Searching for the right college is both exciting and overwhelming, and the process typically involves the whole family. As a parent you play a critical role—as mentor, guide, and organizer—and it’s important for you to talk early with your student about ways you can best work together.
Both you and your student will make important contributions to the process. Your student should define goals for college and consider what type of school might best suit his or her personality. The student should be responsible for meetings with a college counselor at school to get information about specific schools and answer questions the family may have.
While students are responsible for preparing and submitting applications, parents can help keep the process positive, organized and on schedule. You know the family finances, so it is important for you to set expectations about college costs early and clearly. Most importantly, you can lend insight to your student’s self-reflection. Remember that communication is key to a successful team, so talk to your student frequently throughout the process.