The 3 Best Ways To Prepare Your Child For College

Most parents dream of being able to send their children off to college at some point. After all, a college degree has essentially become imperative for those who want to enjoy a successful, rewarding career these days. And while not all children are inherently college-bound, there are some steps that any parent can take (such as enroll them early on at places such as Saint Thomas Academy) to better prepare their children for the challenges of a college education.

Making It Clear That College is the Only Option

By the time high school graduation rolls around, many children think they’re ready to go out into the “real world,” get a full-time job, and stop worrying about school. It’s up to parents to get these children to understand that, these days, going to college is a must for those who want a career they’ll actually enjoy and make a comfortable living with. Consider asking your child what kind of lifestyle they want to live once they’re out on their own and what job they hope to pursue. More than likely, the lifestyle they want will require a salary that can only be obtained with a college degree. The same can often be said of a child’s “dream” job.

Determining the Child’s Ideal College Type

Once you’ve got your child to understand the importance of attending college after high school, it’s time to help him or her determine which type of college is best for their needs. After all, there are many options to choose from, including:

  • Vocational schools
  • Community colleges
  • Technical colleges
  • Universities

If your child wants to minimize his or her time in school and land a skilled labor job—such as an auto mechanic—then a degree from a vocational school or community college may be the best choice. On the other hand, those interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree or higher will want to look into a university (or starting at a community college and transferring to a university).

Researching Scholarship and Funding Opportunities

After determining the type of college that’s right for your child, he or she will want to begin narrowing down specific school choices before sending in applications. As a parent, you can help your child by researching scholarship and other funding opportunities that will reduce the financial burden of getting a higher education. While you shouldn’t help your child put together application materials, you may be able to assist your child during this stressful time by finding scholarship matches and helping him or her understand the financial obligation that’s involved with attending college.

Author: Alisa Henderson

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