College may be expensive, but it’s an investment in your child’s future. So, when it comes time for your child to choose a college to apply to, the process can be downright overwhelming. How does one choose the right university when they aren’t out of high school?
How to Help Your Child Choose a College
Taking time to consider what is important to your child’s needs and wants is essential. This post will cover some of the best ways to help your child choose a college.
How Will They Cover the Cost?
Where your child chooses to attend depends on various things, specifically the cost. Even if they have a 4.0 GPA, the cost can sometimes outweigh the want of attendance. The rising cost of attendance can often be so high that it’s uncommon for students to go with their second choice simply because of the cost.
That said, there are ways you can help your son or daughter attend their first choice with a low-rate Private Parent loan. Having Earnest parent loans available is an option apply for to help your child pay for college. They use your credit and finances as a basis for the loan. In turn, you’re able to help them earn a degree.
Does the College Fit Its Goals?
Even before they start their search, finding their goals is essential. Do they align with the school’s ethos? If there are not in line, it can cause problems down the road. Talk about their current and future goals and identify whether they’re congruent.
Does The School Offer the Right Degree Program?
Before sending their applications, children to the college of their dreams need to be sure the school offers the right program. Below is a brief list of questions they need to ask:
Is the college accredited?
Accreditation guarantees the school meets educational standards and has institutional integrity. Note it’s not hard to verify this information. All you need to do is look up accreditation status on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website. If you can’t find it there, try contacting the institution directly or checking with an official source such as the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Do they accept financial aid?
You should also check whether financial aid is available from your preferred school; some schools offer more generous packages than others.
Is there room in the program?
In many cases, students must apply for admission before enrolling in a particular college or university program. There may be stiff competition from other applicants if demand exceeds supply.
Are the Costs of Living Reasonable?
It would be best if you also researched the cost of living in the area. You can use a cost of living calculator online for this. The average cost-of-living index for a city is usually between 100 and 200, with New York City at around 213 and Honolulu at around 99. Costs vary by location and are influenced by housing and transportation costs.
Consider Housing, Transportation, and Daily Expenses
If you want your child to live off campus, they’ll need transportation, and depending on where they live, that could mean buying or renting a car. If they live on campus instead of commuting to school every day (which will save money), they won’t need their transportation but may still have access to public transit options, which can get expensive too.
If your child is applying to college and has already declared a major, ask if they have reviewed the financing options. If you don’t know what they are, no worries; it’s pretty straightforward. In addition to student loans, they may be eligible for scholarships or work-study programs.
Helping Your Child Choose a College
It’s not easy to choose a college, and developing life skills before college that will help your child thrive can be challenging. There are many factors to consider, and the process can be stressful for students and parents. One thing is sure: if your child has decided that college is right for them, they need guidance along the way. With these tips, you can help them make an informed decision about where they go next.