If you’re the parent of a high school student, it’s time to start thinking about college. As your child grows into adulthood, it’s important they understand how important it is to get an education to become financially successful and happy. College may seem like a scary place for both parents and students, but with proper planning and preparation on both sides of the equation, your child will be able to meet their academic goals while staying on top of their finances. In this post, we’ll be providing parents with what they need to send their children to college.
Talk to Them About the Future
As your child is still going through high school, you should set some time to talk about the future with them. Ask them what they want to do when they graduate, or what their career goals are. It’s also important to ask them what their short term and long-term goals are. Goals are what we strive for to make the effort we put in worthwhile. If your child hasn’t figured anything out yet, now’s definitely the time to figure things out.
Assess the Financial Situation
You’re probably aware of the cost of college, but is your child? Many new college students underestimate how expensive the experience is. Everyone is going to be spending thousands on their education; however, people often have different situations. More specifically, the financial aspect may not always be the same for people.
This can make attending a university difficult for newcomers. What’s more is that your child might not be approved for enough on their student loans. If you want your child to get the best experience possible with as little stress as possible, consider parent loans for college. A low-rate private parent loan is when you take out a student loan for your child. You may be responsible for the payments, but taking out this particular loan does come with its own unique benefits.
The repayment plans are very flexible, so you won’t have to worry about stretching yourself thin when the deadline hits. If you’re still paying off your student loans, you might also be eligible for loan forgiveness. The interest rates are fixed, which means you won’t have to worry about them randomly fluctuating. Though, it’s certainly worth pointing out that this requires a great deal of trust in your child. If they’re not doing their program properly, you’ll essentially be paying for nothing despite the benefits.
Help Your Child Write an Irresistible Application Essay
It’s no secret that the application essay is a critically important part of your child’s college application. It gives admissions officers a sense of who your child is and why they should be accepted into the program. The better the essay is structured, the more likely they are to get accepted. Having an improper essay with mistakes can cost your child a spot at their dream school.
Get Your Child Acquainted with Financial Aid
Discussing finances and terms with a financial aid agent can be a little nerve-wracking for first-time college students. But since you’re someone who already has experience with it, you’re the perfect person to help them through it. Let your child know that the financial aid office is there to help students get what they need to succeed.
Tell Them to Apply Early
As you begin the college application process, it’s important to keep in mind that applying broadly and early is key. Below are a few benefits to applying early, even to more prestigious colleges:
- Allows students more time to research and understand their options.
- Can help them make better decisions when it comes time for choosing a school
- Gives parents more time to research financial aid options
- They can identify which colleges offer the best aid packages before other students fill up those slots with their applications
- Students can have more opportunities to get accepted into their first-choice schools before the deadline
You’d be surprised at how easier it can be for your child to get accepted into a school of their choice by doing it early. Also, remember to keep track of application deadlines as some may expire after a certain amount of time.
Don’t Force Anything
Of all the parental trends that need to end, forcing certain life expectations on your kids is a top one. Going to college for the first time should always be a smooth and unforgettable experience. However, if your child feels stressed, pressured or forced, it can have the exact opposite effect. This goes for whether or not your child feels ready for college life. It should always be a natural transition and not some intense expectation from you.
Unfortunately, a lot of children do feel a little pressure from their parents, which can reduce their enjoyment of it. Let your child get their bearings after graduating high school. Allow them to search through the near-limitless degree options and pick one out for themselves. Though it’s tempting for the parent to step in and guide their child through it all, you need to let your child have their independence.