The Student-Parent Connection: Early Thoughts on College App Season
The Student-Parent Connection is a new monthly feature here on College Money Insider. During the upcoming school year, we will have a student and parent share their thoughts and experiences as they save up for college and prepare to go through the college application process. Today’s post is by Christina Avery!
If you have any tips to help students save up for college, feel free to leave a comment below!
My name is Christina Avery. I am the mom of Jessica, who wrote her first blog entry last month, about saving for college. Now it’s my turn to write about the big changes that are coming Jessica’s way as she gets ready to enter her senior year of high school.Jessica is the oldest of three kids in our family, so she has always had to be our guinea pig with everything. She definitely had a stricter bedtime when she was little, she wasn’t allowed to chew gum for a really long time (for some reason…not sure why I thought that was important at the time), she ALWAYS had milk with dinner (no exceptions), and many other things that I thought were important to do as a first-time mom. She will attest to the fact that her younger siblings definitely have it easier than she did…chewing gum is not a big deal to me anymore.
I often tell her that I live and learn, as I’ve figured out many of the battles that really aren’t worth it. So, unfortunately for her, I will also have to do a lot of learning when it comes to the whole college application process. I am sure I will be anxious and uptight, trying to make sure she does everything right, on time, and to the best of her ability. In my professional life, I’ve done a lot of project management type work, so I am really into the details of everything. But yet, with the upcoming application process, I know I need to try to back off a bit, since she will be going away in just about a year. Time to try and loosen up a little. I know this will be easier said than done.
In recent days, she has been starting to talk more and more about the final lists of schools she wants to apply to. I think it’s down to about five. The “common app” came out on August 1st, so we are in the middle of figuring out the whole process. Jessica says she’d like to get all of her applications done for early decisions. I hope she really does get everything submitted early. It would be nice to have the stress as short-lived as possible. I can’t wait to get it started.
I went to a meeting at school where the process was explained by the guidance counselors. I’ve talked with friends that have kids in college now, so I have an idea of how the process goes. But I always find that actually doing something is the best way to learn, so once we really start sinking our teeth into this process, I’ll feel better. Right now, I just feel like there are a lot of questions lingering – like once the application is submitted, when do the recommendations get sent from school? I think the financial aid and scholarship applications happen later in the process – I’m thinking the winter? Again, I’ll just feel better once we start and the questions begin to be answered.
The good news is that it’s all starting very soon. It’s exciting, but also bittersweet. I can’t believe she won’t be here next year. I started this by saying that Jessica has big changes coming her way, but really it’s our whole family that’s in for a big change.
Wish us luck!