Are you your student's administrative aid?

<p>That's what I feel like this week as my D gets all her paperwork together for teacher recommendations, counselor letters, and transcript requests!</p>

<p>Her school has come up with a new "system" this year that involves detailed forms to be filled out for each counselor and teacher she asks for a recommendation. Each form asks for slightly different information, and requires short, essay-like answers. Parents must also complete a 2 page "parent insight" form. There's also a special form for the guidance secretary for each and every school she applies to, and a seperate transcript request form for each transcript. Every form also has a seperate cover sheet! And then typed, addressed stamped envelopes for some schools, and instructions not to mail others but to call my D and have her hand deliver the completed rec back to the guidance counselor. She ended up writing up elaborate instructions on each rec request.</p>

<p>Our kitchen table was covered in paper for 3 days, and we ran out of paperclips and folders.
D could have handled it all herself if she was willing to forego homework, eating and sleeping this week--so I caved and helped her out. She was extremely grateful for the secretarial help!</p>

<p>She's only applying to 6 schools--I can only imagine what the kitchen table looks like if your child is applying more than that!</p>

<p>YES! I feel like her personal assistant. And our living room coffee table is filled. She is has applied to 3 schools and has 8 more to go. My goal is to have all apps. submitted within the next 2 weeks. Stress!</p>

<p>I feel better reading this thread. So many kids here on CC seem to be doing all the application work themselves, I felt like we were cheating because I've been helping with the paperwork. I just learned I will need to write a "Parental Insight" letter for the school counselor. Homework!</p>

<p>If I hadn't helped S a little he wouldn't have applied anywhere. Imagine my surprise when D told me she needed my credit card so she could submit 3 apps a couple of weeks ago. They are all different, aren't they!</p>

<p>I feel better knowing I'm not alone -- thanks for starting and posting on this thread! I'm doing a lot of paper pushing. The high school's system for getting forms and recommendation letters and transcripts out to all the right places is so complicated, figuring it all out and pushing everything in the right direction at the right time is like having a new part time job. I feel a like a helicopter mom... but my kid is so busy with 4 AP classes, tons of EC's, and writing application essays like crazy. I'd rather she focus on getting A's and writing good essays; I'll happily do the labels and envelopes and online ordering.</p>

<p>I am a helicopter mom when it comes to the college admissions because of one simple reason - it costs alot of money. I'm not just going to let my child go with it. There has been in depth discussions about financing so he knows what we can afford. Other than that major factor - he's been pretty involved for a while. He has taken my lead and researched schools on his own. </p>

<p>But I don't really see the harm in helping - aren't we suppossed to help. I like the daily conversations about the entire process. I do some of the grunt work and I don't mind.</p>

<p>There were a few years between my two kids applying to college, and in that time, the guidance counselor said that her workload increased tremendously because kids were applying to more schools and there was more work involved. With no funding for additional staff, the Guidance Office did the best they could but was clearly swamped by the time my last kid was applying (2009). Some of the work that the Guidance Office staff used to perform was pushed onto students and their support staff (parents) by necessity. Sounds like things haven't changed for the better.</p>

<p>I will be one soon. S has expressed an interest in applying as a junior to one school and honestly, I do hope he changes his mind. I am not ready for this yet. While I know it is coming - I try to pretend it is not. I was much more active on CC when S was younger...
something scares me away, the anxiety of it all is not something I will deal with easily.</p>

<p>There is no help, and little guidance from the school my son attends. If I did not act as an "assistant", he would be lost. I feel overwhelmed enough, as he is our only child, and we have not been through this before. I can only imagine how he would manage research/college apps along with 4 college courses, 2 ap courses, part time job and sports without help. You know that the kids can't give up one activity their senior year to focus on college apps and maintain their sanity. That would look like slacking off to colleges (she says with sarcasm). </p>

<p>And I agree with kleibo, this is a financial decision that students should not make without assistance to understand the decision they are making.</p>

<p>This time last year, I was D's personal assistant and human Remembrall -- I reminded her about deadlines, applications, following up with teacher recommendations. It's mind-boggling to leave it to your child especially if they're taking multiple APs and are competing every weekend. I would hear other working moms say "I stayed out of it" or "I left it up to him". Depends on your child. If my D had said she could handle it all just fine, I would have kept out of it, but she needed help.</p>

<p>Yes, I was the secretary for both my sons. Our guidance office did nothing. Didn't even send out transcripts.</p>

<p>YES YES YES! at least when she was applying....</p>

<p>Now that she is in college I am an Administrative aid, nurse hotline answerer, boo boo fixer, problem solver, general fixer, laundry person, snack basket maker, gift buyer...wrapper....sender, car washer, due payer, therapist, voice of reason, springboard, proofreader, tear dryer, hugger, cookie maker, cupcake baker, paper pusher, form filler-outer, bed maker (when I visit), shopping assistant, fashion consultant (via pictures/text messages), voice of reason, voice of reason, voice of reason.......</p>

<p>I am just a consultant because D is at boarding school.</p>

<p>I was absolutely the secretary for my kids and see nothing wrong with it. I even took over one application, when it was the school's first year to do an electronic app and it was glitchy and wouldn't save. My son filled it out a couple of times. The school tech support was only open during the business (school) day, so I contacted them and then filled in the blanks several more times until it would save. I didn't do anything of substance (name, address, etc.) but I knew my son had neither the patience nor the time to type in the same info 6 or 7 times.</p>

<p>The other thing that I totally took over was keeping track of the due dates for scholarship applications. My son applied to all rolling or early admissions schools, so he had all his acceptances by December. Over Christmas I went onto the web sites of the schools in which he was most interested and found some scholarships that he might qualify for. One application had a January 15th due date!!!! A student not applying early wouldn't even know if he had been admitted before the app was due.</p>

<p>Anyway, my kids were not super motivated to get every last $2000 they could from their schools, so I kept track of the deadlines and made sure the kids met them!</p>

<p>I have been trying to remember back when I graduated and applying to college was not this complicated. I work on organizing the college choices, application information, and all those recommendation forms. When I think we are moving in a good direction, I realize oops, this college wants a different form. I wish we had better help from the school but, they don't seem to get real involved. There are so many things to know and questions to ask but, I feel like I might end up missing something. This is more stressful than my work. I hate to seem like I'm doing all the work but, my son is so busy trying to keep up with his aP classes, volunteering and studying that someone needs to help out. I like to look at this as my last little morsel of helping A out, the homework has surpassed me in some subjects so this in a way is OK. </p>

<p>I agree with everyone who feels we should involved as this is a huge financial responsibility. It is a shame that the guidance counselors don't do more for the students, especially since so many are pushed to take a lot of AP and college classes.
Thank you all, I feel much better knowing I'm not doing something wrong by helping. Good Luck To All.</p>

<p>I seem to be in the minority here. Our D handled the entire college application process all by herself without asking or accepting any help from me or my husband. I'd like to point out that she was accepted to every single college she applied to. She applied for scholarships by herself and was awarded a full academic scholarship at the college she is currently attending.</p>

<p>The entire process was EXTREMELY STRESSFUL for her and she began to suffer from anxiety and depression for the first time in her life. We ended up getting her counseling. She is doing much, much better now. Her stress was self-imposed and, I feel, fueled by much of what she read on this forum as well as her peers at her highly competitive high school.</p>

<p>In my opinion, the college application process is INSANE!</p>

<p>
[quote]
Now that she is in college I am an Administrative aid, nurse hotline answerer, boo boo fixer, problem solver, general fixer, laundry person, snack basket maker, gift buyer...wrapper....sender, car washer, due payer, therapist, voice of reason, springboard, proofreader, tear dryer, hugger, cookie maker, cupcake baker, paper pusher, form filler-outer, bed maker (when I visit), shopping assistant, fashion consultant (via pictures/text messages), voice of reason, voice of reason, voice of reason.......

[/quote]
</p>

<p>You are WAY TOO INVOLVED in your D's life. She needs to learn to be independent now that she is a college student. May I suggest that you read "The iConnected Parent."</p>

<p>Yes, agree that the process is insane.</p>

<p>D also was stressed to the point of saying that she felt she was going to be sick this past week. Like the other kids on CC, she has multiple APs. But she does not have a job, and only a few extracurriculars in the fall, thank goodness. School keeps stressing and re-stressing timelines and deadlines. I do not believe for a minute that even the teachers and administrators could handle writing a gazillion insightful essays and handle all these tedious, exacting administrative tasks in their spare time.</p>

<p>I feel lucky to have been able to fill in my two (yes, only 2--that was the norm in the mid 1970s in my school) applications by hand, , write one very basic, non-creative essay, and mail it in. I don't remember needing recommendation letters. All I needed was a pen, two envelopes, and two stamps. Done! My parents didn't even know I had sent the applications in. Decision envelopes arrived in the spring. That was it.</p>

<p>
[quote]
You are WAY TOO INVOLVED in your D's life. She needs to learn to be independent now that she is a college student. May I suggest that you read "The iConnected Parent."

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I am as involved as she wants me to be. I don't give a rats a$$ if YOU like that or not. It is simply between her and I. I have other kids at home and not at home that get just as much attention and some who get less. I am their mom, it is my job (IMO) to take their lead as to what level of interaction they are looking for. I have some kids that call me 4-5 times a day, some 4-5 times a week and some 4-5 times a month. Every child relationship is different, every child is different and every situation is different. I won't tell you how to parent, what books to read about how to parent and how to behave as a parent. And I certainly request the same from you.</p>

<p>collegeshopping -- Okay, so we disagree. In my opinion, by the time someone is in college, they should be capable of doing their own laundry, washing their car, proofreading their papers, filling out forms, and buying gifts. You actually make her bed when you visit her??</p>