Who does the "applying" to colleges these days? The parents, or the child? When I was a senior, I filled out all of the applications. My parents had no involvement at all, except for stating income. For example, when you brought in all of your records to the college interview, was your son even there? Was he involved?
There's also room for a parent to step in when there's just too much red tape.
There were, and, last I knew (2005) differences between when Texas schools end and when Washington schools end. Texas schools usually let out by May, and Washington Schools run well in to June. UT Austin typically starts fall semester the last week of August. My school district had to get meaningful records together a lot sooner than they usually did for most graduating seniors. UT Austin had to accept what my school district sent, even though it meant that a substantial amount of data from my senior year was missing.
There was the additional wrinkle that I would be gone most of my shortened summer on an overseas exchange trip that I had competed for and *won* on academic merit. No way was I going to stay stateside and jump through bureaucratic hoops.
It was a nightmare. Bureaucrats from both my high school and the University whined, complained, and dragged their feet. There was no way I could sort it all out and still maintain my GPA. That's when my Mom stepped up to the plate. And boy, am I glad she did!
What are colleges are really looking for? Students who really want to attend a particular college need to be able to convince the school that they will stay for all four years at that