Is the college process like planning a wedding? ABSOLUTELY! The groom is your student and the parents (more like the mom) is the Bride. For most weddings the bride typically takes one year to plan the perfect wedding, well it takes 1 year to plan the college process.
You are your child’s Mouthpiece when it comes to the college process and they need you, this is a family process and they cannot not do it alone. I remember looking at the election day results and being worried about my daughter when I heard things from Rand Paul (r,KY) who would like to abolish the Department of Education so kids don’t have to learn about “two mommies”. This type of homophobia should not be tolerated and this speaks to his character.I am concerned with funding and will kids from middle class families have an opportunity to get an education without graduating with hefty debt. Will our kids be able to afford the American Dream? I was speaking with a friend this week and she indicated that she took out student loans and her child will do the same. The difference between that time and today are so many factors, the tuition was lower, the interest on the loan was lower, there were more jobs for college kids who graduated with a BA and cost of living was lower. Today our kids are faced with so many challenges and I am scared for them, 80% of college graduates last year moved back home because they did not have a job, cost of living was too expensive and many students have overwhelming debt. This debt will be with them for years, they are excited to start their life but reality has hit them and the realization of their debt has hit them like a stack of bricks. So what is the alternative? Well I am doing some things that are different with my daughter, I am not sure how successful we will be, but I feel confident that if my daughter listens to me she will not have a tremendous amount of debt and we will not need to alter our lifestyle alot to pay for college. The fact is no one cares where you received your BA, in our competitive country a Masters is imperative in many fields, so why go a school where the tuition is $50,000 per year if you do not have these funds to spend? That being said as a family you need to have a plan from the very beginning and communication is imperative to this process.
I have decided to share our experiences with you in different steps, too much information in 1 blog could be very overwhelming….
- Get a box for all of the college information your child will receive, you take control of that information. If you just hand that information to your child they will open only some and the rest will never see the light of day.
- Go through the information together, implement a weekly Family meeting and last approximately 1 hour, any longer and it will become ineffective. During this family meeting, you should start to discuss your child’s interest, do they want to go to college, what are their interests, grades, etc….. I would suggest that you make an agenda and everyone understands what will be discussed. I will elaborate in Step 2:The Family meeting and how you can make this work for your student. Our Family meetings have proven to be very successful for my family with our daughter’s college process.
- Have your child use your email when filling out profiles. This will keep you in the loop and you can weed out the information. Your student will become very frustrated with the massive emails that they will receive and sooner or later will stop looking at those emails. If you the parent get the initial emails, you will be able to weed through these emails and forward the ones to your child that you know will be of interest to them. Please keep in mind that sometimes they do not know what they want, I researched the college and if they offered the program that my daughter was seeking I requested information from that institution. Once the information was sent to us we reviewed it together and often times visited that school to see if it was a good fit. Of the 9 schools that Danielle applied to, only 5 of the schools were her choice the other 4 were suggestions that I made.
- Develop a relationship with the guidance counselor, this is really something that is imperative, remember it is the guidance counselor that writes a letter of recommendation for your child, you want to make sure that this person knows your child.
- Start building your child’s resume, believe me if you do not start in 9th grade you will forget things and this will cause your child to miss out on potential scholarship funding.
Till next time, turn to Hamptons MouthPiece, we will do the talking for you….Please feel free to send me subject ideas for me to talk about.