if they wait until the last minute to write their essay or ask for a recommendation letter that had to be rushed. Remember our motto: Preparation Prevents Panic! Just being yourself—You want to make sure that your teen shows their BEST self, not their WORST self (immature, spontaneous, impulsive, overly blunt). It will come across in the application and the essay and turn admissions officers off. Nothing turns you on—Your teen needs to find their passion and focus on that. There’s no room for mediocrity or complacency in the admissions process. Not  understanding leadership—Encourage your teen to show the college that they have something to contribute in the essay or the interview. It’s a quality they look for when they are perusing those “average” applications. Seeming  like a “threat”—Appearing aggressive or competitive in the essay will send up red flags. If your teen appears to always want to be number one and not a team player, it communicates that they can’t fit in to the student body. Social insensitivity—Criticizing someone’s race, religion or sexual preference in a college essay or interview is an absolute no-no. All colleges are looking for diversity. Your teen needs to show they will contribute and embrace this philosophy. Dependence—If there is too much parent involvement in the application process, colleges will assume that this will continue and make them question your teen’s ability to function well independently of their parents. Going negative—Encourage your teen to stay positive in the essay and positive in the interview. Negativity makes a strong impression and it’s not the one you want them to remember. Exclusivity—Don’t appear to be a snob. College is about building bridges and exploring all types of cultures and social classes. If your teen acts like they are better than everyone else, it’s hard to justify placing that type of student into a diverse campus. Wasting your special qualifications—If your teen is a seasoned videographer, let the college know. If your teen knows how to run their own business, this is the time to blow that horn. Not learning...

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Parent College Coach Tip #2: Be a Helper, Not a Doer
Feb07

Parent College Coach Tip #2: Be a Helper, Not a Doer

Parents of college-bound teens struggle with boundaries. So much so that you often ask the question: “If I don’t do it for them, will it ever get done?” After all, you’ve taken care of them and met all of their needs for the past 18 years and it’s hard to stop. But parents should never take charge of the college prep process. What you can do, however, is help; or what I like to say, “Be a parent college coach.” Here are just a few ways you can help and coach your college-bound teen: Assist them with their organization of the college materials. Remind them of upcoming deadlines. Give them input on college choices. Talk with them about your college budget and what you expect them to contribute. Be a partner in the scholarship search process. Discuss the college visits (what they liked and didn’t like). Provide information for all the financial aid forms. This is the best time for you to step back a little and let your child spread their wings. They will be leaving for college soon and be on their own. The four years of high school are their training ground and if you still do everything for them, they won’t survive on their own in...

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College Admission Applications Take More Time Than You Expect
Nov27

College Admission Applications Take More Time Than You Expect

Eastern Montgomery High School seniors take advantage of Virginia College Application Day at their school to complete applications for college.

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Scholarship Mom Tip #41: Know the GC
Sep16

Scholarship Mom Tip #41: Know the GC

— It’s important to know the person who can help you the most when it comes to winning scholarships. Who do you think we mean?

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College Mom Minute #66: Dollar Daze
Jan07

College Mom Minute #66: Dollar Daze

Parents: Got a minute?  Click below to play this week’s audio tip: Searching for Scholarships...

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