Should parents accompany their students on college visits?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,068
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., discusses the basics of a college visit including if parents should accompany their students on college visits.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: Should parents accompany their students on college visits? Jerome Cole: Absolutely, I think especially in the very beginning, I think parents should always go, I think it is very valuable, I think from a student perspective, you may or may not want mom or dad taken along with you, Oh! You know, she talks too much, he will embarrass me whatever. One of the things that you are going to want when you go to visit these colleges, is you are going to want that second opinion, that third opinion, that is mom and dad. They are the subject matter experts on you. So, when they go and they look at these colleges and universities with you, you will have your own perceptions, but they are going to be able to add to that. They may point out some things that you missed.

    So, I think and parents ultimately, you want to be involved in this process, you want to see where your child is going to be living for the next four or five years. So, they are many, many reasons why parents should go and I would say, in the very beginning it is an absolute Yes that parents should accompany their students. I think what happens in the senior year, in the spring of your senior year, once you have been admitted a lot of students will take a second visit or in some cases, it may be the first visit, they will revisit those colleges or universities. In that instance, it is probably, okay for mom or dad to stay home, because a lot of times colleges will have overnight visits. So, for an overnight, what do you do? You are not going to stay in a dome with your son. You are going to be down the street at a hotel or whatever or you are going to be back at home.

    So, that would be the only exception that I say, is probably okay for you to stay home and send your child off on your own.