Parents and College Admissions Process

Parents and College Admission, College Admission and Parents, Parental Involvement in College Admissions

Parents should not be interfacing with college admissions officers just as they shouldn’t be interfacing with refs on the soccer field.

Parents need to know when they’re overstepping their bounds in the college admissions process. We recently read a piece that described a scenario in which a parent dropped off an envelope with $1,000 in it at a college admissions office. Presumably most of our readers are smarter than this parent. What was he thinking dropping off a measly $1,000? We’re kidding. Bribing college admissions officers is a horrific idea that will lead your child to get denied…not admitted. But, seriously, $1,000? Did he really think someone was going to risk losing their job for two round-trip tickets between California and New York? Oy vey.

Since our readers are smart enough never to do what that crazy father did (the envelope was sent right back to him because they had the family’s address on file), we’re not going to bother giving the advice that you should never bribe admissions officers. But some parents due commit less egregious errors in the college admissions process. Sometimes, we hear of parents contacting college admissions officers and asking them questions. Parents should not be doing this. Students should instead be the ones asking the questions and developing the relationship with the admissions officer. In the vast majority of cases, a college admissions officer isn’t going to admit a student because they think the kid’s parent asks pointed questions. That’s just ridiculous.

Parents asking these questions shows that the student isn’t that interested and doesn’t take the initiative. That’s not what you want to demonstrate to a college admissions officer. Quite the opposite. So, parents, if you really want to help your child get admitted to the college of his or her dreams, know when not to interfere as such interference can severely hurt your child’s chances.


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