Getting into college is one of the most important aspects of your child’s life, and it’s your responsibility as the parent to help in any way you can. There are many choices to make, and many sources of information out there to choose from, not all of it accurate. Here are some assumptions you may be making, or advice you may get, that is definitely not the right advice to follow.

‘Apply early decision, even if acceptance into that college is a stretch for your student, because you never know.’

The reality is that early decision is not a lottery, and even students that may get accepted under normal circumstances might not get accepted early decision. Colleges are looking for the strongest candidates to lock them in early. If your student does not fit that category, then don’t waste your money and effort on early decision.

‘Don’t worry about the cost. You’ll pay for it somehow.’

Not every family can afford every college, and not every dollar invested in your college education is created equal. Finding the right school is the most important aspect of the application process, and finding a program where your student is a strong candidate, and that you can afford is a big part of your decision. College loan debt is a real problem for so many graduates, and it can affect your student for years to come. Aggressive saving and proper budgeting is a crucial part of the college application process.

‘Colleges have “holistic” evaluations, so even if your grades and test scores are bad, they might still accept you.’

College admissions officers do consider many aspects of your student’s record beyond grades and test scores, but the fact is that your grades and test scores are considered first and foremost in your college application. Being the first thing they look at, if you’re scores don’t pass muster, then your extracurricular activities will not outweigh a record that demonstrates that your student has struggled in an academic environment.

‘Do whatever it takes to get into an elite college, because it’s worth it.’

An elite college is certainly attractive to consider, but if your student is not a strong enough candidate, that may be a sign that they will struggle in that particular environment. And low test scores means a lack of scholarships and higher tuition costs for you. What you need to do is find the college that is right for your student. Not only will you be getting the highest value for your student’s education, but you will be doing everything you can to ensure that your student will be placed in an environment where they can thrive, learn and grow.

As you consider your child’s college application process, do you need some good advice? The experts at Great College Advice can help you navigate the complicated and sometimes overwhelming process of getting your child into college. Visit greatcollegeadvice.com and find out how we can help you.

Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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