Tips for Parents
By Helen H. Heron
© Copyright by Helen H. Heron 2000, 2008
One of the most important contributions you can make to your
students is to support them in making their own decisions about which college
they should attend. If you have been discussing college choices with them during
the application process, you are in a position to be very helpful. You will
find two sets of questions that will help your student make the best choice
in Tips for Teachers and Tips for Students. Use what works for you!
Look at College Countdown, A Planning Guide for
High School Students to find out more about choosing colleges
and universities and making good decisions. For ordering information, click
- As your student discusses his or her options, use the questions
listed in Tips for Students and Tips for Teachers as a basis for your questions.
Give time for your student to think! Wait a long time for him or her to answer.
Make supportive noises like "yes" go "go on." Do watch
your tone of voice and body language!
- Don't try and influence your student to choose your favorite
school. Be sure he or she has a good selection of choices and let him or her
- Be sure the schools your student considers are accredited
and have a good ratio of teachers to students. Did you find out if professors
or graduate students teach the freshmen classes?
- Does the school have a good reputation in that major?
How many graduating seniors go on to higher degrees or are admitted to graduate
- How effective is the job placement office?
- Do discuss your family finances with your student. Remember
that you are looking at the required parent contribution. An expensive but
rich old school often offers families a better financial deal than the state
- Tell your student you will do everything you can to help
them get what they need, but they will have to earn what they want.
- Reasonably, do your student's test scores and GPA fall
in the upper one third or half of the freshman class.
- Assure your student you will support their decision and
if, by some chance it does not work out well, you student can transfer to
another school after a year or two.
- Tell your student you love him or her and are very proud!
Permission is given to reproduce this document in its entirety
or quote portions as long as you reference the source, Helen Heron, author,
and Heron Publishing.
Helen Heron, author of College Countdown, A Planning
Guide For High School Students, at www.heronpub.com