Today’s guest post is from Lisa Sloan of Portland, Oregon who is currently going through the admissions process with her son.
I am a master juggler. I don’t flip fire torches or bean bags, but as a parent, I am constantly keeping all of the balls in the air––meals, carpool, school project supplies, orthodontist appointments, etc. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you know I could add a hundred more things to the list. At the time of maximum juggling, it’s time for my son to apply to college! Yay, more balls…
I was absolutely thrilled to learn about apply101. My son was able to select the schools he is interested in, and his calendar populated with all of the tasks and timelines he needed. I am able to monitor his progress through the app without having to constantly ask him if he’s done something, and having the timeline laid out for him makes it easier for him to stay on track. It’s not unlike keeping on top of homework or other assignments. I also appreciate that I can add as task that he will see without having to remember to talk to him about it. These days, those face-to-face opportunities can be hard to find, and then I have to remember what it was I needed to tell him when I do see him. Not always easy with everything else on my mind; apply101 to the rescue!
This past weekend is a great example. We had discussed letters of recommendation while we were in the car. He was looking at university websites on his phone, and of course, each school wants things differently. One school wants the letters mailed to them, which means my son needs to address and stamp envelopes to give to the teachers he asks for recommendations. Another wants them submitted online, so that means emailing the teacher with the link. A third wants it through Naviance. While I drove, my son noted each task (and address) in apply101 so he didn’t have to waste time later figuring it out again. We also brainstormed about who he would ask for the recommendations, and he noted that too. When we got home, I gave him envelopes and stamps and I left the rest up to him.
At first I thought that since his high school uses Naviance that we didn’t need apply101, but then I learned that Naviance is a vehicle to request transcripts and sometimes, letters of recommendation, and although it has great college search tools, it doesn’t provide the calendaring of timelines and deadlines that apply101 does, so it’s not redundant. They work really well together.
I think it is important that the college process be something my son owns, not something that I drive. I honestly believe that his engagement at this point is indicative of his commitment, and it foreshadows how well he will on his own in college when I am not checking in on him all the time. I also know that senior year is crazy-busy for kids, so they need someone to have their back to make sure their balls stay in the air. That’s why I like apply101. It keeps him organized and lets me peek without hovering.