With more high school graduates heading to college, higher education is no longer just a parental dream—it is quickly becoming a shared one.
In the past, up to 94 percent of parents expected their child to go to college after graduating high school.
However, many of them are completely unprepared for the long road ahead.
Supporting your child’s dream for a college education goes well beyond being their financial support or student loan cosigner. It involves teaching your child key skills that will help them thrive as they begin their path to independence, and maximize their chances of succeeding in a competitive educational environment.
Whether it is helping them perfect their assignment writing skills or adopt useful organizational habits, here’s how parents can support their child’s road to college starting now:
Basic College Survival Skills – Starting From The Admissions Process
With the college enrollment rate at 66.2 percent, there is no doubt your child will be facing some stiff competition in college- or even before.
To help them stand out in the college admissions process and in their college classes, help them perfect key skills they will need throughout such as their writing ability for college essays and independent thinking skills.
Start with teaching your child basic essay writing guidelines they should always remember.
For instance, citing trusted authority sources when they write will add immediate credibility to their writing.
As a parent, you can also help them organize their work with the assistance of assignment calendars and school planners.
Remember, your role is to support and guide them. In some cases, this may take the form of getting the books on writing the perfect college essay.
Other times, you may need to act as a fact-checker and proofreader for school assignments.
Teach Your Child Time Management Hacks
Time management is essential for every college student. There will be multiple classes, coursework, social events, and even a part-time job to juggle whilst in college.
To help your child develop their time management skills, make it a family effort with the help of family and individual calendars. This provides guidance and accountability for your teens about where they need to be and when.
However, be careful to involve your child in the entire process including drafting of calendars. This will encourage them to take control of their schedule and adjust it to fit their best productivity.
Some kids may also prefer time management tools and apps for students like MyHomework Student Planner, Focus Booster, or 2Do.
Teachable Money Management Moments
Money management continues to be an area of concern for both college students and their parents.
A past AICPA study showed that 57 percent of college students think their personal finance skills are good while 31 percent rated their money management skills as fair.
However, closer inspection revealed that only 39 percent stuck to their monthly budgets. What’s more, a staggering 84 percent said learning financial management skills were important to them- and the early they are taught, the better.
There is a high chance that your college-aged child will utilize credit during college including student loans and credit cards.
Teaching them the basics of budgeting can help them avoid early negative impacts on their credit score and mountains of unmanageable debt.
Simple at-home money lessons for your teenager like earning money around the home, opening up an early savers account, and supporting them to get a part-time job are all great ways to instill a financial education in your child and support their financial wellbeing when they go off to college.
It is a parent’s instinct to want to support their child’s dreams, educational or otherwise.
Heading off to college has long been seen as a rite of passage and dream for many but not necessarily always attainable.
However, by creating opportunities to teach your child a few fundamental skills, you can help them achieve the dream of that college diploma – and whatever comes after.