3 tips to make the most of summer with your college-bound student

Karen Amaral

July 24, 2014
KAREN AMARAL, Director of Technology for Enrollment Management

As an Enrollment Management professional and a parent of four children ages 16 to 26, our family has discovered some helpful tips that have made the summer before our children’s senior year very productive.

  1. Map out with your child 5 colleges you could visit during the summer. Some may be near your vacation spot, others within driving distance of your home. I encourage you to purposefully choose schools with different characteristics (size, location, religious denomination, program offerings, etc.)
    • Schedule visits, especially tours and/or presentations, to these schools and include enough time to explore the surrounding communities. Remember, your student will likely spend time off-campus and knowing the area will give you a sense of the location and the safety in which s/he could spend the next four years.
    • Bring along a notebook in the car, so after each visit your child can comment on what s/he liked best and any concerns s/he may have. It will be difficult to remember the details of each visit, so be sure to take good notes.
    • Take photos or videos on your smart phone, especially if you visit multiple colleges in the same area, as this will help jog your memory when you are trying to remember the schools months after your visits.
  2. Encourage your child to begin the Common Application at www.commonapp.org. The Common Application opens on August 1 for the Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 enrollment terms.
    • Completing the basic information now will eliminate one more step during the fall.
    • Have your child read through the essay questions and begin to formulate ideas or a rough draft of an essay. Starting the essay in the summer allows your child enough time to have a teacher review the essay and provide helpful feedback at the beginning of senior year, when many are just starting the essay process.
  3. Have fun. Enjoy each trip and step in the college search process. It has brought my family every emotion from laughter to tears. Try to really listen to each other, as you are partners in finding the best college to match your child’s needs. Remember, what you may find to be interesting or even important in a college may be totally dismissed by your child.  On one college trip my daughter’s biggest “like” was the comfy chair in the student center, while I was focused on the excellent academic programs!

I hope to see you on campus this summer. Please know that the entire staff here at Assumption is excited to work with your family throughout the college search process. We look forward to getting to know you.