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What Parents Tell Me About Their Deadline Fears

Read any Facebook Group page on college planning and you'll see an amazing array of fears that parents are describing. Not least among them is the fear of missing a deadline. Or, more to the point, the fear that their KID is going to miss a deadline if left to their own devices.

This is not hard to imagine, especially given that deadlines are so little enforced in schools these days. College application deadlines are not mere suggestions, so is it a good idea to leave this entirely up to your kid? Probably not. At the same time, if kids can't meet college application deadlines, what is the chance they will turn in their college assignments on time?

Let's face it, we as parents are not infallible either! As one parent said to me, "If I can't remember to do everything on time, how is my son supposed to remember?"

The most obvious answer is - calendar it. But, how many of you have had days where you were too busy to look at your calendar??!! I know I have.

It's not just turning things in on time either. It's starting soon enough to have time to get it done well and THEN turn it in on time. I can think of at least 2 occasions during my own college planning that I thought I had everything under control after looking on the web page and seeing what was needed for a specific requirement, only to find that when I submitted that page, another page popped up that needed to be completed, and then another! When that happens, you PRAY that there won't be a question that you can't answer with the information you have at hand.

What is the solution to this?

  1. Calendar EVERYTHING - and review your calendar daily for the day's tasks

  2. Every week - look out to the next two weeks on your calendar and start completing all tasks due in that time frame

  3. Add intermittent steps for bigger projects to stay on track (like dates to finalize specific essays that will be needed later when turning in applications)

  4. Review the calendar with your kid and make sure they know EXACTLY what they are responsible for, when it is due and what is required

  5. Keep a file and/or a spreadsheet handy with all the information you have been or could be asked pertaining to the transcript, finances, family information, resume, etc

  6. If you need something from another person (guidance counselor or teacher) ask them as early as possible

And - don't forget to take a deep breath and know that everything is going to be ok.

Do you have other ways to stay on track? Let us know in the comments below!

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