Here are my 10 Tips to Parents Going Through the College Search…

1) Watch Baz Lurhman’s Sunscreen video. Here’s the link to it. (If you wish, feel free to click on it and then click back; I’ll wait.)  Try to get your kid to watch it, but don’t force it on them.

2) Read “Oh the Places You Will Go“. Leave it in their room. Don’t say anything.

3) Buy tissues. (Sorry, probably should have led with that)

4) Say the word “perspective” 3 times. There are no magic answers, magic financial aid packages or guarantees. But there is plenty of good information, good people, good money and good intentions out there.  Be wary of those who tell you the opposite.

5) Record your memories. Take pictures, videos and notes as you visit schools.  “What school was that, again?” is never a good statement.  Plus, you need something to put up on Facebook.

6) Trust your child. They probably are more worthy of that trust than you realize, but even if they’re not, it’s ultimately their life. (Your money, I know.)

7) Deal with that.  Your money.  Their life.  Understand where you stand on this.  Accept where your child stands.

8) Remember this one phrase. “A Match to Be Made, Not a Prize to Be Won.”  Period.  No, I said – period.  Unless you want them to move back in…

9) Sit your child down.  Look him or her straight in the eye.  Look really serious for a moment.  Then, crack a little smile and say, “Enjoy this.  Keep the brochures from the colleges that excite you.  Push the other 3,174 to the side.  Recycling goes out on Wednesday.”

10) Let the process play out. That expensive school may offer a dynamite financial aid package.  It might not.  The reach school (oh,how I hate that phrase) might come through with an offer of admission.  It might not.  Those 2nd SATS might go up by 100 points.  They might not.  But let the process play out.   For, believe it or not, your kid has brains in his head and feet in her shoes.  And this is their chance to steer in the direction they choose.

But trust me on the sunscreen.  (Link)

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Please feel free to email me at, call or text me at 908-403-3819, join me on Facebook on “College Counseling for the Rest of Usand join me on Twitter at @MichaelCCR.