As high school students and parents navigate the new college landscape this fall, high school college counselors are working hard to help families get to know a college from afar. Without the on-campus programming activities, what resources and advice do high school college counselors share with their families? How can parents support their students without taking control of the process? What are some tips for both students and parents this fall? Erika Chapin, the Director of College Counseling for Hopkins School, will share her thoughts and guidance for students and parents navigating the college admissions journey this fall.
- Share your own experience with your students
- Have a conversation early about what they are looking for in a college. What is important to them and what is not.
- Take the time to ‘attend’ the virtual tours to gather some insights and impressions of the school and the community.
- With virtual tours, all students have access to tours now which allows students to ‘visit’ more schools than they could have in-person.
- Parents – watch your student as they are on tour. Observe their reactions, facial expressions and body language. You can learn a lot about what your student thinks about a particular school by watching them.
- Parents – be the executive assistant and handle all the logistical aspects of the college search process. Let your students control all other aspects of the college admissions journey.
- Patience – this is a ‘slow burn’ and your student will find a college to call home where they will thrive.
Important Resources and Links:
Meet Erika Chapin
Erika’s entire career has been in education, at both the secondary school and college/university level. She started in college admissions at her alma mater, Mary Washington College, and then continued on in admissions and then academic advising at the University of New Hampshire. Her first college counseling job was at Cheshire Academy, and this is now her 14th year at Hopkins School, 4th as director. In that time she has attended and presented at various local, regional, and national conferences. Erika lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and cat.
Thank you Erika for joining us today to help parents and students as they navigate learning about colleges from afar. Make sure to have a conversation with your students early about what they want in a school for their next adventure. Identify what is important to them, address any financial guidelines they need to be aware of when compiling their list, and discuss if there are any geographic considerations your family should consider prior to starting the process. Parents, watch your students as they are on a tour (whether it is virtual or in-person) . Observe their facial reactions and body language – you will learn a lot. Reach out to your network to connect with current students to get their insights on why they choose the school. Have patience – this is a ‘slow burn’ and your student will find a place they can call home.