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Aug 18, 2016 11:47 AM EDT

College Application Tips: How Parents Can Help

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College application can be a stressful time in a student's life. Parents should know how to help their kids the right way.

According to U.S. News, parents go through the college admissions process as well. They are there to remind their kids about important dates and research on schools. In most cases, they also offer advise by sharing their experiences while they were going through the same thing.

The publication collected college application tips from experts about what parents should do to help their incoming college freshman. Check out these four advices.

1. Do your own research.

According to James Montoya, The College Board's vice president of higher education, as a guide, parents should have open and honest conversations early on about college possibilities, especially with regards to financial and geographic limitations. They should be well-informed since they are naturally the first people whom the student would go to for answers. The College Board contains a lot of helpful information on the college planning process which parents can access for free.

2. Stick to the sidelines.

Although parents should be involved in their child's college admissions process, Katherine Cohen, founder and CEO of IvyWise and ApplyWise.com advised fathers and mothers to listen to their kid. The best things that parents can do is to get to know the guidance counselor, collaborate on a college checklist with deadlines, go with your child on college visits as well as help proofread applications. Parents should not write the essays themselves nor should they over-edit college applications.

3. Allow your child to make the decisions.

Michele Hernandez, president and founder of TopTierAdmissions.com, urged parents to offer more support and less influence on their child's decisions. It is good to offer your help with bookkeeping or administrative tasks, however, the college admissions process is something that students needs to fully experience themselves. Hernandez added that spreadsheet programs are extremely useful at this time since it allows users to easily create schedules as well as add deadlines, policies, special information and supplemental essay questions.

4. Stay balanced.

Steve Loflin, National Society of Collegiate Scholars' founder and CEO, noted how important it is for parents to have a balance between staying involved while keeping enough distance to allow students to choose their paths for themselves.

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