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Must Have Conversations with Your Student Before the First Tuition Payment

College financial aid expert Jodi Okun shares must have conversations with your college student before their first tutition payment is due
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Sending your child off to college is a significant milestone, both for you and your student. As the first tuition payment looms, it’s essential to have open and honest conversations about various aspects of college life. These discussions can help set expectations, clarify responsibilities, and ensure a smooth transition into this new phase of life. Here are some crucial conversations to have with your student before that first tuition payment is due:

Financial Planning and Budgeting:

Discuss the financial aspects of college, including tuition, fees, room and board, and personal expenses. Help your student understand the cost of attendance and the resources available for covering these expenses, such as scholarships, loans, and savings. Teach them basic budgeting skills and encourage responsible spending habits.

Educational Goals and Expectations:

Talk to your student about their academic interests, goals, and expectations for college. Discuss the importance of attending classes, seeking academic support when needed, and maintaining a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities. Encourage them to explore different majors and career paths while staying open to new opportunities.

Time Management and Organization:

College life can be busy and demanding, so it’s crucial to discuss the importance of time management and organization. Help your student create a schedule that includes time for studying, attending classes, socializing, and self-care. Emphasize the importance of staying organized with assignments, deadlines, and important dates.

Health and Wellness:

Prioritize discussions about physical and mental health before your student heads off to college. Talk about the importance of eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and seeking support if they’re struggling with stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Familiarize them with the campus health services and resources available for support.

Personal Safety and Responsibility:

Address safety concerns and emphasize the importance of personal responsibility. Discuss topics such as alcohol and drug use, sexual health, consent, and campus safety protocols. Encourage your student to make smart decisions, look out for their peers, and seek help if they find themselves in risky situations.

Communication and Support Systems:

Maintain open lines of communication with your student and encourage them to reach out if they need guidance or support. Discuss how often you’ll check in and establish alternative communication methods, such as phone calls, texts, or video chats. Encourage your student to build a support network of friends, mentors, and campus resources. The more support your student feels they have, the better! 

Career Planning and Internship Opportunities:

Start conversations about post-college plans early on, including career goals and aspirations. Encourage your student to explore internship opportunities, networking events, and career development resources available through the college. Discuss the importance of gaining practical experience and building a professional network while in school.

Before the first tuition payment is due, take the time to have meaningful conversations with your student about the various aspects of college life. By providing guidance, support, and encouragement, you can help your student navigate the transition to college with confidence and resilience. Congratulations on this exciting transition!! 

More about Jodi and College Financial Aid Advisors

Jodi is a FAFSA financial advisor who helps with the financial aid process to help families of college students maximize their financial aid. From completing the FAFSA and completing the CSS Profile to reviewing the SAR, responding to requests for verification, comparing financial aid offers and understanding student loan options, Jodi is a fantastic resource when it comes to student financial aid. Schedule a 15 Minute Power Chat to learn more about finding ways to pay for college.

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