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College Talk Blog

Do kids need help choosing?

We're so accustomed to kids doing their own thing in the college choice arena that we don't take time to consider the what- ifs:
  •   1) What if she chooses a college we can't afford?
  •   2) What support services do they offer to help him graduate on time and get a great job?
  •   3) What if my kid changes his major-How much more money and time will that mean?
 
We also wrongly assume that schools have the budgets to provide the expertise and time for the much needed individual counseling to make sure that the student is going in the right direction and that good choices are being made. Unfortunately, that is not the case in most public and private schools. Very limited advising is the norm. Analyzing student skills and personality and family preferences is rare. Limited information and discouragement is common.
 
Today's college prices make this a family decision rather than a teen-only decision. What's at stake here is the success of the teen and how much debt he will acquire to get it. And you don't have to do this alone. A professional college advisor is a small investment to make that can save thousands on this $100,000+ journey.
 
The college and college major choice affect the long term financial health of not only the teen but his family as well. Will there be money left to educate the next sibling in line? Will the parents raid their 401k or re-finance the house to pay costs? Will your kid graduate with more debt than is practical for the job prospects for his major?
 
The days are gone when you could turn a teen loose to make college decisions on his own and let him go off to college unconcerned about what his major will be. When teens go away to college today, you cannot be secure that they will graduate on time and get a professional job. The costs are much higher and rising, only 42% graduate on time and the job market is less welcoming.
 
This is the era of higher education planning for success and entering college with a pre-determined major and a plan to graduate on time and prepare for employment from the freshman year forward. Don't let anyone tell you that this cannot be done. You do not have to leave the future success of your rising high school senior to chance nor do you have to jeoardize your own financial future in the process.

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