Speaking with parents of high school students can result in some of the most interesting conversations, especially when their children are juniors and seniors in high school. It’s almost as if 16 or 17 years flashed before their eyes and…VOILA! The children are all grown up and on the verge of adulthood tomorrow. But the reality is, they did not grow up in the blink of an eye, the snap of a finger, or the thump of a heartbeat. It actually took 16 or 17 years for them to get where they are, and you are just realizing it as they prepare to go to college because it will affect YOU. To be more frank, it will could affect your wallets. But again, you’re just coming to the realization your child will be headed to college oh so very soon, and you are not equipped for what lies ahead because:
- You waited until just now to realize your child will be a college student.
Let’s be honest. You were so excited to welcome your little bundle of joy to the world and dress him/her in the most adorable little people’s clothing that you totally negated the fact s/he would soon grow into the big people’s world and have big people needs. Now you have nothing saved up, invested, or planned to aid in your child’s [scholastic] future. With the annual rising of the cost of college, tuition price tags are no longer where they were when you were school – they have nearly doubled (and in some places tripled) in price! So you are flabbergasted and just blown away because:
- You are not familiar with the modern educational system and process.
You did not know school was so expensive because you did not have worry about college for 16 or 17 years. Oh wait! You did have reason to be ‘concerned’ with the collegiate system, but you were not involved. At this point, your child is preparing to go to college, but you have not the slightest idea of what to do or where to begin. You have not been educating yourself on the educational system which is educating your child only for you to realize:
- Your ignorance towards your child’s high school academic performance…
which is resulting in a lackluster attitude towards learning and poor grades, as they are just-getting-by-to-pass-to-the-next-grade-level. You try to help them study, but at this point you’re so lost yourself because you don’t understand this new way of teaching math, science, and English.
It’s almost as if you received only bad news with nothing to look forward to. But in reality, there are things you can do – even with a late start – to help make your child’s college preparation operate a little smoother. As soon as you get more informed, you have to hit the ground running. That’s why I created the Application Process Checklist – to help students [and their anxious parents] remember all the elements they need to complete to the process successfully (you can download the checklist from our resource library).
It is so important to be actively involved in your child’s education because they need your support. Waiting until senior (or junior…or sophomore…or freshman) year of high school to think about college is not advisable, especially when it comes to how to pay for it. Ask for help from others who are familiar with the process and will aid in guiding your child along. It takes time and effort to adequately prepare for college and it began with a little bundle of joy.