The May 1 decision deadline for college admissions is looming large in the homes of many families nationwide. By then, parents and their high school seniors will have to decide which financial aid package to accept and which school to attend in the fall. Is your child ready for this commitment? Here are a few ways to tell if your child has what it takes:
• Is your child ready academically for college? NPR just presented a story which revealed that taking high school courses in college costs students and families nearly $1.5 billion. Plus, these students often tend to struggle academically in their other classes. Make sure your child has a strong academic foundation so you don’t end up paying college costs for high school classes.
• Is your child ready emotionally for college? College can be a big adjustment from high school life. When teenagers are on their own for the first time, they often feel lonely, struggle with time management, and lack organization. Your high school graduate should be capable of spending time on his or her own, managing a study schedule, and getting to class on time.
• Is your child ready financially for college? You may put your family at a financial disadvantage to offer your child this opportunity, or your child might need to take on student loans in order to pay for this education. In either case, this is a huge financial commitment. Give your students a solid financial foundation before sending them off on their own. Teach your child how to draw up and live on a budget, make financial projections for future earnings potential, and discuss who will be responsible for repaying student loans after graduation.
• Is your child ready for this college? Perhaps you have unknowingly placed pressure on your child to attend a specific college that your favor for some reason. But, if it isn’t a good fit, your child might not do well there. It could be too big or small, too urban or rural, or too focused on a particular academic specialty. You’re not the one going to college, your child is.
Since you will probably pay for a huge portion of college expenses, parents do have a lot of say in the college choice, but it shouldn’t be the final say. Don’t forget that you are also trying to raise an adult who is capable of analyzing a situation and making appropriate choices. If it doesn’t work out exactly as planned, you can always be there to provide advice and support.
Find Out More: Give your child the financial, budgeting and emotional skills needed to succeed in college in my new book, Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro. You’ll also learn the different types of financial aid, what you should do to get the best possible college financing, and how to give your students the financial skills they’ll need for life. Pre-order now and take advantage of some terrific bonus offers.