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How To Successfully Prepare Your Child For College

By guest author Rachael Everly, Rachael Everly is an undergraduate student who loves to write on the topics related to business, finance, technology and education. Follow @RachaelEverly for further updates

College life is not a piece of cake for your child, and he/she will always be on the lookout for support from either friends, relatives or family. As a parent, you play a vital role in helping your child prepare for college and determining the level and ease of success. No matter how old your child gets, he will always need you to make important life decisions, and this when you need to adopt the right attitude to steer your child towards success. A high school graduate has to undergo a lot of challenges when embracing the life of a college freshman. It not only involves moving out of the home that you have been living in all your life but also taking responsibility of your finances and time. Furthermore, uncertainty is a part of college life that needs to be tackled with skill and intellect.

It’s a financially risky game

You already know that finance is the most pressing issue to think about when it comes to choosing a college for your child and supporting college life.  Innumerable costs are incurred before, during, and after college life. These include tuition fees, extra-curricular, and other course expenses.  While this is one of the many ways to prepare for college, it is not the only one.

Here comes the role of teaching your child to save from a young age and not overspend out of impulse or emotions. Stress the importance of managing money and operating within a budget early in high school so that by the time your child reaches college he is financially literate enough to bear at least some of his expenses and not be a burden on his parents even if they decide to support him in some way or the other.

Financial literacy also includes the pros and cons of owning a credit card and the impact of your credit history on your student loans. All these factors cumulatively affect your financial standing. Tell your child to avoid financial liabilities as it is an effective strategy to cope with stress along with other college life responsibilities and headaches.

Playing the role of responsible parents

Nobody knows a child better than their own parents hence you should talk to your child about the different social aspects of college life when they will need to handle. Your child may come under undue pressure of colleagues and peers or succumb to social evils like getting involved in drinking or drugs. This is because they are not under their parent’s surveillance and have tasted freedom for the first time.

Let there be no communication gaps

Always be frank and honest to your child about the expectations that you have from them and ensure that they are not unreasonable or illogical. Get their brainwave too before imposing anything on them, so that when they leave their nest you are at peace with your heart and mind that they have left with the right values and mindset.

Do not instill fear in them

Your child will only open up to you if your attitude is not very intimidating and you are a bit flexible and open-minded when talking to them. Clear their misconceptions and qualms about college life and do not let them shy away from expressing their opinion. Do not be so strict that they feel uncomfortable while sharing their thoughts with you.

Tell them that grades do matter

College is not a place to party and while away your time with your friends and buddies. Stress the importance of getting good grades and bagging a decent position in high school and then inevitably in college. Do not only stress the importance of good grades but also ensure that they get them by constantly motivating them and keeping a close eye on how they are performing. Keep a check on their social media accounts as well and know the company that they keep. Nowadays many institutions have online systems that help keep track of grades all year round and in real time. Offer incentives to your child when they get a good GPA and adopt an encouraging attitude to keep them going. You can even stress the golden opportunity of being able to avail a student scholarship.

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