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– Some parents think that ‘who you know’ is more important than ‘what you know.’ Having an influential friend who is involved in a college does not assure one admission.Any time a parent uses plural pronouns like ‘we’ in reference to the a college, as in, ‘We are going to Harvard next year.’ The parent rarely is admitted or attends with the student in my experience.
– I have worked with students who drop academic classes or reduce their effort in classes after they gain acceptance to colleges in the spring of their senior year.
We got the opinions of two dozen admissions professionals who shared some of the bad college selection advice they’ve heard from parents with good intentions. Here are the top three pieces of bad advice according to our expert panel: I have heard things like: I thought colleges don’t look at the final semester grades, so we thought it would be OK to drop those classes.
It is never about quantity, it is about quality, and sustained involvement.
If you are already taking a rigorous academic program during the school year, do something character-building like working, volunteering or starting a business.
For lots of reasons, including 1) your child may not have a first choice school, 2) easier is all relative, and 3) particularly for kids in smaller schools, ED is a very public process where a ‘no, you’re not admitted’ travels fast.
‘Join lots of clubs and spend summers doing pre-college programs because it looks good to admissions officers.’ Why lousy advice?Parents should spend more time helping their child think about what environment is best for their learning style rather than simply focusing on the choice of a major.If the truth was told, nearly 75% of high school seniors really have no clue on what major they will consider.Parents need to have detailed conversations with their child about the cost of college — and what will affordable options/opportunities look like.This is, of course, much easier to do earlier in the process, before the student has started to submit applications for admission.These ratings are poorly constructed using a simplistic formula and #7 is really not #7 and # 13 is not really #13…College is not a trophy.I think the one I hear often from parents is that you need to pick your major before choosing your college.In reality, the four year, private, residential college is a great place to find your major.We are well prepared to work individually with students.The worst advice I have heard, consistently given by too many parents, is the belief that the college with the highest ranking due to the schools low admit rate and high SAT score average must be better for their child than any other choices.The final college choice needs to include the quality of the undergraduate experience.