8 Types of (College Applicant) Parents

November 16, 2016

College applicants aren’t the only players in the process. Parents, we know many of you are lurking in the background if not leading the charge on the frontline. We see you. Here are the 8 different types of college applicant parents we’ve come across. You know which one you are… 

1. The OG Tiger Mom 

This parent has done her homework. She knows the optimal month for her kid to take the SAT, has memorized all the supplemental essay prompts, and investigated which schools need a french horn player (which her lucky applicant picked up in middle school). She’s captaining the ship. She really wishes she were the one applying – she would crush it.

2. The Puppeteer

This parent doesn’t overtly assert her control, but she’s definitely pulling the strings behind the scenes. A master of tactful coercion, this parent is able to convince her applicant that every strategic step originated with her kid.

3. The Backseat Driver

The Backseat Driver isn’t entirely sure which path is necessarily the right path to take, but he’s definitely vocal with his suggestions. This is probably his first time through the wringer, so he’s taking as many people’s advice as possible. Every fork in the road is an opportunity to influence the destination. He’s doing the best he can with what he’s got.

4. The Surrogate

Sometimes, you just need to bring someone else in to parent your kid. This parent knows her words will fall on deaf ears. But, hire a third party college expert to channel her wishes, and her applicant will fall in line.

5. The Closer

This parent stays benched and inactive until the last minute. She steers clear of her applicant and offers advice only when asked. But, when it comes crunch time, the Closer steps in to make sure the game isn’t lost in the final minutes.

6. The Financier

This parent isn’t particularly involved in the substantive aspects of the application process. She is, however, concerned with financing the endeavor. She guides her applicant toward schools that are economically viable, and does her best to navigate FAFSA and hunt for scholarships.

7. The Hands-off Passenger

He whole heartedly trusts that his kid can handle the application process for herself, so he stays totally hands-free. For better or worse, his applicant has the controls, and he’s just along for the ride. 

8. The Co-pilot

Chances are, you genuinely think you’re the Co-pilot who’s perfectly in sync with your kid. Not too aggressive. Not too passive. Just the perfect amount of support for your applicant to nail each takeoff and landing. Hey, you might be… But that’s a question only your Pilot can answer.

The college application is a tough, emotionally draining, drawn-out process for applicants and parents. We feel your pain. Share your experience with us in the comment section below! Stayed tuned for upcoming webinars where we’ll have parents who’ve been in your shoes answer your questions.

About The Author

Stephanie Shyu
Stephanie Shyu

Steph is our founder and the most prolific consumer of Easy Mac™® within a 3-mile radius of our office. She attended Duke where she was a Div 1 fencer, then picked up a J.D. and a Wharton Certificate focusing on Entrepreneurial Studies from UPenn plus an LL.M. from the University of Hong Kong. She founded an educational charity in rural China and was once an aspiring journalist (as is clearly evident from this artfully crafted author bio). Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, she gives interviews and talks about startups and education – email her at steph@admitsee.com.




Browse Successful Application Files

nyudotedu
NYU ‘19


Accepted to NYU, BC, BU, GWU, Northeastern

I was born and raised in Korea, but I've studied in in U.S. boarding school for 7 years. I love people, building, and cars so I love every cities in the world.
SChai
Georgetown ‘18


Accepted to Georgetown, NYU, Barnard, Northeastern

Hi, I'm Shannon! I'm from San Jose, California, spent a gap year living and working in Leipzig, Germany, and now I go to college in Washington D.C. I've shared everything I can remember about the college application process with y'all! :)
niathuravil
Rutgers ‘20


Accepted to Rutgers, NYU, Fordham, UMass, Colorado, MSU, Illinois, Arizona, Washington

Your local political astronaut with a passion for the prolific things in life.
cjjo96
Barnard ‘18


Accepted to Barnard

Barnard '18 | My passions lie in education, psychology, and human rights, all from the lens of an African Studies major. My transcript and application were far from conventional, but neither am I.

New Posts

10 Things You'll Probably Need in College
10 Things You’ll Probably Need in College
April 19, 2018

Not sure what you need in college? We got your back. We hope you love the products listed here! Just FYI, AdmitSee may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.1. Bedside...

“Take Your Pills”: When Your Best is Not Enough
“Take Your Pills”: When Your Best is Not Enough
April 12, 2018

Netflix’s recent documentary “Take Your Pills” provides another look into the epidemic of over-medication and the overuse of ADD/ADHD drugs to enhance performance. The synopsis for the film is this: In America...

Reviewing Your Aid Offer: Which Should You Accept?
Reviewing Your Aid Offer: Which Should You Accept?
April 11, 2018

As the early excitement of getting into college settles down, you’re faced with important decisions. Along with your acceptances, hopefully, you were also awarded aid offers. Aid offers can come in a lot of...

Rewards for Studying Hard: Merit Scholarships
Rewards for Studying Hard: Merit Scholarships
April 09, 2018

Ever question why you are working so hard? Why you’re in the library studying rather playing video games? If you’re having any doubts about studying hard, remember that they can pay off in...

Load More Posts