In This Issue:
Parenting Through the College Application Process in the Senior Year
Parenting During College Exploration

Two Articles We Recommend Reading:
College Rankings: Get A Second Opinion
The Debate Over Early Decision In College Admission:  Who Is It Good For?


If you are the parent of a high school senior, it is likely that you are worried about how your child will complete the application process on time, while continuing to do homework and participate in activities. Your sense of time and that of the typical adolescent, with their still developing executive function skills, are likely to differ. Nagging your child will be counterproductive, so what can you do? 

​Become your child’s ally. Establish with your child one meeting a week to check in on progress. At the first meeting, make a list of what needs to be done and by when. How many college specific essays will be required? Ask your child to divide the list into weekly tasks. Week 1, fill out the Common Application, week 2, write a draft of an essay, etc. Let your child set the schedule. Post it on the refrigerator and ask your child to check off each task as it is completed.  Refer to the list at each weekly meeting.  Resist the urge to discuss college applications the rest of the week and defend your child from questioning by other family members.


While there is a great deal of pressure from peers, family and others on students regarding students’ choices of college, we strongly recommend the search begin with a realistic assessment of the characteristics each student is looking for in a college.  When a student is happy, supported, challenged and graduates on time, the investment of time and energy in researching and visiting during the sophomore or junior year is well worth it.

Many parents worry that if a college is not well known then the student will not be happy and/or employable upon graduation.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Having the courage to go against the tide of “prestige – seeking” will help the student find what they truly want, regardless of appearances in rankings books or on the ESPN crawl.

​So, enable a search through  or another search site, and concentrate on characteristics . . . size, distance from home, range of majors, range of activities, etc. Visit a few in the surrounding area that vary by size and focus and help your student find what feels good in the pit of his/her/their stomach.  Then go farther afield from there.


Each month we will highlight some characteristics of a college you may have heard of, or not. This month:  The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

​Known for the highly spirited campus and Scottish traditions, but most notably for mentored research.  Each student undertakes at least one major research project working individually with a faculty member.  (The tradition is for students to receive a Tootsie Roll when they hand in their projects!)  Wooster’s placement records of 95% of graduates in jobs or graduate school within six months and 94% of those applying to graduate school being accepted by their first choice is remarkable.


  • February 16 – 21, 2020 to include Occidental College, University of Southern California (USC), University San of Diego, UC San Diego (UCSD), Claremont Colleges, UCLA, Chapman University, University of Redlands, Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). 
  • April 12 – 18, 2020 to include Marquette University, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Loyola Chicago, University of Chicago, DePaul University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan and Michigan State.