The process of preparing for and applying to college (from choosing a high school for some, selecting the right high school courses, doing well, doing extracurricular activities, becoming a leader, choosing colleges to apply to etc, etc, etc) can be downright stressful. It feels as if a child’s entire future depends on making the right choices and if and when there is a misstep, it can be devastating.
Consider this perspective. Everyone will have a misstep. Parents who seemingly spend countless dollars doing everything “right” realize at some point, “my child still might not be accepted to (fill in the blank)” in the same way that parents who fear they didn’t or couldn’t do enough also fear “my child might not be accepted to (fill in the blank)”.
The reality is there are no guarantees in college admission and so the best you can do is make use of available resources, challenge yourself academically and personally, reflect and select a number of colleges you’d be happy at. It’s doesn’t take a lot of money (or any actually) to be a competitive applicant for college, instead it takes commitment, drive and perspective.