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Five Ways Parents can Help Make the College Application Process Less Stressful and More Successful

by Neha Gupta, College Shortcuts

Four million students will apply to college this year alone. Today, colleges are more selective than ever. Think for a moment, when our generation applied to college – the internet didn’t exist. We hand wrote our applications. We applied to a couple of schools and got in based upon grades and scores. Today, GPA and test scores open the door, but they don’t guarantee admission anymore.

Getting into college is a stressful process and can sometimes cause a strain in family relationships. As you navigate this process with your teen, here are five ways you can help make the process less stressful and more successful. 

1. Start Early. Don’t wait until your teen is a senior in high school to start thinking about college. These days colleges are more competitive than ever and students that start thinking about college early stand out compared to those that don’t.

2. Encourage your child to get involved. Having your teen get involved in leadership programs and community service is very beneficial to their future. A stellar GPA and test scores are great, but that alone is not enough when colleges see that applicants are involved with leadership and community service programs that can give them a leg up. 

3. Work on stress and time management. Learning how to manage stress and workload is very important. When your teen goes off to college, they will have to be more independent and learn to keep stress levels low while managing their workload. College is much different from high school in this aspect, and professors don’t remind students of assignments or make sure they get to class. Stress and time management skills are crucial to not only applying for colleges but succeeding once they get to college. 

4. Hire a professional college consultant. On average, for every 400 high school students, there is ONE guidance counselor. College consultants are students that have recently gone through the college application process and they have just a few students rather than hundreds- giving them the ability to work closely with your teen. 

5. The X-Factor. What is going to differentiate your teen from the other 4 million applicants? The X- Factor is a way for students to realize what strengths they have that make them unique and stand out. The X-Factor includes making a unique resume angle, strong essay strategy, learning the interview process, getting great letters of recommendation and applying for scholarship money. 

These days, competition is fierce. Setting your child up for success is what every parent wants, not only do these tools help them along the road to success but it also gives them confidence. Providing your teen with the tools they need to prevail in their applications and beyond is what makes your student go from a super achiever to a superhuman being. 


Neha Gupta is a three-time best-selling author and founder of College Shortcuts. For more info, visit https://collegeshortcuts.com/about/

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