Talk to other parents who recently went through the ordeal of enrolling their child. People who have recently gone through the application process have practical, first-hand information that is valuable. Find out which books they found most useful and then provide them for your child.
Encourage your child to keep track of deadlines and try to get them to finish the applications early. Most applications should be turned in by the middle of fall. Then your child can return their focus on their school work to keep their grades up.
Make copies of all the finished applications and any other correspondence. Most colleges will acknowledge the receipt of completed papers with a postcard with anything you may have missed. If too much time passes without such an acknowledgment, you can call and check. Having a copy of all papers will save you time and stress.
Consider early-action applications or at least one or two colleges with rolling admissions to get an early decision. This takes a little pressure off, knowing that you are being accepted by one school.
Talk with your high-school guidance counselor. Be sure your child is applying to schools where they have a better than average chance of being accepted. If the student aims to high with all of their choices this can badly damage your teens ego. It will add stress and the fear of rejection will be great. Make sure your teen applies to at least two colleges that will admit them. It might not be what they want but it is a start.
Plan to visit the colleges. Try to see the college when classes are actually in schedule. Most high schools now offer scheduled trips to some colleges. The students may have the opportunity to stay in the dorms and attend some classes.
A teenager’s first choice of college may not work out, or it may prove to be a mistake. Don’t get upset. Your child will be able to transfer from one college to another. It happens a lot.
Children at this age needs their parents to support, not push. Your student has a lot going on and with supportive parents backing them it will be an easier adjustment for them.