What are the aspects of college planning that need careful consideration?
- Acquiring experts’ services (e.g. college consultants, financial experts). As these professionals’ services cost money, it is important that families carefully consider these options. This way, they don’t end up wasting money but maximize the services instead. According to Michael, asking questions such as the following helps:
- What do we want to achieve?
- What progress do we want to make?
- What option is going to cost us less money?
- How do we structure our income?
- Which college makes the best sense?
Parents should not think of these experts’ services as a shortcut toward their student’s best career path. While experts may be of great help, students may still fail. Remember that the application process requires great effort as well from the families and, most importantly, from the student.
- Dealing with the student’s decision making. Keep in mind that the students who are making such an important decision are teenagers who mostly don’t have much experience in life. Students need to realize that college is not only what they will do during the next few years. It’s the start of their career, which they may be doing all their life. To help them start, you can ask questions such as:
- What are you good at? What are you not good at?
- What gives you energy? What drains your energy?
- What you want … is that a career you can have?
It’s also important that the student meet someone in the profession they’re considering, so they can see what the job is like on a daily basis. This experience helps them decide if what they have in mind is something they actually see themselves doing for a living.