College Counseling » Parent Tips

Parent Tips

PARENT RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE COLLEGE PROCESS

At Beacon, we work hard to ensure that college admission is a student-centered process, intentionally placing the burden of responsibility in this process on the student. At the same time, we recognize the pivotal role that parents, guardians, and families play in the college process. Below, we outline the responsibilities of parents in the college process:
 
  • Engage in an open-minded dialogue with your child about the college admissions process. Listen closely to their interests, aspirations, and anxieties. Remember that our goal in this process is to find the right “match” for your child. Empower your child to sit in the “driver’s seat” throughout this process. Help with navigation and offer advice when appropriate.
  • Use Beacon’s college counseling office as a resource. College counselors are available by phone or email at any time, and they will take appointments (with the student present) at any time in the student’s high school career. Share your concerns, boundaries, and perceptions with the college counselor, and do not hesitate to ask candid and challenging questions. The college counseling team is eager to build supportive, collaborative relationships with Beacon families.
  • Attend parent and student college nights and information sessions each year. The college office regularly offers programming directed towards parents and families. Use these programs to start informed conversations with your child.
  • Bear the financial responsibility for your child’s college education. All colleges and universities use a financial methodology that determines a “family contribution.” Be sure to budget for this expenditure. Also, work with your child’s college counselor to understand and take advantage of the financial resources and assistance available to your family.
  • Share any boundaries, limitations, or concerns about the college search with your child, particularly any financial limitations. Your child should know approximately how much money you plan to spend on their education. While sharing financial information with your child might be uncomfortable, many students appreciate a candid understanding of the financial realities of a college education.
  • If your child asks for help with their applications, offer to look over application and essay drafts and give some feedback for revision. Always be aware of who is typing; under no circumstances should you fill out applications or help write essays for your child.
  • Consider dedicating a particular time each week to discuss the college process. Lay some ground rules for these weekly times to ensure civil and productive discourse. Avoid discussing applications or the process outside of this dedicated time.
  • Ensure that all pertinent forms and parent questionnaires are submitted to the College Office in a timely fashion. Neglecting to submit forms or ignoring set application procedures can sometimes cause delays in the admissions process.