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From the Podcast: How To Get Your Child & YOU Ready for College

June 6, 2016

Today’s show touches on the personal side of planning for college and the complicated landscape for parents and children. Our guest is Elizabeth Probst, who founded “At the Core”, a company that works to serve students as they prepare to make the very important decisions that surround their transition from high school to the future.

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Price

Price is an unavoidable conversation for parents and students. With the skyrocketing costs for higher education, it becomes an earlier conversation for many. Families should be open to college selection, having that autonomy. It’s important to find out whether or not they will be eligible for “need” based financial services. Even if your children are in 5th or 8th grade, you can calculate whether you’ll be eligible. It’s a moving target, but it can be a useful tool in planning and saving.

Supporting your Student

Finding what you’re “good at” can be difficult for both child and parent. When a student shows an interest or promise, we as adults and parents can stoke the fires of those sparks. If they have an interest, find ways for them to experience their interests. Allowing children, young children with the opportunity to interview and question people in the professions they desire. If a parent can independently tell their children what they are really good at, and that they notice.

Chief Issues Across the Country

Through volunteering, through classes, through work experience and shadowing will build the student’s resume. They will point them to the colleges and career path they are interested in. In some cases it is even a marker for colleges to accept students. Experience makes a difference.

Common Challenges and Mistakes for Families

Stress. Underlying stress can really exacerbate many of the inherent stresses of this process. Everything seems bigger and more disheartening. Making a mistake can sometimes be a learning process, but making mistakes can be pivotal in this situation. If you can spread out the tasks of going to college throughout a student’s four years of high school can alleviate some of that stress and inform planning and preparation along the way. If you wait until the last summer before their final year, stress will be inevitable. Not talking about money is a mistake commonly made. Families should discuss schools and income level students should or could expect if they follow the path that they are interested in. We can be mechanical with many of these tasks and lose touch with the personal and emotional relationships that change as our students grow up and our conversation changes. Not having these discussion with students, they may not develop a desired career path. Starting a conversation with students about potential careers is crucial to success.

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