Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | April 21, 2011

Helping your Child Choose a College

Selecting the perfect college to go to can be one of the most stressful decisions your child will have to make in his or her lifetime. After all, the choice he or she makes can ultimately affect your child’s career opportunities and the events that occur after that. Thus, it’s important that you are with your child every step of the way. To help them choose the best school possible, follow these tips below.

Help Your Child With Research.  Sometimes the hardest part for any child is to know where to start looking.  One of the easiest ways to get the wheels turning however is to ask your child these following questions 1) Do you want to go to a large or small university? 2) Do you want to stay close to home or move out of state? 3) Do you want to go to a public or private university? 4) Do you have any idea of what you want to study? 5) What kind of extracurricular activities are you looking for? 6) Are you interested in pursuing graduate school later? Asking your child these questions should be able to point your child into some sort of direction.

Help your Child Narrow Schools. After answering the above questions, your child should have some idea of what they are looking for in a school. You and your child can then start to look into different schools that more or less meet your child’s education, social and financial needs and wants. A good place to start narrowing choices is to scour through The College Navigator. This resource, which is provided by the National Center of Education Statistics, includes a database of all of the colleges in the country and provides immediate stats on student-teacher ratio, tuition costs and programs offered for example.  Using this tool, try to narrow your child’s top 10 schools: some should include schools that are a long shot, a few that are a possibility and a few “safety schools” that are more than likely a for sure thing.

Help your Child with The Final Decision. If your child has more than one acceptance letter and is torn between two or three schools, the best way to make the final decision is to take a college tour of the campuses they are considering. During the campus tours, it’s important to investigate the demographics of the school, graduation and retention rate, teacher’s credentials, whether internship opportunities and career services are available, notable graduates, and housing and transportation options. Most importantly you need to investigate financial aid options—if you cannot afford to send your child to the school more than likely it should be crossed off of the list.

While ultimately it is up to your child to make the final decision, know that it is ok to voice your opinion on which school your child should choose. Just make sure that you don’t pressure your child too much into selecting the school of your choice.

This was a guest post written by Donna Reish

Donna Reish is a freelancer who blogs about best universities, contributed this guest post.  She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: donna.reish13@gmail.com.

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