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Parents Give Advice for Next Year's College Applicants

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Some call it "the other March Madness," that nail-biting time when high school students await word from their chosen colleges (and safety schools) about whether they, too, are the chosen ones.

Princeton Review today released its annual College Hopes and Worries Survey, in which nearly 10,000 students and 4,000 parents weighed in on this year's round of college/high school student match-ups.

Stanford University ranked No.1 on the dream list for parents and students. The two generations are almost tied on stress levels about the selection process: 70 percent of students reported "high/very high" stress about choosing a college, compared to 67 percent of parents in that category.

Being able to land a better job and have a higher income are still seen as the main benefits of a college education, reported by just over half the parent and student respondents.

From the "Parents' Advice for Next Years' Parents" webpage, which features a selection of write-in responses, come the following highlights:


  • Do what you can to make sure your child "owns" the entire application process.
    —James, Calif.

  • Don't stress out your child. They're under enough pressure already! ... Have faith in your parenting skills and your child's ability to succeed on their own terms.
    —MaryAnne, Westwood, Mass.

  • Focus on your child and what is best for him/her and try not to focus on all the competition between parents. This is about your child, not about you.
    —Carol, Tarrytown, N.Y.

  • Do your homework on the entire process, including understanding how the financial aid process works, and don't wait until the last minute to delve into this stuff.
    —Ken, Colorado Springs, Colo.

  • It matters more what your child does at the college he/she gets into than which college he/she gets into.
    —L. T., Cincinnati

Access the Princeton Review's full survey results here.

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