Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions of a young person’s life, and it can be a particularly stressful time for them.
As a parent, it is your job to support and advise your teens, but ultimately let them make the right choice for themselves. Here are a few practical ways you can help during this hectic time.
Contact a College Admissions Consultant
If you are unsure where to begin, then getting in contact with a college admissions consulting service may be the best option for getting an overall lay of the land.
Often these services are run by former admissions officers and other educational professionals who know the ins and outs of the college admissions process like the back of their hand.
They can help you find the best college for your son or daughter, as well as helping them with admissions and securing financial aid, taking the guesswork out of the entire process.
Talk with the School Counselor
Your teen’s high school counsellor will have an abundance of information on the college search and acceptance process, and they are the best port of call for your teen to start gathering the information they need to make a decision.
Counsellors can provide information on colleges, majors as well as testing requirements and applications, it is their job after all.
So, encourage your teen to book a slot with their school counsellor for a one-on-one discussion.
Compare Financial Aids
College is expensive, there are no two ways around it, and year on year the cost is only increasing.
Therefore, before a decision can be made, it is imperative that you fully investigate the tuition fees of the colleges your teen is interested in, as well as the financial aid and incentives they have to offer. Scholarships, grants, and work-study options are all worth investigating.
As well as this, it is prudent to check out just how much your teen’s top college choices tuition fees have increased or decreased over the years, your teen will be there for four years after all, and fees can inflate on a dime.
Visit and Re-visit Campuses Together
There is no better way to get a feel for a college than by taking it in in person. Visiting a campus will give you a more open and honest view of a college than any website or brochure ever could.
Take college tours when students are on campus and encourage your teen to speak to the people that are studying there.
Chances are your teen will still have questions the first-time round, so re-visit their favorite campuses a second or even third time to truly get a feel for them.
Ease off the Gas
Finally, remember that ultimately the decision is your teens alone. Help and advise them as much as you can, research, deliberate and encourage. But, at the end of the day remember that this is their decision.
Practice patience and understanding, and don’t pressure or push your teen towards any one school. This is likely the biggest decision they have made in their lives thus far, it is stressful enough without extra pressure from you.
Whatever choice they make, be happy for them, as ultimately, they will know what feels right for them.