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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Helicopter Parenting in College Admissions
On the cusp of another New Year, as we collect and tidy all of our ambitious resolutions, it's also important to take stock and survey the landscape of the last year. If the changing of the calendar year marks a period of renewal, it follows that it must include some introspection. And no one needs it more than parents of hopeful college students. Yes, heavily invested parents, I'm talking to you.

Every parent wants the best for their child. In many parts of the world, third level education is seen as a gateway to success. Though no one wants to say it out loud, it is the pedigree that separates the servant class from the ruling class. These days, it isn't uncommon to need several degrees in order to stay competitive in the white collar world. Elitist? Yes. But parents aren't very egalitarian when it comes to the success of their children.

Getting into college isn't the simple process it used to be. Even 20 years ago, it was about filling out an application, submitting test scores and waiting for the results. Now there are workshops, college counselors, full-service websites and other outreach aimed at both parents and children. A cynic might note that the "industry" is playing on that most vulnerable of parental inclinations-hope for their child's success.

Of course, the path to success is paved with good intentions. If ever there is a single benchmark of flying from the family nest, college is it. The process is emotional for parents on many levels. They are no doubt struggling with the idea of setting their nestlings free, but continuing to want control over the shape of their children's future. This is noble. It may, however, end up placing extra pressure on kids.

The hard part? Parents need to trust that the seventeen or so years they've already invested in their child is enough to steer them in the right direction.

For ideas from experts on how to keep a healthy distance from your child's college admission process: NY Times

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