By Julia Lull
November 14, 2014

In an era of rising tuition and worries about “paper classes,” it’s easy for students (and parents) to get overwhelmed about making the right decisions during the college admissions process.

Admissions expert Pamela Donnelly, author of the recently published 4 Keys to College Admissions Success, offers several tips for families looking for a way to stay sane.

The process “is a blip on the chart of a much larger movie called life,” Donnelly says, encouraging students to not get so caught up on SAT scores and grades that it becomes overwhelming. Once applications are in, Donnelly wants students to “let it go” and celebrate the completion of the process rather than stressing about where they may get in.

Catch more of her tips in the video above.

Write to Julia Lull at julia.lull@time.com.

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