The idea of going off to college is a goal of many young people in the United States. Tertiary education offers the potential for greater job prospects, as well as life-changing experiences. For this reason, about 70 percent of high school graduates go on to college. This is an opportunity most parents hope to provide for their children. Maybe you’ve even been planning for this since your children were born by squirrelling away money. But even for planners, reality can be much different than hypothetical situations. Now that your kids have been accepted to college, it’s time to focus on the nitty gritty. Here’s how to plan for your child’s transition to college.
How Will You Facilitate Their Move?
The logistics of moving your child to university can be intimidating. Often, they will be travelling out of state, if not across the country. Some students even opt for international schools. No matter their destination, your child needs to get there.
Most parents want to see their children off to school. But this task isn’t as simple as you might hope. If your child goes across the country, you won’t have time to drop them off in the family station wagon. This means they won’t be able to bring along essentials beyond what fits in a suitcase. In this situation, you may need to ship your child items they need for their dorm.
Who’s Paying for It?
Who’s going to foot the bill for your child’s education? Unless they’ve received top scholarships, university will cost tens of thousands of dollars. This doesn’t include the cost of room and board. Some parents have put money into an education fund. But not everyone enjoys this luxury.
Here’s a scary stat: 60 percent of freshmen don’t know how much they borrowed for their first year. Sending your child to school is hefty financial burden for a family. There’s no way around that. If your child is putting themselves through school, it’s vital you help them understand debt.
Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Their Dorm?
Your child will almost certainly need things like a laptop and textbooks for school. These items are not cheap. So, what happens if they’re destroyed or stolen? Buying replacements are pricey.
Therefore, it’s important to see how your homeowners insurance covers dorm rooms. Many policies deal with dorms in off-premises coverage. It’s important to understand the specifics of your policy before sending off your child. Use a homeowners insurance calculator to compare rates with levels of coverage.
What’s the Best Course of Study?
For most people, college is an investment in the future. A solid investment will provide a return over time. There are many ways to calculate the return on a college education.
The most obvious, however, is increased job opportunities and wage growth. It’s important for you and your child to consider the potential value of a specific degree. Many STEM degrees will have the best immediate monetary return. However, many humanities degrees encourage and develop abstract and deep thinking. Humanities are also often beneficial for graduate school. Encourage your child to think long-term when deciding on a college major.
Is This What Your Child Really Wants?
It’s important to consider if your child truly wants to go to college. It might seem like the obvious choice to you. But not everyone is ready directly out of high school. Taking a gap year to work and save money won’t diminish their chances. If anything, it will give them additional perspective to see what they really want to study.
Preparing for college is challenging for students and parents alike. It’s always best to start planning early. Keep these ideas in mind when helping your child get ready for this major life event.