Oct 2019

Avoid these 6 expensive mistakes when talking to your teen about college

When students only attend college to appease their parents, 74% will drop out or transfer

By Michael B. Horn and Bob Moesta

Parents can be the most important influence on a teen considering college. But how they talk to their children about the all of their choices — Ivy League, state university, community college, trade school, coding boot camp or even no postsecondary education at all (gap year or straight to work) — can determine whether these teens ultimately succeed or fail.

And failure is costly. At least 40% of students don’t graduate from four-year schools within six years, and those who don’t graduate and took on debt are three times more likely than those who graduated to default on their loans.

After collecting and analyzing more than 200 personal stories and surveys of more than 1,000 students who have chosen different paths for higher education, we developed a set of guidelines for parents — and mistakes they sometimes make. Here are six common ones to avoid:


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