College Admissions: 4 Tips For Overcoming ‘College Phobia’
Monday, September 16, 2013
1. Deal with It Head On
Instead of nagging them to get the apps done or visit a campus, ask them point blank what is holding them back. For many students, it’s a fear of rejection, reluctance to leave their friends and family, or denial that adulthood is around the corner. If you don’t know what is behind your child’s hesitancy in moving toward college, you can’t resolve the issue. If all else fails, consider bringing in a private college counselor or psychologist to aid in unraveling the mystery.
2. State the Facts
In recent years, many colleges have been taking an average of 30-70% of their entering freshman class in the early admission round—a great argument for filing apps at your top choice schools early. Also, most colleges are calculating an “interest factor”. That means that they are tracking if you visit campus, if you meet with an admissions representative at your high school, how many times you click through on emails that they send you, etc. Colleges want to see students within an 8 hour drive visit campus before they file an application. Studies have shown that students within that range who do not visit are very unlikely to matriculate, and colleges want a high yield.
3. Think Outside the Box
If a student isn’t interested in visiting colleges, think about what will motivate him/her. Plan a campus tour with a friend. Get tickets to a football, soccer, hockey or basketball game at the college. Attend a play or concert on campus. There are always interesting things going on at colleges in addition to the traditional information session and tours—leverage them!
4. Suggest a Year Off
When all else fails, it’s time to lay out the alternatives. Sometimes suggesting that an unmotivated student take a year between high school and college to work can be the dose of reality they need to begin the application process. If not, then they probably aren’t ready for college, and a year of working may be the perfect motivator to help them find direction. If a student is particularly young or immature, a post graduate year at a private school can be a helpful bridge to college. However, it can also be as expensive as college without the financing options. Finally, community college can also be a good route. Students can usually enroll late and easily, and the coursework may help them ease into college life.
Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic college counseling, SAT prep and athletic recruiting services www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.
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