Prep for College

Now that my son is a Senior, it's time to think about college. Well, actually, we've been thinking about college for awhile, but now it's time to get serious about it. A couple of years ago, when we went to visit my in-laws, we took a tour of UC Berkeley because that's where my son wanted to go. After the tour, and hearing how liberal all the students are, he decided he didn't want to go there. Now he wants to go to UCSD. That's great, but that's the only college he wants to go to and apply to. We're trying to encourage him to apply to other colleges because we heard it's really difficult to get into a college now. One of our neighbor's daughters just graduated and she applied to 8 colleges: 5 in California and 3 in other states. She only got in to the 3 colleges in other states! She had a friend, who paid over $1000 for a person to counsel her and help her apply to colleges. She only got in to 1 school, and it was her back-up school, the one she really didn't want to attend, but figured she could get in. Both of those girls took AP classes, were in sports and music, and volunteered! My son is taking 4 AP classes, is first chair in the school band, and volunteers also. We thought that would really help him get in to college, but now we don't know.

My husband and I both attend our local Cal State College, so applying to college was really easy for us. So, we're not really sure what our next steps should be. I was hoping this once a week discussion about prep for college would be a place where we could all share our knowledge and help each other through this journey. So, does anyone have any suggestions on what we should do now?