Parents’ Practical Guide to College
College is a life-changing event, not just for students but for their parents as well. Parents have a lot to deal with – oftentimes even more than their children – yet are expected to have every answer and remain cool, calm and collected at all times. Well, parents, you can drop the act: We know you’re stressed, sleepless and sometimes downright scared of what lies ahead and could really use some expert advice.
Until now, the content on Scholarships.com has been geared toward potential and current students but with parents like you becoming more and more involved in all aspects of the college process, we felt your very own section was not only a beneficial addition to the site but a necessary one. In the subsequent pages, we’ll give you the real deal on financing, requirements, preparation, campus living and the unexpected circumstances that tend to crop up every so often. No jargon, no condescension: Everything is in language you can understand, relate to and learn from.
We know you have a lot to do so to make a very long story incredibly short, we’ve got you covered...and then some. You’re welcome in advance.
Now that your child has selected his or her college, the issue of housing should be addressed. When the college is a considerable distance away, residing on the campus is clearly most convenient but when the school is easily accessible by car or public transportation, it may make more sense for your child to live at home and commute. There are also some schools that don’t offer on-campus housing at all, meaning your child will need to find a place close to the school as opposed to on the actual grounds. Decisions, decisions…but which one should you choose? What’s right for one student may be completely wrong for another so by working with your child, you’ll be able to find a situation that suits them (and you!) best.
Many parents start saving for college as soon as their children are born but believe it or not, savings accumulated in 529 Plans or Coverdell Accounts over the course of 18 years usually will not cover the entire cost of four or more years of college. Unfortunate, but all too true.
Your child’s applications are in and they’re biding their time waiting for decisions by applying for scholarships, studying for finals and practicing what they’ll say when they accept their diploma. Excellent, you raised them well…but what should you and other parents be doing during this delicate time?
You’ve spent the past 17 or so years telling your child that they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. Unfortunately, your advice wasn’t entirely true: If your child slacked off in high school and opted out of taking standardized tests, he or she will find it much harder to realize goals that require a college education.
No matter how extensively you’ve prepared or how well you think you know your child, a few months away at college has an uncanny way of throwing a wrench into an otherwise well-oiled machine. There’s bound to be at least one issue that books, friends and counselors didn’t detail and when that day comes, many parents stand, mouths hanging agape and hands scratching heads, wondering what their next move should be.