Information for the parents of college students
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Category — Supporting Your College Student

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.
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October 31, 2016   No Comments

Friends Along the Way: Your College Student’s Search for Friends

Parents everywhere have just dropped their students off at college for the first time.  It’s an emotional time.  Excitement is high, anxiety is high, and for many, there are mixed emotions about their student leaving home. As parents return home and try to settle into the new normal of not having their child at home, their child is busy making the transition to their new world away from home.  An essential part of that transition is making new friends.

For many students, much of their anxiety heading off to college has to do with whether or not they will find friends and “fit in.”  Friends can make all of the difference. Most colleges recognize this need and work hard to plan programming during the first few weeks of the semester to bring students together and encourage community building.  They know that students with a strong friend network are generally happier, do better, and are more likely to remain in school.

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August 29, 2016   No Comments

College Parents in 2016: Where Do You Fit?

In June 2016, College Parents of America, a membership organization designed to assist college parents, conducted their latest survey of college parents.  College Parents of America gathered information from 510 parents through their subscribers and other internet channels.  According to the CPA website, the new survey showed that “college parents are an important source of support for increasing student success and college completion.”  We couldn’t agree more.

Parent involvement

This survey clearly demonstrates that parents are, or at least hope to be, involved in their student’s college life.  More than two thirds of parents responding said they plan to participate in family events such as move-in, orientation, or family weekend. Thirty-six percent said they communicate or plan to communicate with their student at least daily.  Although the college parents responding to this survey may be a somewhat self-selecting group, parents, on the whole, want to be involved.  Approximately 40% of parents responding said that their student attends college more than 4 hours away from home, so involvement for these parents may be different.

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August 4, 2016   No Comments

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 more →]

January 31, 2016   4 Comments

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 more →]

December 31, 2015   No Comments

The Good, the Bad, (and Sometimes the Ugly) of the First Year College Experience

Much happens for students as they attempt to make the transition from high school to college.  It is often a tumultuous time.  Some students make this transition relatively smoothly, while others struggle throughout their first year of college.  Results of a study of first year students were released in early October and may help parents better understand the nature of the transition and first year students’ experiences.

This past spring, Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 1,502 U.S. college students to better understand their experiences during their first year at college.  Very simply, the poll was an attempt to examine the challenges and triumphs that students face during their first year.  The study was commissioned by the JED Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and The Jordan Porco Foundation, and was administered last spring to high school graduates between the ages of 17-20, currently attending their second semester of college.

Essentially, this study attempted to address several areas:

  • Determine students’ levels of preparedness for college
  • Identify student challenges during transition
  • Pinpoint students’ main sources of support
  • Uncover the skills, education and information that students need for easier adjustment

Parents of current or future college students can consider some of the findings of this poll in order to think about important conversations with their student.  Some issues might be addressed with local schools as well.  How can we help our students currently enrolled in college, and how can we better prepare future college students?  What role do colleges, high schools and parents play in addressing some of the issues first year students face?

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October 19, 2015   No Comments

Your College Senior: Preparing to Finish College

There’s a lot of focus on the transition for students from high school to college.  We know that students heading off to college face a whole new world.  But sometimes we underplay – or completely forget – that as students prepare to graduate from college, they are also entering a time of tremendous transition – and the whole new world of employment or graduate school.

As parents, we’ve worked throughout our student’s college career to loosen our grip, at least a little, and to recognize and celebrate our child’s growing independence and responsibility.  We know that the college senior year transition is our student’s transition to handle.  Hopefully, they will keep us informed of their progress along the way, but our role is (or at least should be) much less.  However, it helps to know what’s ahead and to be prepared.  Perhaps we can still do at least a little bit of nudging in the right direction.

We’ve collected a list of our posts that should be most helpful to parents of rising seniors.  Take a little time to read some of them and think about how you might help your student make the most of this final year – and prepare for the transition ahead.

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August 3, 2015   No Comments

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 more →]

April 30, 2015   No Comments

Why Can’t My Student Find Out His Place on the Admissions Waitlist?

Your student has been waitlisted for admission to his first choice college.  He has officially entered the limbo in which more and more students (perhaps as high as 10% of applicants) find themselves.  He’s not in – but he hasn’t exactly been rejected either.  It is rather like trying to fly standby – you don’t have a seat on the plane, but there is a chance that you might get one.

What exactly is a waitlist?

The waitlist is a list of students who are qualified for acceptance to the college, but for whom the college does not have a current place.  Some students may actually be overqualified, and the school is waiting to see whether they are accepted and choose to attend a more selective school.  The college doesn’t want to waste a spot in their accepted student pool on someone they assume will probably attend another college.  Other students may be slightly underqualified and are given a “courtesy” place on the waitlist as a softer form of rejection.  This may be especially true of students who are related to alumni or wealthy donors.

But most students on the waitlist are fully qualified to attend the school.  The waitlist becomes a safety net for the college if their “yield” (number of accepted students who make a deposit) is low.  As students apply to more and more colleges, the yield may become more unpredictable.

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April 21, 2015   1 Comment

How Is My Student Doing? Sharing Your College Student’s Passwords

When your student heads off to college, you worry.  Some parents worry a lot, often for good reasons.  But all parents, even those confident of their student’s abilities and responsibility, worry at least a little.  We worry about their safety, we worry about their happiness, and we worry about their success.  It is part of the nature of being a parent

We worried when our student was in high school, too, but most of us had our student under our roof.  We knew at least some of what was going on in his life.  In addition, many high schools now have portals or websites where administrators and teachers post announcements, reminders of deadlines, homework assignments, and grades.  As parents, we had access to such sites.  We felt included. We were on top of things.  We were in the loop.

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March 16, 2015   2 Comments