How to Prepare Your Children for College While They're Still in High SchoolBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
Watching your children sharpen their minds and getting good grades in school makes you proud to be a parent. However, as you're well aware, high school is only the beginning. College is nothing like high school, so you want your children to start off on the right foot. Here's how you can prepare your children for college while they're still in high school.
Help Them Plan
Remember when you were in school, and you were still figuring out what you want to do career wise? Your teens are going to be just as confused at first. Luckily, that's what you're there for; to ensure they're on the right track. Every student has that one course they excel in. Maybe one of your children is a math magician while the other is a master at building computers. It's important for you to sit down with your kids and discuss the best route to take. Once they have a clear idea of what they want to do, you can have them focus on the necessary credentials.
Take Out a Loan
Student loans have made acquiring a college education easy for many people. You may even still be paying off your debt as we speak. At times, student loan debt can be difficult to deal with. You don't want your children to struggle and stress themselves out with this while going through their degree. A low-rate private parent loan is just what you need. This loan functions like a typical student loan, but rather than the student taking out the money, their parent does it instead. This way, your children can solely focus on their education. Parents who take out Earnest parent student loans may also be entitled to additional tax credit.
Start Looking for a Reputable College
Now comes the fun part, browsing colleges with your kids. With so many options available, you need to know what questions to ask and understand that it can take a little while to find the right one. Something we feel should be brought up is to not pressure your kids into choosing. You can offer suggestions, like the college you went to, but don't make anything concrete. Remember this is ultimately their decision.
You'll also want to compare every financial aid offer to minimize the costs. Bear in mind that not every college will offer the same deals. Location is also another factor to consider, especially when it comes to your teens moving out to live in the dorms. It's best to have your teens move into a college dorm within familiar territory. Going to college while being in an entirely different location can be very stressful. The same also applies for students studying abroad.
Encourage Them to Be Organized
With schoolwork this rigorous, your kids must practice organizational habits and remain structured at all times. Help them create a schedule that delegates their weekly tasks. Doing so helps instill good time management skills and making them self-accountable. You'd be surprised how chaotic college work can get when you're disorganized.