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Schooling Your Kids on College

A common question kids get from their earliest toddler days is often, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Discussing what options are available and what kind of schooling and financial planning are required is an ongoing conversation to have with your children.

You don’t have to decide now. It’s challenging to decide what one wants to be when they grow up. Plenty of adults find themselves still wondering! So, the point isn’t to make your child choose, but to open their minds to the numerous kinds of careers that exist. A child interested in art, for instance, may hit high school and wonder what he/she can do besides becoming an artist, which is a very difficult career path. Exploring the kinds of professions that a college art major can pursue is helpful. There are jobs in commercial art, such as advertising and marketing, website development, interior or clothing design, and architecture to name a few. Expand your child’s career knowledge, so they can have a broad sense of what is available out in the world.

Loving school vs. hating school. Some kids love school and excel at being students. Others do not enjoy the rigor or the structure of school. Open up a discussion about what kinds of careers require the most and least schooling and what kinds of salary ranges they can expect.

The high cost of tuition. College has become one of the largest expenses families incur. While children may assume they will go to college, because “everybody does,” it’s good to give them a primer on the expenses, and how your family will handle this. Introduce your kids to the idea of Merit Scholarships, Financial Aid, College Loans, Sports Scholarships and work study programs early on. Knowing that attaining high grades and excelling at a sport can help them secure a scholarship may motivate them to work harder. Talk to your kids about the different kinds of post high school educational options, including Technical schools, Junior Colleges, State and Private Colleges and Universities worldwide.

It’s good to introduce the cost and benefits of college early on. Preparation is key.