Hey friends! Our #3 child will be a high school senior in three days. Hold me. She and I are very much alike in many ways, and we love hanging out together. This is the reason I do not understand why she is the first of our four children to want to leave her mommy and go far away to college. Humph. We are knee deep in the college search process, and have visited several schools. I have learned a few things along the way, and today I’m going to share with you my tips for surviving the college search process.
Surviving The College Search: Five Tips For Moms
My first tip is to take advantage of all of the free information available. You can learn SO MUCH about a school on the internet; to think all we had in my day was a few brochures! Every statistic and ranking is there for the searching, as well as testimonials from current and former students about the things that really matter; the food, the dorms, and the fun. Your child’s high school counselor is also a great resource. He or she has most likely visited almost all of the colleges that kids in your area are interested in, and is a great help with prioritizing characteristics and narrowing down lists.
As a parent, you’ll appreciate a “narrowed down” list when you begin planning visits.
Tip #2 is to visit schools close to home first. This is especially important if your child is not sure what size of school he or she is interested in. Visit a large school, a medium sized school, and a small school close to home; whichever size is the best fit will dictate which schools you plan longer trips to see. Then visit as many as you are comfortable with. Our summer vacation this year was an epic college search road trip to Boston and Philadelphia. We visited six schools in two amazing cities, and came home with much more clarity.
(these photos are from our Boston College tour–what a GORGEOUS place!)
My last three tips might sound a little silly, but as a mom they just might save your life. Trust me.
- DO NOT nod your head knowingly while the admissions counselor talks about the college search process, admissions criteria, and stats. You are to sit completely still and show no emotion. Just take my word for it, I heard once that a proud mom nodded along as she realized that her child’s test scores were well within the average for last year’s class and she was metaphorically be-headed by her child. Just sayin’.
- DO NOT make friends with the other parents on the tour. Apparently this makes your child look too eager, or some other crap like that.
- Last but not least, DO NOT ask questions on the tour, leave that to your child. Apparently it is especially bad to ask where the nearest bathroom is cuz you’re 49 and you’ve pushed out four babies and when you have to pee you have to pee.
If you’re wondering, our “short” list now includes Boston College, Villanova, Notre Dame, University of Dayton, and Xavier University. We shall see!
Anyone else have any college search advice? Share in the comments!
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