College Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk!

Every profession, activity, or area of interest has its own jargon or set of specialized vocabulary.  College is no different.  College administrators, faculty members and students develop a set of short-hand terms that can be confusing to those not familiar with them.  As a college parent, you may be surprised at how quickly your college student will pick up the appropriate lingo.

If your college student slips into “college-speak” and you don’t understand what she is talking about – ask!  She may express impatience, but she’ll probably explain.  However, if you want to be able to at least begin to talk-the-talk, here are five terms to get you started.  Please remember that there may be some variation in the use of these terms at various institutions.

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Ten Ways Parents of College Students Can Use the College Website

When your son or daughter was in the midst of the search process for college, chances are that he or she (and possibly you) spent countless hours poring over college websites.  College websites have become an extremely important admissions tool.  Many students who visit colleges say that they were drawn to a particular college because of its website.  Admissions professionals work hard to make their sites not only informative, but also appealing and representative of the institution.

Once your child heads to college, you should begin to look at the college’s website differently.  As a parent of a college student, you’re no longer looking at a website to evaluate the institution, but using it to gather information, and to have a sense of the place where your child will be spending significant time during the coming years.  Use this tool to it fullest advantage.  Spend time browsing the site, look beyond the “For Parents” section.  Enter the site through the “Current Students” portal as well as the “For Parents” area.

The following are ten suggestions for parents on how to look at the college website to gather the most information:

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

This is the second of two posts which consider your college student and what she may be experiencing in the transition to college; and what your new role may be in the college experience.

In our last post, we considered some characteristics of the new college student in your family.  In this post, let’s think a bit about your new role as a college parent.

This is a transitional time for everyone.

Your student is not the only one who is going through a transitional time.  Sometimes we become so focused on the changes that are occurring for our student, that we forget that changes will be occurring for us as well.  Or perhaps we are all too well aware of the changes that will be taking place in our lives, and we need to put things in perspective.

Remembering that this is a time of transition for everyone is helpful.  Because your student may be feeling stress as he heads off to college, he may try your patience.  Recognizing why this is happening helps.  It also may help to recognize that your patience may be a bit shorter than usual because you are stressed as well.  If this is your first child to go to college, you may be working hard to keep up with all of the necessary paperwork, and finances, and new terms, and necessary shopping and logistics. You may be wondering what life at home will be like without him there.   If this is your last child to go to college, you will definitely be facing some changes at home, and this can be both emotional and stressful.

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

This is the first of two posts which consider your college student, what she may be experiencing in the transition to college, and what your new role may be in the college experience.

You may be here because you have a son or daughter in college now or about to enter college. This blog is designed to give you information, and food for thought, about the experience of being the parent of a college student.

It’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s begin in a general way by thinking about who this college student is, and what your role in this college experience might be.

This college student is the son or daughter you’ve raised.

First and foremost, this student headed off on this grand and scary adventure called college is the son or daughter you raised. Although it sometimes feels as though you may not know or understand his behavior, you’ve had many years to instill important values and teach life lessons. Your student will take to college with him the tool chest of lessons, experiences and values you’ve given him. Trust him. Trust the years you’ve spent with him.

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