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College Preparation for Parents:

College Parents that cant let go

As parents, you want the best for your children. When your child moves on from high school to college, it is not only a passage for students but also a transition for parents as well. It is a time of change and great challenge and often college represents the second most expensive purchase they will make over their lifetimes.

Here at Project-College we recognize how important these decisions are to you and your child and are fully committed to helping in your success. In order to do so, you should view this experience as both a learning process and a partnership, as both are most definitely necessary for success.

The first, and the most important step is to ‘get to know’ your child! Their motivation, passions, concerns, objectives (both short and long term), career aspirations, as well as many other characteristics must be identified, understood, and confirmed. Next, we will spend time with you, the parents, to better understand your thoughts and expectations. Often the two ‘sets of expectations’ are not aligned initially and it is very important at the beginning of our partnership to make sure they are, or at least ‘complimentary’.

All of that information will help lay the foundation to what will later be a customized Plan that will maximize your child’s chances of success. In addition, we will review various questions with you and your child to help refine the results of our final recommendations.

Below are just some of the questions that will be posed in these processes, depending on which services you have chosen. These examples are offered here to provide you a better understanding of the step-by-step methodology that we employ.

Why are you going to college? This may seem like a very simple question, but it rarely is. We make sure that we address this question from all directions and include all relevant viewpoints, as the final answer can be critical in determining all the steps that will follow. ...READ MORE

What are you expecting from a college? Here we attempt to uncover all viewpoints, as expectations can often be very personal. We also try to answer this question from three aspects… What are you expecting from the college before you attend, while you are attending, and once you graduate?

How will you choose and get accepted to the best college(s) for you? There are a lot of schools out there and even more students trying to get into those schools! To succeed here we focus on ‘choice’ and ‘acceptance’. For ‘choice’ we need to determine what colleges are the best fit for your child. For ‘acceptance’, now that we know what colleges are targeted, we need to create a comprehensive Plan that will maximize your child’s chances of being accepted into each and every college on their list. (It always easier for you to say ‘No’ than the college).

For those reasons, this question is all about planning and preparation. The more time you have, the better your chances of success. This is why we suggest the student beginning their ‘College Preparation’ process in their freshman year in High School.

How will you best pay for that college? First we try to better understand your financial situation and goals, now and at the time the student will enter college. Next we try to clear up the many misconceptions that exist (such as ‘Private Schools are always more expensive’, ‘Financial aid is never available to me’, ‘You have to be an ‘A’ student or ‘Sports Hero’ to get a scholarship’ … and so on)

Next, we work with you to identify all the possible alternatives available to meet your financial goals.

Finally, we will narrow down the set of ‘possible alternatives’ to a set of realistic recommendation, which will also include all the steps necessary to obtain those recommendations. ...READ MORE

How will you succeed in college? Congratulations, you’re in college! Now what? Here we try to better prepare your child for the new challenges that they will encounter once they start college.

One of the most important things for any college student is to fully understanding what resources are available at the college: This may be the campus health center, the counseling center, academic support services, the financial aid office, your residence hall staff, the dean of students office, your professor(s), or anywhere else on campus that offers student support services. Regardless of your situation, however, there is undoubtedly somewhere on campus who can help connect you to the support you need.

Other questions that may come up are: What do I do now that I am living on campus away from home? How to handle difficult college courses? My roommate is impossible, what do I do? How do I handle my money? Should I join any clubs? How do I handle my schedule? …I want to go home!

You child understanding their ‘support network’ and being better prepared so that they can solve their problems as they come up (and they most definitely will come up) can be as important as all the effort you have made up to this stage to get them accepted in that college!

At Project-College, our processes maximize the number of options your child will have and thereby results in a more successful outcome. In short, we help you to remove much of the uncertainty about ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ and instill a sense of confidence and calm as your child moves from the selection to acceptance to college success!

We look forward to working with you

Stephen Murray, PMP, CPM, MBA

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