A Decade in the Making: College Parent Central Turns Ten!!

Cue the balloons and confetti!  We’re celebrating April Fool’s Day!

Well, actually, here at College Parent Central we’re celebrating our anniversary, or birthday, or blogiversary. We’ve officially made it to a decade.

It was April 1, 2009 (somehow April Fool’s Day seemed fitting) when we launched ourselves into the unknown and began College Parent Central.  We hoped that as parents accompanied their students on their college journey we might be able to help them understand their role and how best to support their students.  We thought we had a pretty good idea, but we didn’t know what to expect from this venture.

Ten years later we’re still going.  We still believe that there’s much for parents to learn and understand in order to help their students prepare for, transition to, and succeed in college. We’ve been pleased, over the last decade, to hear from so many parents who have found our information helpful.

If you’ve landed on College Parent Central, and you’re reading this, we hope that you find what you need here, too. Know that you are joining the over three million parents who have also visited College Parent Central over the years. We’re grateful for the many parents, educators, and counselors who have shared our information with others, who have provided helpful feedback, and who have taught us so much over the years.

Read moreA Decade in the Making: College Parent Central Turns Ten!!


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


The Antidote to “Operation Varsity Blues” Parenting

It isn’t possible to be a college parenting website without addressing the current Admissions Scandal sweeping across our news feeds. Parents have paid enormous sums of money to have their students fraudulently admitted to elite colleges.  They have doctored test scores, bribed consultants, coaches and admissions staff.  It’s the latest, most outrageous development in the college admissions parental involvement saga.

Parental reputations have progressed from what Laura Hamilton, author of Parenting to a Degree  calls “bystander parenting” to helicoptering to snow plow and lawnmower parenting and now to curling and what Dean Julie (Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult) has referred to as drone parenting.

Almost all of us are familiar with helicopter parents who hover over their children to make sure everything is OK – and then swoop in when they need to rescue them.  In case you are less familiar with the other terms, snow plow and lawn mower parents push problems and obstacles out of the way or mow down obstacles to clear a path for their students.  Curling parents go one step further –warming the ice and reducing any friction to help students slide forward in the direction the “sweeper” chooses.  And now, in light of this new scandal, we have drone parents; parents who pick their child up and deposit them where they (the parents) want them to be – sometimes without the student even realizing that it has happened.  And for at least one set of parents, that apparently means a trophy school that comes with bragging rights.

The admissions system is flawed, to be sure. It may even be broken. Hopefully, a lot of people will now be looking long and hard at how students are coached, tested, and admitted to schools. This scandal has shone a light on a host of problems, some illegal and many unethical or at least unfair.

But even as we cast blame on the system and its participants, we need to hold the mirror up to ourselves.

Read moreThe Antidote to “Operation Varsity Blues” Parenting


Book Review: Generation Z: A Century in the Making

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

Generation Z: A Century in the Making is the third book written by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace about this important generation of students who are our current college, high school, and middle schoolers.  We’re just getting to know this generation, but they are our kids, and we’re surrounded by them – at home and now at work.  The more we understand them as a generation, the better our relationships will be.  We’ve reviewed Seemiller and Grace’s first book, Generation Z Goes to College, but we think this one is important as well.

Generation Z, as defined in this book, includes those students born between 1995 and 2010.

Much like Generation Z Goes to College, this book begins with an overview of generations leading up to Generation Z.  As parents, we can find our own generation, or perhaps the generations of our older children and our own parents, to give context to the discussion of Generation Z.   Holding the mirror up to ourselves can be an interesting exercise!  We like, too, the explanation of how world developments have helped to shape each generation, with a focus on the technology of the time, the societal events, and family relationships.   We understand our students better when we remember those world events which shaped their childhoods, and when we remember that our generation has created the society into which they are born.

Read moreBook Review: Generation Z: A Century in the Making


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


Sophomore Conversations – Settling in to College Life

As parents, we worry about our high school senior’s transition to college.  We know that this is a big step and we hope that both our student, and we, are prepared.

But even after your student has made those important first transitions to college, there are more changes ahead.  Each year of college brings its own phase of development, and the phenomenon of the “sophomore slump” is very real for many students.  Parents may be less comfortable with knowing what conversations they should be having with their second year student, but the work isn’t done.

Knowing that the second year of college may be significantly different from the first and being prepared for some changes, or even a potential sophomore slump, will arm your student and may prevent some difficult times.   Now that your student has some perspective on college life and studies, this is the ideal time to contemplate next steps. Not all topics are appropriate for everyone, but we’d like to suggest seven possible conversation starters.

Read moreSophomore Conversations – Settling in to College Life


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


Does Your College Student Have a Case of the Junior Jitters?

Most students will agree that the junior year of high school is the hardest.  Junior grades are important for college applications.  Students are taking difficult courses this year, perhaps upper level math and science, AP or Honors courses.  Students are also busy considering and visiting colleges, working on admission essays, interviewing, and beginning to get busy on college applications.  It can be exhausting for students – and their families.

But what about the junior year of college? Although junior year of high school may be legend, many students find themselves unprepared for a parallel experience in college.

Much attention is given to the first year of college, the transition, and sometimes the mistakes, that students make. There is growing interest in the second year of college as students settle in and choose a major and/or career path.  But after the year of Freshman Folly and the potential Sophomore Slump, there is less often attention paid to the junior year of college, the year of the potential Junior Jitters.  But this is an important time in your student’s journey through college.

Read moreDoes Your College Student Have a Case of the Junior Jitters?


New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents – and Their College Students

OK, have you ever had the same resolution for more than one year? You know you have . . . Sometimes it’s because you just didn’t make it happen last time – and sometimes it’s because it’s such a good resolution that you need it again.

This year we’re revisiting some resolutions for college parents and for their students that we posted way back in 2009. We’ve updated some – life has moved on after all.  And some are just gems that should still be on our resolution list.

We invite you to take a few minutes to review our list, adopt some suggestions, and add a few of your own.  The New Year is a time for new beginnings, so whether you’re about to be a college parent,  you’re a new college parent, or you’ve been at this for a while, it’s the time of year to take stock and make a fresh start. And don’t forget to share a few of these with your student as well.  A new year also brings a new semester for many students – the perfect time for their fresh start as well.

Read moreNew Year’s Resolutions for College Parents – and Their College Students


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


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