Some kids torpedo their own college applications. Why? They may not feel ready for college, on a conscious or subconscious level. Or they might not want to attend the school their parents want them to. I don’t see much that’s been written on this topic. When applicants undermine their own efforts, it doesn’t reflect well on us college admissions consultants. Parents will often blame us. The elite agencies avoid that by carefully screening their parent and student clients. As a small agency in a rural community, I don’t have the luxury of cherry-picking students. Nor do I want it. I want to be available to anyone who wants my services. But who truly want them. My students do not all have 4.0 GPAs. Or even 3.5 GPAs.

Some students simply fear leaving home. Some don’t know what career they want to pursue and think they must decide when applying to college. Increasingly, students are reluctant to take in the financial burden. And then some students just don’t like school and don’t want four more years of it. Maybe they’ve achieved at a high level but are simply burned out. For me, I rejected law school, because I just didn’t want another three years of schooling. I can see it coming, and it’s frustrating. I get ghosted. I don’t hear from the student. My emails don’t get answered. So I email the parents. I don’t want them to think I’m not doing anything. Then I see students procrastinating with their essays. If they communicate with me, it’s to make excuses. I don’t get upset. I just recognize what’s happening.

Helicopter parents are known as parents who get involved with every aspect of their child’s life. It’s important that parents listen to their kids. Helicopter parents aren’t always good at that. These parents might be making it inevitable that their student will undermine their prospects. Possibly in the interview, where the parent is not present.  Some parents take over the college application process. At a time when they should be encouraging independence, this is not the best strategy. It won’t promote success in college. One thing that has been written about is the college dropout rate of 40 percent. It’s better to find out your child doesn’t want to attend college before you spend the first year’s tuition on it. And if your child doesn’t want to do a good job applying, please don’t blame it on the college admissions consultant.