Last week, juniors had meetings with their counselors regarding the college search process and how to find the right fit. Counselors talked about the relative importance of GPAs, programs offered by certain colleges and other factors related to admissions.
In addition, they discussed student-counselor meetings, in which students come in and talk to their counselor one-on-one about their college search. One thing mentioned that peaked my interest was the option of not including parents in the meeting, or even excluding them from the process altogether.
This option may sound tempting for students who get a lot of pressure from their parents, but parental support can be a huge resource. The truth is, our parents will inevitably end up writing the tuition check, and it also helps to have someone to do the research for us when we’re studying for physics exams or writing history papers.
Students who believe that the process would overwhelm or worry their parents do have the option of scheduling two meetings, the first without their parents and the second with. This gives students a chance to meet with their counselor and discuss their options beforehand so the second meeting isn’t so candid or stressful.
Parents who are left uninformed often come across bad information or statistics that they may not understand. For example, after the parent-counselor college kick-off, my parents were worried because of the abnormally high GPAs shown on Family Connections. It wasn’t until I was able to reassure them that the GPAs were of graduating seniors and not of students when applications are sent that they eased their concerns.
Both counselors and students need to keep parents informed by letting them come to meetings and showing them the most effective way to utilize the many available resources. Family Connections is supposed to be helpful, but misinformation renders it problematic. It is important that everyone involved works together to make sure the college process goes smoothly for all juniors.