college application, on brown desk

How to Support Your Teen During College Applications

As junior and senior years of high school approach for some students, the exciting and stressful process of college applications approaches as well. Every parent wants the best for their children. For some children, the best means attending a university that is right for them and their future. The journey that begins after high school is an unprecedented time for your child, which will bring a mix of stress, letdowns, excitement, and joy. To help your child cope with this important decision, we’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to support your teen during their college search and application process.

Make a List

College applications take time and effort. A great way to outline this process is to help your child create a list of the schools they wish to attend. Help your child construct an excel sheet (which is also great practice for college and future employment) with school names, average acceptance scores for GPA, SATs and ACTs, yearly tuition, location, and application due dates.  

There are thousands of universities to choose from. An organized list will help greatly in both narrowing down the choices for your child and also in having a written schedule of deadlines for applications. Narrowing down your child’s college list is important, as it will allow them to focus with more effort on their desired schools. Also, keep in mind that most universities have application fees, and applying to many schools can be costly.

Plan Some Road Trips

There is no better way for both you and your child to get a sense of a university and its campus than by visiting it. Visiting schools gives your child a sense of college life and can assist them in narrowing their search.

Additionally, if your child is planning to attend an out-of-state university, this is a great way to spend quality time with your child before the dreaded move-in dates. As a provider of family therapy services in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, one of our most highly recommended activities is to spend meaningful time with your family, and a road trip is a great way to do so.

Keep Deadlines in Mind, But Provide Trust and Support

With your child nearing a significant milestone in their life, and increases in responsibilities, it is understandable for parents to feel that their teen is not ready yet. Remind your child of upcoming application deadlines but don’t overstress them. Your child more than likely already thinks, plans, and worries about their applications almost on a daily basis. Provide them with some guidance and little reminders, but allow your child to take on some responsibility. This will help them greatly in maturity and moving forward in their academic careers.

Help Out With FAFSA Applications

Financial aid is a vital part of the application process, with many university costs rising exorbitantly in recent years. A FAFSA application, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an important document to be submitted when applying for financial aid. You will want to make sure that all financial aid forms are filled out with extreme care to get the most financial assistance possible. These documents can be quite confusing for your child, and we recommend that you assist them with this process. 

Give Your Child Support

The college application process will bring disappointment at times. Your child may apply to a few ‘reach’ schools, which are schools they hope to get into, but these schools are a little out of their current academic performances or possibly out of reach, and as such, there may be some rejection letters. This is a common practice, and we highly recommend applying to a few reach schools because there is always a chance of acceptance. It is vital to support your child through these times and help them stay in a positive mindset regardless of the responses they receive.

Combatting Teen Stress

Teen years can be very stressful, with college applications only adding to it. If your child is experiencing heavy stress levels, a great solution can be family and child therapy. We offer supportive therapy services with locations in Delray Beach and Plantation, Florida. Additionally, we offer remote help with our teletherapy services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your family.  

Related Readings:

Stress Management With Teens

Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health and Sports in Adolescence