作者：Dr Roslyn Haley
英文原文 by Dr Roz
As a parent, you play a pivotal role in helping your child understand how to plan for college in high school. New research shows high school students are more stressed than ever before as they prepare for college. Due to the pandemic, there have been limited opportunities to visit college campuses in person, ZOOM has presented a new set of challenges, and the holistic college admissions review process is constantly evolving. Parents who participate and encourage success in high school increase opportunities for their students to be admitted to the colleges of their choice.
Although grades are extremely important, the time has passed when a weighted grade point average with high test scores ensured college admission. Many parents who did not understand the constantly changing college admission landscape are asking how their student was denied admission with a very high GPA and exceptional test scores. The answer is this isn’t enough anymore. These key elements of the college admissions process are significantly altered having been modified by the holistic application review and it takes more than high grades and test scores to be competitive.
Parents of high school students find themselves dubious about the process and uncertain if these changes will apply to their students if they are sophomores or juniors in high school or younger. Finding answers to the additional existential questions is paramount to success as the process continues to evolve. Some of the questions that students are grappling with include but are not limited to the following. Do I need to take the SAT? Will I have to be vaccinated? Will my schedule be hybrid, online, or in-person? How do I prepare for the unknown? Who can I talk to?
As a parent, you can help your child prepare and excel. Talk with your child about how you can help ease their stress and concerns about college. Become involved in college exploration. Parents who are aware of the college application process can provide invaluable support and encouragement to their students. They can affirm that their dreams of attending the college of their choice need not be compromised by evolving admission criteria, geographical barriers, COVID restrictions, or other obstacles. They can cultivate and promote an environment of success and assist their students in making the most of their middle and high school years to optimize the efficacy of their college applications to become highly competitive for the most selective colleges.
Explore college options, majors, and careers with your child. Now is the time for your child to explore all options. A study by Newsweek found that 70 to 75% of students feel they need more guidance on courses to take and, what extracurricular activities to join, as well as more academic advice from teachers, counselors, and mentors. The Newsweek study also found that students who engage in extracurricular activities are not only happy students but also the most successful in the classroom.
Specifically, I highly recommend that students be encouraged to seek information and support to overcome barriers. It is important to make sure the high school courses your child takes will be appropriate for college. Use time outside of school wisely and encourage extracurricular and co-curricular activities through service, volunteerism, and leadership. Encourage your child to develop their talents. Artistic expression, participation in extramural sports, academic clubs, internships, and travel opportunities can complement a student's application.
There are many activities that your child can become involved in and schools are gatekeepers of numerous opportunities that students may not know about. Help them develop a list and maintain a record of activities and achievements. Remind them of events that they may think are not important but can be significant in letting the admissions committee understand the depth and breadth of their experiential activities outside of the classroom.
It is also very important to form a relationship with your child's high school counselor. They are knowledgeable about the courses your child should enroll in for college and are selecting them for your students during enrollment. Be certain to request that your child take advanced placement and honors courses, as academic rigor is an important consideration that many colleges rate higher than good grades in regular courses. Counselors are also requested to submit a counselor recommendation for your student as a part of the college application review process and these recommendations are important to the review. Establishing a relationship early is very important and your student should make sure that the counselor is aware of all their activities for the recommendation.
Finally, parents influence college choice. Such issues as the selection of an institution, its location, living arrangements, and cost are heavily determined by parents. Even more important, discuss and review the college programs of study with your child. The data show a parents' lack of understanding of the academic demands of the college environment may cause problems (York-Anderson & Bowman, 1991). You are the best advocate for your child. Cultivate a stress-free environment of support as you help them explore, prepare, and understand the rigors of academia to ensure that their college choices will yield multiple offers of admission and guarantee their future success.
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