It’s a graduation season with commencement speeches, gifts, vacations plans, and much more. If your kids made it through high school, I would commend you for all efforts and investments. I also assume that your child wants to head to college.
That is great. Congratulations!
We live in a society where higher education is vital for competing in the job market. While college is necessary, it comes with a high price tag and no guarantee of employment, leaving many parents and students with a load of college debts.
What should parents and aspiring college students do? Here are a few tips they should consider:
1 – Be knowledgeable about the planning process
Many students don’t plan for college; they just go to college. While preparing for college is complicated and requires a lot of effort and knowledge, it’s worth starting the process. Begin by completing the financial aid application on time, evaluating the admission process at each school, deciding on housing, and choosing the best school.
2 – Selecting the right school
I would hate it if your child decides to go a college because his or her friend or the neighbor’s kids are going to the same school. Their financial situation may be different from yours. Instead, help them choose their college based on the following:
- The school’s academic ranking, overall reputation, and the resources that are available for students and faculty members.
- The location, size, and educational programs offered at that particular institution.
- The type of school: community college, four-year private or state university, or an online degree program.
3 – Choosing the right major
Choosing the right major is critical in this new economy. It doesn’t make sense to go to college, graduate, and be jobless. I urge parents to encourage their kids to do their homework by selecting major(s) that they not only have a passion for, but which will also increase their chances to get a job when they graduate.
4 – Be in the Know
Before starting college, students and parents should know before they owe. That means knowing the total cost of attendance, how much the school is going to cost not just for one year, but for four years, including tuition, housing, books, and boards. They should also figure out the types of loans, grace periods, and how they are going to pay back.
Make college planning a priority, assist and support your kid in the process, so he or she can make a better decision when planning for college and hopefully graduate debt-free.