• DON'T force it. Instead of hounding your student to join this club or that group, act as a referral agent and pull these resources out when your student comes to you with a problem or concern.
"If your daughter is anxious about a writing assignment, suggest that she … visit the Writing Center to discuss her thesis and essay organization with a tutor," advises the Academic Success Center at Southwestern College in California.
• DO talk big picture. Engage your student in a conversation about long-term goals and career plans by asking what they hope to accomplish after graduation, the center suggests.
[Discover 9 hot college majors.]
Keeping the end goal in mind, parents can prompt their student to think about the path they will need to take to get there.
• DON'T do all the talking. Ask questions, let your student talk, and "don't fill in the blanks with your own experiences," the center advises.
Also, remember that everyone's college experience is different, so stories about what your student's sibling did in college, or what clubs your friend's child joined, may not be helpful.
"There are any number of configurations of involvement that we see in our students, and they're each individually tailored," says Art, with the University of Chicago. "There's no right answer. Students are learning … through trial and error where they want to be putting their energy."
Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.