Application Dos and Don'ts

Is it possible for a problem parent to blow a good candidate’s chances? Definitely, say admissions directors. One says she’s written “no” on the file after meeting with a parent, before even meeting with the child.

Make sure you’re helping – not hurting – your child’s chances.


  • Return calls from the admissions staff promptly
  • Make time for school visits
  • Be on time for appointments
  • Meet all deadlines


  • Call the admissions office too often
  • Try to impress the staff with your business or social contacts
  • Badmouth the school the child attends now or his or her current teachers
  • Lie about the child’s needs
  • Put excessive pressure on the child to perform
  • Ask inappropriate questions like, “Is this school better than X School nearby?” (Schools don’t draw comparisons. They leave that to you.)
  • Cancel appointments – especially more than once
  • Miss deadlines