Keep an open mind about college possibilities for your son or daughter. "I've never heard of this college, so it can't be any good."
Communicate. Communication throughout the process is the key to success.
Be Prepared. Be prepared for frequent "I don't know" responses. Therefore, listen between the lines.
Be Clear. Let your child know where you stand on issues. If you feel strongly about a point, make it clear from the beginning of the process – not later. Avoid being interested in only "big name" schools for your own ego. Concentrating on only "prestigious" colleges is unfair to your child who simply may not have the credentials or desire to attend.
Question Correctly. Asking questions should not turn into interrogations. Questions asked out of genuine curiosity will elicit the best answers.
Support their choice. Support and trust your child's choices.
Listen. Listening well is essential. Have an open mind. Hear your son or daughter out before offering your views.
Praise. When the decision letters are mailed, help your son or daughter to feel pleased and accomplished by praising his or her acceptances, not conveying disappointment that "the big ones" got away.
Be Supportive. Parents who are very vocal about how disappointed they feel are undermining any feelings of success their child might have.
Celebrate. Take satisfaction in your son's or daughter's getting into a college where he or she is likely to do well, grow intellectually and socially, and prepare for a career.