Are your juniors involved in the process yet?

<p>My child has dutifully taken her ACT and SAT II's and went along on college trips this spring break (after we made all the arrangements, of course), but otherwise just does not seem interested in making lists, looking up colleges, etc. Granted, there's been all these tests, 3 AP exams, varsity golf team, etc etc.., but I feel like I'm pulling teeth to try to get her to make a "visit list" for summer (we need to make arrangements). Is this the general experience? When do these juniors get interested?</p>

<p>My Junior son is never going to make lists of colleges to visit, but we've had many conversations about what he wants from a college and he's now visited 8 of them. There are two more that I think he'll see before he decides where to apply. From past experience, I think that will be a short list because the application process is so time consuming that I doubt he will apply to more then 4 or 5 colleges. I'm in the visit-while-they're-in-session camp so we started at the end of last summer.</p>

<p>Junior DD has seen 14 colleges so far (this year and last). She has some specific criteria for the college of her choice. She has been online and has (of course) receive a small ton of mail. In addition, it has helped that many of her friends are seniors this year and have been through this. She has also gotten ideas and suggestions from them. She hopes to apply to no more than 6 schools (1 reachable, and 5 match/safeties).</p>

<p>quiltguru, I can't relate as D is very involved in the process but then again she has been making a college folder since the 7th grade. LOL. I do my best to keep up. It was D who pointed out last weekend that apps go out in "just a few months".:eek:</p>

<p>quiltguru, my junior s is barely involved so far in the process. He has also dutifully taken his AP and SAT II tests. He has a list his GC made for him and has looked through a college guide book. I'm trying to figure out where and when to visit this summer but I'm not getting anywhere. His summer is rapidly filling up with other stuff. I think my s will see a few colleges this summer, some next fall, and probably some after seeing where he gets in.<br>
He certainly seems less interested in the process than his friends, who can rattle off names of colleges they want to visit or have visited. I, too, wonder when my child will get interested in the process.</p>

<p>Some kids are really into the process, some kids develop a taste for it over time, other kids are never particularly interested. My son was in the latter camp. He did not enjoy the visits, he did not want to do research (he eventually had to), he did not want to fill out the applications (but he did get them done). You just have to sort of go with the flow of your own kid. The good thing, I think, is that the "under-involved" kid may also be the least stressed and least fussy about the whole thing. (BUT, you will feel out of place here on the forum! :) )</p>

<p>My S isn't all that enthused either. He is more when we are actively doing something, like visiting a college, but not inbetween. I don't think it's that "real" yet. When he had college night at his school, he was talking a lot about it, then when we visited Fordham, he said he could see himself there and asked a lot of questions, but a few days home, he's back to his school/activities routine and it's on the backburner. Early on though he said he wanted a small-med. college with a good reputation, North East area, no frats if possible, and lots of choices for clubs/activities. That got me started on a list and he narrows it from there. I gave him until June 30th to decide on visits and then "we" do. : )</p>

<p>quiltguru - have you read "Accept My Child, Please: A Father's Descent into College Application Hell"?
You are not alone :eek:</p>

<p>Up until the past two weeks, DD has been extremely involved in the college process. Several months ago, she purchased two of those huge college book and has spent hours cross referencing which colleges offer the most in the areas in which she is interested. We have visited seven schools, two in which she is extremely interested. Quite honestly, the past two to three weeks have been very stressful for her with AP exams, SAT, projects, papers, upcoming finals, etc. Two days after she gets out of school, she leaves for Girls State and then for Governor's School. I do not plan to mention the college process to her at all again. When she returns home mid-July, I'm sure she will bring it up. I don't want to add to her stress. I have a feeling when she comes home, she and her new friends she has met at GS will have talked college and she'll be ready to dive back into the process.</p>

<p>This is where all that discussion about too little and too much parental involvement comes in.
Some kids, my DD included, never summoned up much interest in the search process. She would have made a decision with no research, no visiting, no nothing - would she have made a good decision for her? Probably, she's an adaptable kid. Would she be going to the same school? Highly unlikely. Her personal research consisted of sitting down with a copy of PR's 350 Colleges, and marking the ones that sounded interesting. Her Dad and I had set one parameter - the school had to have top notch academics - which, given no other way of measuring, she chose 88+ score in PR (it actually made some sense to me, if the students didn't think the academics were good/important enough to rate highly, then it probably wasn't as good). Once she had that list, and had made a couple of visits, she had strong enough preferences and desires that I could take her big list and narrow it down to about 12-15 schools of various selectivites - she had strong feelings about size, location, distance from home, it doesn't take long with 3-4 parameters.</p>

<p>Many people would say that is too much parental involvement, and I always had to be cognizant of when to ask for her opinion and when to decide for myself. Her GC, who is a wonderful wise woman with many years of college counseling experience, made me feel better - early on, when we were discussing an extended out of state driving trip for visits, I said I would of course have DD plan the trip - the GC just started laughing, she said no way, let DD pick the schools, but you handle all the planning, logistics, etc. The student has enough to worry about, and she doesn't have the experience of how far to drive in a day, how many schools are too many - that made me feel much less interfering, and more like a necessary administrative assistant.</p>

<p>My D isn't really all that interested right now either. </p>

<p>Of course the cards are somewhat in motion for her to attend the U of MN so maybe that's why she hasn't invested much else into the process.</p>

<li>The U of MN was our 1 visit so far - she liked it</li>
<li>She likes the idea of living in a city with a larger school</li>
<li>Both of us (parents) went there and enjoyed our experience</li>
<li>We have told her all along we would pay for the full price of a state school but that she would be responsible for anything more. We've also told her she should avoid college loans if at all possible</li>
<li>She got a 30 on the ACT her first try and has a top 10% class rank so she already knows she should get in </li>

<p>We'll probably take a summer trip to Madison to check out the U of WI as another option but she isn't pushing that.</p>

<p>My S also isn't particularly interested in the college process although he and H went looking at colleges in the fall when we were out of school. Guess we'll look at others in the summer -- might enlist my older 2 Ss to take him places. Now that some of his senior friends are about to graduate and go off to school, I'm hoping some of that might rub off on him.</p>

<p>fishingmn, my son is very similar to your daughter. He had his mind made up years ago. He decided in elementary school that he wanted to attend UVA, and to be honest, it's an almost cookie cutter fit to his personality and intellect. We're not alumni, but we are in state, and he plans to apply ED. He scored in the 75th percentile of UVA's profile, and he's ranked in the top 10 (probably 7th) out of 700 in his high school which is magnet school. He wants a full college experience from big football/basketball to intramurals, silly clubs, and maybe a fraternity. So he's all happy and calm about the whole college process, it's just me who is stressing out a little. </p>

<p>He has agreed to visit a few different types of colleges to get a flavor of a small LAC, large private, and a safety school (I've picked them though, he's somewhat disinterested). So far, with our visits, his decision to attend UVA has been reinforced, but he's also realized that there are a lot of great alternatives. Now if I could learn to be so confident in my decisions!</p>

<p>Fishing and Rascal - this is nothing to be sheepish about - this is great. Two top-notch schools, no pain, happy kids, what more could you want? Even if they get there and aren't as happy as they want to be, few bridges have been burned! Sounds like a plan to a minimal stress senior year.</p>


Now if I could learn to be so confident in my decisions!


<p>No truer words spoken, on here anyway!</p>

<p>My S is a mixed bag. He is not nearly as involved in the process as I think he should be. Since he goes to boarding school far from home, it is not that easy to do college visits. He has attended some meetings with admissions reps who came to his school. We did a visit in October and 3 visits over spring break. He has been in contact with a few coaches. He hasn't engaged himself fully in the standardized testing process, although his scores are OK and he seems to be focusing on that aspect a little more. My concern is that he doesn't quite "get" how complicated the whole thing is and how much there is to do- especially since he will most likely be applying ED as a recruited athlete somewhere, which means he needs to make several official visits before he makes that choice. He is looking at some very selective schools- both academically and athletically- and I don't want him to be disappointed. He has a great college counselor at his school, but I feel a little disconnected from the process, which is probably a GOOD thing or I would be driving my S crazy. He and his equally academically and athletically talented roommate researched the LEAST selective colleges and now have Jarvis Christian entered on their profiles. The roommate is being recruited by Harvard for his sport, and is now receiving mailings from both Harvard and Jarvis Christian. In fairness to my S, his focus right now is achieving certain things in his sport which will be attractive to the coaches at the schools he is considering. It is a very difficult balance for a parent between over-involvement and not providing enough guidance. It is further complicated by all the knowledge we have from this forum!</p>

<p>I will admit that I did not have this issue with either of my kids who seemed interested and invested in the college process. But I have heard many parents explain that the situation at their house has been different. One suggestion I have is that you sit down with your junior and create a time line of all the tasks that need to be done from now until next April. Brainstorm these (consult resources if you have to) and then group them by month. That way, you have a game plan. Perhaps one of the initial tasks will be to develop college criteria and then to peruse college directories to come up with a preliminary list of reach, match, safeties and when he/she has done that, to come share it with you (within the guidelines of your time line). If your child is going away for a summer program or immersed in final exams, there will be lulls in the action but a game plan will be in place with a time frame for each task to be done. While my kids did the choosing and much else, I was their resource person who might find information for them. I was a support person who discussed whatever step they were at with the process and helped if needed. I was the secretary for things like lining up the trips (though they wrote their own emails to professors or interviewers and the like to line those appts. up). Each step was a collaboration but they still took the lead. I was more of a facilitator. </p>

<p>Anyway, start with the time line. Use it as your guide for the next 11 months. You can be the enforcer, if needed, to check in and ask where they are on the next step on the timeline and arrange to have a "meeting" to discuss that step or what they have done about it. Keep on track with the timeline. Hold the student to it. Again, you can consult with him/her and help with some tasks but he/she is not only a part of each step, but leads it and does it (with help when needed). Just my two cents.</p>


<p>Thanks, soozie, great idea! We have had discussions about type of school, geography, potential majors, important EC's etc...a little here, a little there, but I have the ballpark ideas. She's off to summer programs til the end of July and I'm hoping she'll be more invested then. Just wanted to start making some plane reservations for August to try to save some $$$, but it's not happening :) right now.</p>

<p>My junior son is only slightly interested in the college search at this point. He visited a few UCs this spring, liked all of them, and partly for that reason isn't very stressed or inclined to do a lot of research into other schools. Fortunately, his hs counselor gives the kids a few "assignments" that involve researching schools they may not have considered, and determining general perameters regarding "fit", so he has done some on his own because of that.
His dad will take him to a couple of schools while traveling to his summer workshop, and he will take one trip with a good friend to a midwestern school WITHOUT parents.(He's actually excited about that one.:) )
If he continues this laid-back attitude, that's fine with H and me, as long as he puts in the work at application time. Since he's generally good about deadlines, I have no doubt that he'll come through. Right now his current classes and activities consume his attention and are more pressing in his mind. Once he is accepted to a few schools next spring, I think he'll make a good decision for himself.<br>
Meanwhile, I still enjoy following the info on this board, but I doubt that anything I do or learn here will make any difference in where he chooses to go. DS has a very independent nature and mind -- his time frame, his college, his call. I have no choice but to be fine with that!</p>

<p>My daughter is sometimes very interested sometimes not interested, and sometimes...well, who the heck knows? For the most part, I have made recommendations based on what she says she is looking for, she has looked them up on the internet, and we've made visits based on my saying "OK, here's where we're going now." Her list is constantly in flux (although a few choices seem to stay on eternally) and some days the word College is a four letter word. Like KathieP, I expect her list to be very short compared to other kids- maybe 4 or 5 colleges at the most. Luckily, she is choosing schools I think she has a fairly good shot at, and she goes back and forth about maybe applying ED to her favorite school.</p>