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Helping Your Teen Choose the Best College and University for Them

For many colleges and universities, the National College Decision Day is on May 1. In about five months or so, your teen has to make the decision of which college or university to attend. For those who have been admitted to multiple colleges and universities, deciding which one to attend will require deliberation and research. As parents, we play a huge role in our kids’ decisions. But it’s important to remember never to pressure our kids to attend a certain college, especially our alma mater.

Hopefully, you have a child education insurance plan. You won’t have to worry about the financial aspect of sending your child to college. That will remove some of the stresses of having to choose the right school to attend. And as much as you want to “convince” your child to pick a university near your home, stop yourself from doing so. Ultimately, what college your child chooses to attend should be solely their decision.

Be Supportive

Remember that your teen has a mind of their own. They know what they want. All you need to do is to support them. Never take control of the process. Let them consider the pros and cons of attending college in the city or the country. Don’t add stress by pressuring them to choose a particular college. Trust that they will make the right decision. Let them know that you are happy to support and assist them in picking the right place.

Find out What They Want

Is your child having a hard time choosing a college or university? Ask them some questions to help figure out what they want. Do they want to be in the city or the country? Are they active in sports? Do they want a big university or a small and exclusive college? What majors are they considering? You can help them decide by asking these important questions.

Plan Your College Visits

University students

Plan your college visits ahead. Visiting a lot of colleges can be expensive. Try to visit one college each month before the “decision day” arrives. But make sure that you’re with your child during these visits. You don’t want them to fall in love with a college that you cannot afford. During the tour, ask questions to the guide. If you can, sit in a class and eat meals in the dining hall. That will give you a sense of what it’s like to attend this school.

Discuss Affordability

While you only want to best for your kid, you have to be realistic about what you can afford. Review the financial aid offers and grants. Parents should be honest with their kids about what kind of colleges they can afford. Make a document of the expenses of sending them to a college. Compare these to the grants they have received and what you can provide. If your kid wants to apply for a student loan, make sure to discuss in detail what it entails for the future.

Be there for your teen throughout the whole process. While you might want a certain school for them, your choice should only be a small part of the decision. Ultimately, the goal is to find a school that you can afford and that they will feel at home in.

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