Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

parents essay

blehjointsblehjoints Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
edited December 2011 in Prep School Parents
hey i was wondering how much weight the parents essays are given? i'm used to doing things for myself and my parents havent been really engaged in my school life for the past several years, and i'm not sure what they'll think when doing the essays...
Post edited by blehjoints on

Replies to: parents essay

  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    You ask one question -- what weight are the essays given? -- but then you give an explanation that suggests you want some other feedback.

    For example, if I said 12.3% to your direct question, I get the impression that your point about your parents' non-engagement in your school life will still be left hanging out there, awaiting some sort of practical guidance. So what are you looking for? Are you considering not having them write it up? Are you afraid that they might write something that will hurt your chances? Are you wondering if it cuts for you or against you if they say that you're on your own and making choices by yourself so they're unable to add any insights beyond that? If one of these other questions is weighing heavily on you, be sure to fill in more background.
  • stagemumstagemum Registered User Posts: 544 Member
    The overwhelming majority of prep school applicants are minors, and the schools are - to some extent - accepting an entire family. They want some idea of the parents' perspective and expectations regarding their child. They want to determine whether the parents are deluded about their kid's talent, or seem to think that their kid is an angel (who could never possibly be at fault in any situation), or simply whether the parents and child are ready for the huge transition involved. Parents might have unrealistic expectations - it's amazing how many parents still presume that admission to an elite boarding school means certain admission into an Ivy League college (read some threads on this site if you don't believe me).The parent essay is probably not the most critical component in the admissions process, but it says something about the family when the school is trying to form a complete picture of the prospective student. I suggest that you discuss this with your parents; if they aren't supporting you in this, the problem is much bigger than a simple essay.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    I agree with stagemum, but saw the parent recommendation as something more as well

    My feeling was that if I was going to send my kid so far away from home so much earlier than most parents do, I wanted to do my best to be sure it was to a place that would be a better place for him than home would be. With that in mind, we attempted an honest assessment of who our kid was--strengths and weaknesses. It's not that we exposed every negative thing we could think of ("And he leaves candy wrappers everywhere, yells at his brother sometimes, and never, ever makes his bed!"); we pointed out the stuff that we hoped boarding school would be able to get at that we--parents, living in a small town--couldn't. I hoped (perhaps naively) that a school would look at that parent assessment and say, "Yeah that's the kind of strength we're looking for and the kind of weakness we're really good at fixing."

    Now, it may be that they didn't look at the parent rec. nearly as seriously as I took it, but as time goes on, and I read teachers' and advisers' comments, it does seem to me that the school where my kid got accepted (as opposed to waitlisted) is exactly that kind of place.

    This doesn't get at OP's concern exactly--but what your parents can offer is a fuller picture of you than just your school self. And since boarding school is a 24/7 proposition, and you'll learn a lot more there than what you learn in the classroom, I think their perspective on you--as a member of the family, as someone they live with and love no matter what--is pretty valuable.

    And if parents keep in mind that the important result is not where the kid goes to school, but what kind of kid comes out of the school, and their hopes for their child runs deeper than Ivy League admission, then I think the parent rec. can really be a valuable (if not neatly quantifiable) part of the admission process.
  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    Agree. A clearly candid assessment from parents will be given weight. A bunch of -- sorry for this, stagemum -- stage mom praise won't help. And parents who do create a false impression of junior (to the extent they can be so manipulative and persuasive) are risking a lot of money they may go to no good use. Parents approach this in many different ways so I can't imagine that the Admission Committee reads all of them the same way. For parents that take the "candor will help the AO make a wise decision" path, I'd come right out and say that's where you're coming from. You can tell them that you're enthusiastic and fully supportive of this choice; that you think junior is amazing and would fit in perfectly from all you know...and that's why you are offering the following information -- because it's important for you, as a parent, to know that the AO agrees, so that when you've got an acceptance or two or three in hand in March, you can be confident there won't be any wrong, perilous or ill-fated choices in the lot.

    That's just the approach that I'd be most comfortable taking. I would not pretend that it's a universal truth or The One Way for all parents. But for those parents who feel the candor route is the way to go, then I'd be sure to preface it as such and make sure there's no misunderstanding that you, as parents, are harboring reservations and doubts and couldn't pen a "my child hangs the moon" statement as easily as any other parent.
  • blehjointsblehjoints Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    thanks guys! I think my original post was slightly strange in retrospect LOL. Anyway my parents fully support me in my application to BS, so that's not a concern! I was just wondering about how the parents here went about with the parents essays. :)
  • CherryRoseCherryRose Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    What if my parents aren't fluent in English? Would their involvement in this process help or hurt the eventual admissions decision made by the schools?
  • stagemumstagemum Registered User Posts: 544 Member
    CherryRose - Most boarding schools now have sizable contingents of international students, and so your parents' limited English would never be held against you. I'm sure that there must be provisions if parents are unable to compose an essay in English. You should check a school's admissions materials, or contact the admissions office, to see what accommodations can be made.
  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Registered User Posts: 3,421 Senior Member
    They only need to demonstrate enough aptitude to read the invoice.
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum . Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    :) That is the truth, and then some @D'yerMaker. :)
  • blehjointsblehjoints Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    ^HAHA @D'yer Maker
  • CherryRoseCherryRose Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    Okay- thanks, everybody.
This discussion has been closed.