Type the words "college admissions" into your computer's search engine, and more than 100 million pages pop up for your browsing pleasure. With more than 3,500 bachelor-degree-granting institutions in the United States, how on Earth is your child supposed to narrow the field? Hold on a second. Is it really such a dilemma for your child to have so many options?
The college search doesn't have to be overwhelming. It all depends on what your student is looking for. If the goal is for your child to attend the most prestigious universities in the nation, be prepared for nonstop academics beginning in ninth grade, likely including community college courses, lots of projects, papers, tests, late nights and early mornings (zero period classes), stress and little down time to pursue pleasurable activities.
What if the goal instead is to identify the colleges where your child will thrive as a young adult and you, the parent, can breathe easier knowing your child's options are vast and your teenager may experience a more balanced high school experience?