As parents, we want the best for our children’s education, and we understand the importance it plays in the future development of professional success. Yet, upon graduating from high school, many teens struggle to find the answer to questions like What kind of job do I want? Or How to choose the right university? The pressure of finding the “right college” is amplified by the many opportunities available, which fuels it even more.
Helping Your Teen Choose the Right University: 5 Things Parents Should Know
In this article, we explore topics that provide answers to these questions. Our top 5 tips for parents will clarify what to look for when helping your teen decide on the right university.
Passions vs. skills
There is this romanticized idea in our society to always follow your passions. But, passions can be short-lived and change often. Teens might be passionate about something today and find something else that piques their interest tomorrow.
Instead of chasing passion, focus on identifying your child’s strengths. We all have specific skills that make us unique. For example, your child is good at mathematics and enjoys learning about formulas and integrals. The reverse situation is also possible; your kid hates math but is interested in other disciplines. Usually, school grades reflect what subjects are preferred.
Career assessment is an excellent tool for identifying the right job skills and personality traits. Corporations have used this tool for decades to assess employees, so why not use it.
Start looking for a university while your child is still in high-school
Statistics show that the best time to start scouting for a college or university is 1 to 2 years before high school. Doing so allows you and your child to narrow down on the best options. Also, don’t forget to prepare your child for the challenges of university.
Most students face different difficulties at university, especially in writing essays. It is a good idea to find a suitable service for US students to help your child with this stiff task. With such resources, students will get online help writing a perfect essay, dissertation, or research paper. Asking for advice from industry experts in your focus helps get important information about the best-suited universities and courses to take for that particular field, job opportunities, and progression down the road. Most will set the expectations and provide a clear picture of the career path.
List factors to consider and rate them based on importance
Once you have established several career options, it’s time to research. Start by matching the courses needed for your targeted jobs with the course syllabus universities offer. By applying a process of elimination, cut down the options that don’t meet your criteria. Here is a list of factors to consider and what to look for in parents.
Distance from home
By attending a university, your child leaves home for the first time and starts to experience life on his own among strangers. It is a big challenge for both kids and parents alike. While some teenagers would look forward to this adventure, others might not like it so much and often experience homesickness that interferes with their studies.
Cost of education
Attending a university is a long-term investment that starts to pay dividends in several years. Establish a budget and stick to it to avoid spending more than you can afford. The educational investment must include tuition fees, the monthly cost of living, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Until recently, the only course format we knew was face-to-face with an instructor in a classroom. Yet, each year, more universities provide online learning platforms. While this format offers excellent flexibility, it also brings a few challenges.
The quality of education presented online differs from university to university. Learning in a virtual environment demands personal accountability. Although you get help during scheduled learning sessions, keep in mind you do the learning yourself.
Higher-ranking colleges and universities get more funds while maintaining a particular reputation. It is also true these institutions have higher admission requirements, expectations from their students, and more significant tuition fees. In the end, the prestige of a university comes down to better educational tools, but the personal effort remains the number one cause of success.
The acceptance rate is the percentage of students accepted to a university each year. Based on this information, you can estimate the level of education, degree of competition, and difficulty of getting accepted. As a parent, you must ensure you set the right expectations. Let your child decide on an educational environment suited to his capabilities.
Internships and graduate employment rates
It is a standard practice for corporations and companies to recruit students early on. Identifying which universities are targeted by such organizations can provide valuable opportunities in terms of internships and job offers. By the time they graduate, students already have 1 or 2 years of relevant experience, and the job market opens to them.
The dangers of choosing a university
Many kids decide on a particular college or university because friends want to go there or because it is closer to a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Parents should be aware of this aspect and tell their children. Do your online research, but visit the universities on open days. Take the campus tour and let the child connect with the environment and the people there. While visiting, reach out to students and ask about your academic interests.
Help Your Teen Choose the Right University
Following our advice, your list is much shorter than when you started. Our last tip for parents is to help their teens apply to all remaining universities on the list. It is better to get accepted to several educational institutions and have options before narrowing down on the one university that is a perfect match.