As your child prepares for their journey into higher education, you may feel anxious about their college success. This is a pivotal moment in their life, as they transition from adolescence to adulthood, and it’s natural to feel concerned about their ability to navigate this uncharted territory. In the academic landscape, they will face numerous challenges and opportunities that will shape their future. It’s essential to equip them with the resilience and determination they’ll need to rise to the challenge and succeed in college. College success requires adaptability and a willingness to overcome obstacles, so helping your child develop a growth mindset can be beneficial. With the right mindset and tools, your child can thrive in college and set themselves up for a successful future.
Moreover, it’s a series of tests that not everybody passes: According to Forbes, less than half of all college students graduate on time, and even out of those, only around 60% graduate at all. Especially considering the amount of effort and capital you have to expend to get your student in the door, this failure to graduate can cripple college students’ finances for a long time, repaying student loans for decades that they never truly got full benefits from.
As such, you must take whatever measures to prepare your student for this new challenge.
Is College Worth It?
Given the above statistics, your student may wonder if college is worth their time or investment. However, with the wage disparity between college dropouts and bachelors’ degree holders being about 75%, a college education might still be one of the best ways to set your child up for future success.
If your child is uncertain about pursuing higher education, there are several approaches you can take to encourage them to give it a chance. Engage them in a conversation about their career aspirations and discuss how a university program could help them achieve their goals. It’s crucial to ensure they feel self-motivated rather than coerced or directionless, as students who lack a clear sense of purpose are more prone to dropping out. By helping them identify their passions and potential career paths, you can inspire them to take ownership of their education and make informed decisions about their future.
However, once your student is motivated, how can you prepare them for success and give them the tools they need to strike out on their own for the first time? Read on to find out.
Help Them Research Degree Programs
If you spend thousands of dollars to jumpstart your child’s future, you might as well spend it on programs with a solid reputation. Before your child submits applications to any college or university programs, research top-of-the-line options with them, helping direct their efforts towards programs that will justify their investment in the long run.
Of course, if your child would rather do it themselves, allow them to: that’s the kind of drive you want to see out of them, the kind of drive that shows that they will be self-motivated when they do get into a program.
Equip Them With Necessary Assets
As your child will likely be on their own for the first time, they’ll likely need all the help you can give them to start their new life. Some assets that they may need your help to purchase are as follows:
- Dorm room and apartment furniture. Whether your child will be staying in a dorm their first year or more expansive living spaces, they’re going to need it to be adequately furnished: and it’s doubtful that the part-time job they’re currently working will be able to cover it. You may want to invest in items like:
- Foldable chairs.
- A desk or similar workspace.
- A TV and TV stand.
- Silverware, Dishes, and Appliances. This applies especially if your student is moving into an apartment or a dorm with a kitchen. Giving them the ability to cook their own food will allow them to save money, spend less on fast food, and avoid a dining hall plan altogether.
- Textbooks. Enough said. You remember the price of textbooks. While your student should be prepared to pay for their own books after the first semester, you can certainly help them with their first-round if you wish.
Catching Your Child When They Fall: Safety Nets
Also, look at things like their current car insurance policy: does it include coverage that will cover your student in various situations or additional features like roadside assistance that your student may need to take advantage of? If not, you may want to shop for a new quote, comparing options offered by different providers to give your student the best coverage you possibly can. They’ll be away from you in a foreign environment, and you’ll rest easier knowing that they have a solid safety net to fall back on in emergencies.
Teach Them Financial Independence
While you can play a significant role in preparing your child for college life, it’s crucial to teach them that they cannot depend on you to cater to all their needs indefinitely. To this end, encourage your child to secure a part-time job, preferably after they settle in college, to help them get accustomed to their new academic environment. Additionally, urge them to take on the responsibility of paying for their constant expenses, such as car insurance, phone bills, and other regular expenses they may have previously covered.
This will instill a sense of accountability and prepare them for the realities of independent living. As a parent, you can offer guidance and support throughout their college journey, and they should know that you’re just a phone call away whenever they need you.
Following these guidelines can equip your child with the tools to succeed in college and beyond.