From Native American Times, here. An excerpt:
First, academics should be the focus of school and not sports or other extracurricular activity if it means sacrificing college prep coursework, a high grade point average and ACT and SAT scores. Academic results bring guaranteed scholarship dollars in many cases not to mention access to better institutions of higher learning.
Second, have your student learn how to complete forms themselves, write essays, practice reading comprehension which includes following instructions on written forms and learn basic research skills. If the parent or grandparent is completing applications for the student, the student is not learning necessary skills for college or the workforce. You do not want to work with the person whose parents did their homework for them. Right?
Build a solid network of professionals who are not family. Engage in paid or volunteer work experiences with this professional network, so you have a number of individuals who can write you great recommendation letters when you need them your Senior year of High School or even before Senior year.