The big year is finally here—your child is turning 18 and will soon be off to college. This is an exciting milestone for families, but it can be a chaotic and emotional period. There are many things you and your teen will have to do to prepare.
Choose the Right Education and School
When most people think of college, they think of a four-year university. Some students want this environment, and they thrive in it. However, part of helping your teen prepare for college is listening to his or her opinions and choosing a school that fits his or her needs and strengths. Your teen may want to go to tech school or start at a two-year university close to home before transferring. If you’re a family of faith, a religious school may be an option. Seek help from teachers and counselors to narrow the choices.
Most schools offer a variety of financial aid options and scholarships. Help your teen find scholarships he or she should apply for, and contact financial aid advisors. They can tell you what your family qualifies for and how to acquire the funds. They can also help you navigate issues like meal plans, textbook fees, and room and board.
Make a “College List”
Your teen is going to need many things for his or her dorm, and it’s easy to forget something. Don’t leave college shopping until the last minute. If possible, start early in the school year and add to the list periodically. Check to see if your teen’s car is allowed on campus; if not, he or she will need a sturdy bike or public transit options.