Your student is finally ready to apply to college. Congratulations! Here's what you need to know as a parent or guardian to help them get over the finish line.
For many parents and guardians, particularly those who have not been to college, it's difficult to know where to start. Below are a few easy-to-use resources that we've put together to help families support their students through the college application process.
Use this resource to empower your student as they take this important step and reach higher.
College is about defying expectations, breaking the mold, and finding yourself. You have an important role to play in your student’s journey to college whether or not you’ve been to college yourself.
Learn about application fees, fee waivers, navigating financial aid, and how to find scholarships.
The cost of college can be daunting. These resources will help teach students about fee waivers, financial aid, and the different scholarship options they have.
These resources will:
- Help students understand how to apply for financial aid and scholarships
- Understand the difference between different types of financial assistance
- Learn about application fees and fee waivers
- Provide tips for finding scholarship opportunities
We know you might have a lot of questions. We've got answers. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we see from families about applying to college. And, if you need additional help with Common App, please contact our solutions center team for 24/7 application support.
Whether your child will be the first person in your family to go to college or your child comes from a long line of college graduates, there are two truths about the application process that cause apprehension for families. First, with its many moving but interconnected parts, applying to college is complex. Second, every student advances towards college at his or her own pace.
If you sense that your child is reluctant to talk about college, try to discover why. It might be that your child believes that college is not for them, or they aren’t aware of the many opportunities it might offer. Our Why College Matters page can help explain the value of a college education – and so can an array of other advocates like school counselors, teachers, principals, advisors, coaches, community mentors, and college admission and financial aid officers.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve been to college yourself, you have an important role to play in your child’s journey to college. No one knows your child better than you, so you should follow your instincts and let past experience serve as a guide. If your child has a proven record of following through with responsibilities and obligations, that trend will likely continue throughout the preparation and application process. If your child is someone who requires structure and guidance, offer to help.
But remember: there is a difference between helping and over-stepping. College will require your child to be independent and self-reliant – and managing the process of applying to college is his or her first step towards a successful, fulfilling education.
Here's how you can help your student plan ahead.
If you have concerns regarding the financial aid process or your role in it, you are not alone. It can be particularly confusing to families who are encountering college for the first time. However, you have an army of advocates who want your child to go to college and are ready to advise you. Most of these advocates – school counselors, community mentors, advisors, and college admission and financial aid officers – will offer their advice freely and generously, so don’t be afraid to reach out and use their expertise.
Start by downloading the resources below. You can also visit the paying for college section of our site for links to even more resources.
With over 900 member colleges and only one application, Common App is comprised of a rich and diverse membership – colleges that are public, private, large, small, secular, and religious. No other college application system matches the diversity of institutions accessible through Common App, which is why more than 1 million students, counselors, advisors, and teachers rely on us every year.
How does Common App work? Colleges request a large amount of information from applicants, and we simplify the process by collecting much of that information in one place. This prevents students from repeating the details of their background, education, activities, and testing over and over again, for every school on their list. It also enables students to stay on top of deadlines and manage school-specific tasks – without leaving our system.
Start your search today by exploring all the colleges that accept Common App.
No matter where you come from, or how much money your family has, I want you to know that you can succeed in college, and get your degree, and then go on and build an incredible life for yourself.