College Search Advice to Parents From Students

Updated: Apr 26

Do you remember your college search? What about your senior year in high school? What if you could have given your parents one anonymous message?

I recently spent some time revisiting my memory box (yes I have one, and you should, too), and I found a collection of papers from my senior year of high school. Amongst these papers were a couple of printed handouts based on an annual survey that the graduating class of high school seniors would complete. Conveniently enough, one of these survey questions revolved around advice that graduating seniors would give to their parents about the college search/admissions process.

As I read through these bits of wisdom, it was a bittersweet feeling to hear the same phrases I have been hearing since I began my time in higher education. Sweet, because there's something unifying about the fact that seniors in 2021 are still facing the same frustrations as their peers a decade ago. Bitter, because a decade has passed and I'm still hearing the same frustrations, despite generational changes.

This blog post is for students and parents. Students, you should know you are not alone and that many adults remember their own trials and tribulations during the college search. Parents, heed to advice of some anonymous seniors, so that you can understand how your student is likely feeling during this process.

Some details about this high school class:

Size: ~50 Students

Location: Southern Alabama, along the Gulf Coast

Type: Independent College Preparatory School

The original document for your reference:

A special thanks to Mary Ann Willis, my colleague and college counselor, for encouraging students to participate in this exercise. In the future, I hope post two additional documents from that same survey: "Advice to Juniors Regarding The College Search" and "Advice to Freshmen [From Seniors]."

With all my support,

Sawyer Earwood

Independent College Counselor

Co-Founder of Virtual College Counselors

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