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Advice for the Class of 2024 from Parents of the Class of 2023

Today we are closing our Application Nation - Class of 2023 group and moving our members to our Application Nation Alumni group. All of our students got admitted to multiple colleges, each one has committed to one school, and their parents are filled with emotion. Before everyone said goodbye, members passed along advice to those who will follow.

I paid close attention.

While I have been working in college admissions for nearly 25 years, this will be the first year I will be going through the process as a parent. I have a timeline for our Application Nation families to follow. I have a book they can read. And I know everything you could possibly know about applying to college.

But sometimes the best advice comes from those who have just been through it. Here are some words of wisdom from our Class of 2023 parents.

1. Do as much as you can the summer before senior year.

Once the school year starts, it becomes harder to squeeze essays and standardized tests into an already packed schedule.

2. Start visiting colleges sooner than you think.

You have to visit some doozies to find the gems. Nothing beats being on campus to know if the college is the right fit.

3. Apply to a Rolling Admissions college before senior year begins.

Most colleges with a Rolling Admissions program start accepting applications on August 1st. The application requirements are usually minimal—sometimes there is no essay, no letters of recommendation, and only self-reported grades/classes. And you have a high likelihood of getting an acceptance a few weeks later.

4. Tune out others.

As one wise mom said, some will think you are aiming too high; others will think the opposite. Just focus on yourself. This is your college journey, not theirs.

5. Choose one time each week when college stuff can be discussed as a family.

This allows the student to focus on all of their other responsibilities without feeling like the college process is dominating their life.

READ MORE: The One Word That Needs to Be Eliminated from the College Admissions Process

All of the advice shared comes from those who have just been through it. I know it to be true. As a parent of an almost-high school senior, now I need to follow it. Buckle up, it's going to be quite a ride!