This past week, we had a fantastic chat with college coach and essay consultant Betsy Cadel on the Spawned Parenting Podcast. She offered so many incredible tips on making the college search and application process easier and less stressful, but one tech tip really stood out for me.

And no, it has nothing to do with purging your social media. That’s another story.

One brilliant tech tip for students to do before they start looking at colleges | cool mom techPhoto by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash


Her tip (and it’s so simple!) is that as your student begins their college search, they create their a brand new email account, just for all the applications, college newsletters, websites, and other resources they may sign up for. 

Nothing silly or edgy. Say, or

This accomplishes a few things:

1. It gives your student agency. This is an account started by them, owned by them, controlled by them — not you. As in, helicopter a little less, parents!

2. It helps get students excited about the process to have a brand new inbox fill up only with information about the schools, programs, and resources they are interested in.

3. It makes it easier for them to sort through the emails from schools, in part so they can be responsive — there are schools that factor “demonstrated interest” into their acceptances, and one way many schools evaluate this, is evidently by tracking email opens, link clicks, time on site. (Yes, really. This article is eye opening)

While this may sound extreme, the way Betsy puts it, when it comes to competitiveness in college admissions, “don’t leave anything on the table.”

4. Since emails are bought and sold like crazy through the college system, starting with PSAT or AP course registration, a dedicated email account will also make it easier to unsubscribe from (or ignore) all those emails once the college that may keep coming once their search is done.

To learn more great tips like this, definitely take a listen to Spawned Episode 237: Taking the Stress out of College Applications with our guest Betsy Cadel of College Essay Helpers on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. It’s fun! And yes, it really is helpful.