Parents: How to Accept Your Child’s College Path

April 21, 2016

parent advice for college admissions
Dave Marcus has an impressive resume to his name - a graduate of Dartmouth undergrad, a fellow at Harvard, and a teaching stint at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He’s a well-respected published author, known most notably for his book Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right Colleges - and Find Themselves. He’s written about education for the New York Times, US News and World Report, and Newsday.

He’s also a father.

His son, Benjie, is only a teenager, and academics are already not his focus. Benjie doesn’t like writing, never liked sports, and avoided the scouts. But what has Marcus learned more than anything else? That his son is a person of his own, and probably won’t be a student who winds up at Dartmouth, Harvard, or any school remotely close. And that’s more than alright.

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“Benjie has so much that I lack… more important, he’s developed empathy.”

Marcus still thinks ahead to what his son’s college application will look like, and what he’ll write about in his essays. Instead of going to science or sports camp, Benjie worked on a farm helping to breed dogs.

But Marcus has ultimately come to understand his position as a parent. So what is his bottomline piece of advice for high school parents entering the college application process?

“Above all, I urge parents of high school juniors and seniors not to see their kids as SAT and ACT scores and G.P.A.s, but as creative, unpredictable, unprogrammable teenagers with their own gifts.”

If you’re just getting started on the application process, make sure to search our database of admitted students to find schools that fit you. See essays, stats, and advice from thousands of students at colleges across the US and see where you fit in. Talk one-on-one with a mentor to get personalized advice on your process. 

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




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mark_pino
UPenn ‘20


Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
NU2018
Northwestern ‘18


Accepted to Northwestern, Emory, WashU, UMich

Hey everyone, I'm a current Northwestern student (Class of 2018, although I may finish up a little early) and I absolutely love it! Admissions really is a tough time, so try to keep your head up and don't be afraid to take chances.
Yalie
Yale ‘19


Accepted to Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Rice, Williams, Amherst, UVA, UNC, W&L U, Rutgers, UVM

Entrepreneurial sophomore Mathematics and Philosophy major at Yale University who also loves the liberal arts.
BrownDomer
Notre Dame ‘20


Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!

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