On Monday, we listed some tips for you to help your son or daughter make that leap from high school student to college undergraduate. Today, we have a few more suggestions.
- Search and apply annually for institutional and private scholarships, grants and loans
- Help them set realistic expectations so they can successfully balance school and work
- Help them understand the financial aid process
- Offer to help them develop a budget and maintain it
- Warn them about credit cards and loans
- Be supportive and trusting.
- Encourage independence but provide a safety net.
- Accept that you’re not going to know every detail of his or her life. (We know, this is hard.)
- Realize it may be hard for them to return home after they’ve been living on their own without your house rules
- Write letters, email or text them. Your son or daughter will be curious about what you are up to and may expect to know more about what you’re doing. (Don’t be surprised if they’re less inclined to let you know what they’re doing.).
- Show concern for what they’re experiencing. Ask questions but try not to intrude too much.
- Respect their space and privacy. Often, they’ll let you know what’s happening in their own way.
- Send them care packages. (Next month, we’re going to give you advice on how to create great care package.)
- Stock up on his or her favorite foods when they come home for the holidays.
- Have plenty of laundry detergent on hand for all the dirty clothes they may be bringing.
- Be careful not to talk too much about college being the best years of their life. If they’re struggling with exams, papers, or is having other college-related frustrations, your words may give them little comfort.
And, if you have any suggestions just let us know, and we’ll pass them along.
On Friday we’ll provide other resources that may help.