Decisions revolving around colleges and universities are tough for students and parents. Picking a college to attend is a crucial decision with potentially far-reaching repercussions. All concerned parties, therefore, want to make sure that they are making the right choice.
As a parent, you need to help your child navigate this important, life-changing choice.
Here are a few suggestions to get your child on the right track and find a college or university that's best for them:
- Discuss College Costs
A factor that your child may have forgotten to take into account during this whirlwind process is the cost of college. Make sure that you have a serious conversation with your teen regarding the differences in cost among the types of colleges they are considering.
When talking about financing your child’s education, you don’t have to resort to student loans just like what other parents are doing. Sending your kid to their dream school shouldn’t have to put you deep in debt. Secure a bright future for them by getting the right educational insurance policy. Look around with your child to find the best insurance plan out there.
- Guide Through Key Questions
When your teenager is considering which college or university to choose, they may have opinions or perspectives that are different from your own. Your child, for instance, may head to schools that their friends like or teachers recommend.
Although these are important things to think about, remember to draw the attention of your teen to other questions that will help them understand the full college picture. After all, college isn’t just about hanging out with the same friends at high school or partying hard after exams.
Here are a few questions that you can ask your child:
- Which academic programs will help you achieve your career goals and a fulfilling and meaningful life?
- What educational assistance and programs will you be eligible for? Will you obtain career guidance, advising and tutoring?
- What do you believe is the likelihood of you graduating within your intended time frame?
By focusing on these questions, your child will more likely arrive at a well-informed college choice.
- Consider Quality of Education
Whatever college your child goes with, make sure that they choose an educational institution that offers good quality education. Take into account the quality of education imparted by the college or university, the past performance of the students and the teaching methodology of professors. You can find out more by touring the colleges and see how the professors are conducting the lectures.
If your teenager is considering a foreign university, you’ll need to get in touch with the college’s admissions department and get your queries answered. Also, remember to ask about the student-teacher ratio. This will play an important role in the quality of education your child will get from the college or university.
- Plan Your College Visits
The college visit for a lot of students is an essential factor in deciding where they’ll go. Given that visiting schools can get expensive, you need to make sure that you visit schools that have met your initial criteria. The last thing you want to happen is your teen falling in love with a campus that’s way out of your budget.
When you and your child are touring the campus, do your best not to get swept up in the appearance of the campus. Remember that college tour guides typically place a positive spin on everything to entice parents to enroll their child in that college or university.
You can get the most out of your visits by coming prepared with a list of questions. If doable, eat a meal in the dining hall or sit in on a class.
- Get Valuable Opinion from Alumni and Current College Students
If you have a wide network of potentially college-educated individuals, you’re in a unique position to help your teenager find alumni to speak with. Allot some time to check if any of your co-workers, acquaintances and friends have experience with any of the colleges your teen is considering. You can obtain trustworthy reviews from people who have college or university experience.
- Support and Celebrate Your Child’s Final Decision
Once your child has reached a well-informed decision, you need to be supportive. Even if they did not choose your alma mater, that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is that your child likes their choice — and you are there to share in their happiness and excitement.
The college your child chooses can play a role in their success in the future. As a parent, give them all the support and guidance they’ll need to make the right decision.