Good Life

Fathering | Help with college application process

My daughter, a high school junior, and I are headed to Vermont soon to begin our 2014 college road trip.

This is sure to be a bonding time for us, as we select which schools to visit, determine what major she may be considering and establish whether she has an idea of what she might become someday.

This also is the time when my daughter has been inundated with information from colleges and universities.

She finds the whole process quite daunting.

By the end of this year she’ll have taken the “dreaded” SAT and will have her cumulative GPA through three years, helping with her selection of colleges and universities to explore. In addition to these criteria, she will prepare an essay for many schools.

What can fathers do to help their child with this process?

Action ideas

Talk to your child about their hopes, dreams, interests and ambitions.

Discover what schools offer career exploration and job search assistance.

Help your child navigate the process by using such websites as, which provides a way to explore schools, majors and costs.

Also, search websites of the colleges your son/daughter is considering.

Discover which schools offer the extracurricular activities in which your child is interested (e.g., study abroad, leadership programs, service-learning, student clubs and organizations, internships, athletics).

Finally, be a good listener to your child and offer as much love, reassurance and support you can.