Happy Anniversary! College Parent Central Turns Five!

We’re wishing ourselves a happy anniversary here at College Parent Central.  We’ve reached a five year milestone!  Somehow it seemed appropriate to begin this venture on April Fool’s Day — April 1, 2009 — as we launched ourselves into the unknown.  We believed then that college parents need support and are an important factor in student success.  Five years later we are even more convinced of the importance of parent education and support.

We’ve spent five years sharing nearly 500 posts, writing about college parenting, talking to college parents, working with college students, and working and speaking with professional colleagues.  During this time, we are proud to have contributed to the important dialogue that helps parents better understand and work with their students.

Throughout the past five years we have learned even more than we have shared.  We are grateful to those people who have shared their stories and wisdom and helped us as we continue to reach out to parents who may find our information helpful.

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The Final Decision: Why Your High School Senior May Be Stuck

It’s all good.  Your high school student applied to multiple colleges — and they’ve been accepted to all of them.  You’ve made it through the harrowing admissions process.

But wait, the process isn’t quite over yet.  You and your student have survived the agonizing wait, but now the ball is back in your student’s court.  They need to make a decision — in just a few short weeks they will need to decide which college to attend.  This sounds like an ideal dilemma, but put the emphasis on dilemma.

For some soon-to-be college students the decision is easy.  They have had a clear favorite from the beginning and there is no hesitation.  For many more students, however, the decision may not be as clear.  There are many factors to weigh, options to consider.  For many high school students, this is not only a big decision; this may be the first major life decision that they have had to make.  To many students, this decision may be overwhelming and paralyzing.

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Book Review: Generation on a Tightrope

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 created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone.  See our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean is not written specifically for college parents, however, if you want to read a book that will force you to look at your college-aged student differently; this is one of those books.  The book is based on research conducted with 5,000 college students as well as student affairs staff members from 270 college campuses.  It explores the similarities and differences between today’s generation and previous generations.  The book begins by offering the opportunity for current parents to hold the mirror up to examine their own generation.

Generation on a Tightrope provides an eye-opening portrait not only of this generation of college students, but also of college parents.  Chapters cover a view of the world in which current college students grew up, the academic attitudes of students, social life, parental involvement in these students’ lives, changing multicultural climate, politics, and the future.

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Why Your High School Senior Is So Stressed Right Now

There may be times for many of us throughout this college admissions process when we don’t think we’ll all survive.  Parents are anxious, students are stressed and sometimes downright sullen, and admissions personnel are overwhelmed.  It seems as though the stress has increased in recent years — especially for high school students.  We’ve created an achievement culture where students begin earlier and earlier to plan for, and work toward, college admission.  Is it any wonder that everyone is feeling out of control by the second half of senior year?

For high school students especially, the tension and stress at this time of year may often feel overwhelming.  But, although the stress of waiting to hear about getting in to college is very real, it is not the only factor creating the anxiety at this time of year.  Here are six factors that may be affecting your student’s feelings.

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Living on Campus? Why Your College Student Needs the Meningitis Vaccine

If you have a student headed to college, you’ll need immunization records.  And if your student will be living on campus, he’ll likely be required to have the meningitis vaccination — and for good reason.

College freshmen are the most likely segment of the US population to contract bacterial meningitis.  Because so many students in this group live together so closely in college residence halls, they are six times more likely to contract the disease than other segments of the population.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 2,600 people in the United States contract meningitis each year and as many as 10-14% of those (1 in 7) will die.  Many who survive may have lasting disabilities.

The good news is that according to the American College Health Association, 80% of those cases could be prevented.

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