You’ve always tried to help your son or daughter make wise decisions, and now it’s time for one of the biggest decisions of his or her life—the college choice. What’s your role in this process? With so many good colleges and universities out there, how can you help your child make the best selection?
What are colleges looking for?
If your child is a high school junior, she’s likely already in a groove with her academics and extracurricular activities, and it won’t be long before she starts applying to colleges. But if she’s younger, you can help her make some college-wise decisions along the way.
College-bound teens often focus on their grade point average and, later, their SAT and/or ACT scores. But these things are only part of what colleges want to know about your teen. They want a more complete picture.
Colleges are interested in school activities, community service, church involvement, spiritual development, work experience, even family life—anything that has shaped your student.
Leadership is also important, whether in extracurricular activities, at church, in the community, or at a part-time job. A leadership role shows colleges that your student is willing to commit time and energy to something they care about.
Colleges will want to know what others say about your child. As your child gets involved in various activities, get to know the adults who work with him—because they might just end up serving as references later.1