Are Parents Too Involved in the College Admissions Process?

In this interview with, author Andrew Ferguson provides some of the highlights (and lowlights) of his son's efforts to get into college. You will find more in his book, Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid into College.

The ACT Exam is coming up, and many 11th-graders are preparing themselves for college applications in the fall.

How are you feeling? Are you and your parents stressing out over getting into the "right" college? Are you satisfied with your game plan to this point?

+5 BONUS: Describe the steps you have taken to get into college so far. Has it been stressful or easy? Describe ways that this article--or lessons in English 11--have helped you to understand the application process.


  1. College is something I have been thinking about for a very long time. Ever since I was 9 years old, I have known exactly what I want to major in. I want to be a music education major. Since I'm the first child in my family, my mom is putting tons of pressure on me. She is trying to learn, as I am.

    So far, college has been very stressful. I have a decent GPA; I currently have a 3.7. I'm really fretting about the ACT though; everyone I know is making it seem like such a big deal. Personally, I'm awful at timed tests.

    I have visited a few colleges. I go to the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University every monday for symphony practice. I have been to belmont once, I visit Tennessee Tech often, I stayed at MTSU for governor's school and several honor bands, I have been to the UT Martin, I have been to Austin Peay, and probably a few others. I have met the music faculty at these schools, and walked around the campus a bit.

    My top three favorite schools are Belmont, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee Tech.

    However, I'm going to apply to several schools to see which one will give me the most money, scholarship-wise.

    It is very stressful. I need to work up a very impressive clarinet piece that will "wow" the faculty there. I've already started working up a repertoire of possible audition pieces.

    That is currently my situation as far as colleges go at the moment! :D

    -Michaela Cundari-

  2. Honestly I haven't even thought about filling out an application yet, and it scares me to even think about it. I do know that I will be attending Vol State my first two years of college where I'll be studying to be an LPN. I intend to go back to college after a few years in the field to become an RN. Be a nurse is something I never quite saw myself doing but that make very good money and nurses are always in need. But I am excited to graduate in some ways, move out and be on my own.

    Christina Acevedo 4th

  3. Honestly I'm not very stressed about college at all. Of course i want to get into the college of my choice, but I feel confident in my ability to score well on the ACT and make the best grades I possibly can to raise my GPA. Lately my parents and I have been discussing my plans through senior year and how I plan on attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We are currently looking into some college prep classes and ACT prep classes to better my readiness for college. Neither I nor my parents are very stressed.. yet. Im sure as this next fall closes in closer and closer, the stress and tension will build higher and higher. I am very appreciative of not only my English 11 class and teacher, but also for my previous english classes and teachers, for I feel that they have greatly prepared me with assignments on writing and public speaking that I know will be of much help during my college years.

    -Michael Gilley

  4. I feel a little stressed out about college, but I am excited at the same time. I have college visits scheduled across spring break. I am taking the ACT twice in the next 4 weeks. I am worried about financial aid, which is why I will most likely stay in Tennessee. I have already ruled out MTSU from my choices. I do not want to feel unsafe at college. English 11 has helped me in my U.S. History class, and I feel like my grammar has improved.

    -Amy Hagood 2nd Block

  5. So i plan on going to Georgia State University. my parents are not stressing, but they want me to make it to college. To get there i plan on researching it to find out what i need. I will need my parents help of course. I will keep my grades up, and continue to keep up with my needs to get into that school. i plan on studying harder, and piushing myself to do better. So far it has been hard, but i think i can pull it off. I have one more year left, and i plan on passing every class, despite my previous gradess. I know i can do it. -Khadejah McNichols-


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