So You’re a New College Parent . . .

Congratulations!  You’ve survived the college admissions process and the acceptance letters have begun to arrive.  You are excited for your student, but you may be beginning to be a bit nervous.  Now that your son or daughter is almost a college student, you’re almost a college parent!  You may have been involved in helping your student through the admissions process — but now you wonder what you should be doing and exactly what your new role will be.

If you’re a new college parent, and you’re here at College Parent Central, you’ve found the right place to get started.  Parents of college students are often told to ”let go”, but we believe it’s all about knowing how your role changes and finding the ways that you can be productively involved to help your student throughout his college career.

This post is an index to get you started.  We’d like to give you some things to think about and some tasks to get started in your new role.  We’ll point you toward some of the posts that should be most helpful to you right now, at this beginning time.  We hope you’ll also spend time browsing the site to find the articles that are most useful to you now — and in the months and years to come.  There are lots of stages for parents along this journey.

Here are some areas to think about for now:

  • What is your new role and relationship to your student?
  • What do you need to understand about the world of college?
  • What can you do now, while your student is finishing up high school, to help her get started?
  • What are the first steps toward college?
  • What homework will help? (Yes, we’re assigning homework!)

Your new role as a college parent

Don’t worry, you still have an important role to play in your student’s life even if he is moving out.  But it’s important that you begin to understand how this role, and your relationship to your student, will be changing.  Take some time to think about this new role and how you’ll take it on.

Yes, You’re a College Parent, But Who Is This College Student?

Getting to Know Your Emerging Adult College Student

Yes, You’re a College Parent, But What Exactly Does That Mean?

Your Role as a College Parent: Sideline Coach

Affirming Helicopter Parents: Redefining the Title

Affirming Helicopter Parents: A Look in the Mirror

Affirming Helicopter Parents: How to Hover Constructively

Three Essential Elements of College Parental Support

Understand the College World

The world of college can be a mysterious place, with its own language, norms, and expectations.  If you’ve never attended college yourself, it may seem especially overwhelming.  Even if you attended college, chances are that the experience has changed since you were on campus.  Here are some suggestions to help you become more familiar with the world into which your student is embarking.

College Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk! (Follow the links at the end of this post for parts 2-6)

Ten Ways Parents of College Students Can Use the College Website

The College Catalog: Source of Information for Parents of College Students

What FERPA Means for You and Your College Student

Important Dates for New College Parents

College Parents Can Help Freshmen Understand the Differences Between H.S. and College

What can you do now to help your student prepare?

You thought your work was over.  You helped your student apply to college and she’s been admitted.  But there’s more.  There are still some skills that you can help your student strengthen before she heads off in the fall.  These skills will help her succeed.  So here are some things to think about working on during these final months.

Ten Things You Can Do to Increase Your High School Student’s Academic Readiness

Soft Skills, Strong Success: Fifteen Skills for College Readiness

Using Senior Year to Prepare Your Student for College Success

How-and Why — to Help Your College Student Create a Budget

College Students and Credit Cards

Twelve Topics You Should Cover to Help College Students Gain Financial Literacy

Does Your Student Know How to Advocate for What She Needs?

Five Conversations You and Your Student Should Have Before the First Year of College

Five More Conversation Starters for Parents and Students Before the First Year of College

First Steps

There will be lots to do for both you and your student before she heads out the door.  There are a few things that will happen sooner rather than later.  Here are some things to begin planning for as you look ahead to the final spring of high school.

Why Your Student Should Attend Accepted Student Day

College Parent Orientation: A Key Beginning

Why Summer Orientation is Important for Your College Freshman

Can a College Revoke My Student’s Admission?

The Problem with College Placement Exams

Helping Your College Student Select a Meal Plan

Doing Your Homework

Your student is the one heading to school, but there’s homework for you.  Take some time to continue to think about and prepare for your new role.  We have some resources that might be helpful.

 Recommended Reading List

Bookmark College Parent Central and come back often to read the articles that you need at the time.

Sign up for our mailing list  to get updates about what is current. (We promise never to share your information with others)

Follow us on Twitter @CollParCentral.

Listen to the College Parent Central podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, or find all of our episodes here on our website.

Remember that you are transitioning to a new phase of parenting just as your student is transitioning to become a college student.  You’re still going to be actively involved and the more prepared you are, the better the experience will be for everyone.  Enjoy the ride!  Congratulations!


2 thoughts on “So You’re a New College Parent . . .”

  1. Thanks, Monica. If you know of new college parents who could use this information, be sure to send them our way. There’s so much information out there it can sometimes be overwhelming.


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