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College Talk Blog

Turtle Syndrome

Don't look now but your senior could be growing an outer shell. It is not unusual for high school seniors to avoid working on college planning and applications much like a frightened turtle withdraws into its shell. 

Seniors can panic when they see college coming at them. Some of them tell me it seems to soon to be working on applications. Others say, they just can't get started. While students make those statements, their dads sometimes say: "Hey, it's just an application, what's the big deal?" The big deal is that your son or daughter can get paralyzed at the thought of jumping from high school to college. To some students this feels like jumping off a cliff without a parachute.

Take a step back and think of what a BIG DEAL college represents to you and your teen. If your son or daughter is a rising senior, they have already spent their last summer at home as a k-12 student. Their next summer will be right after graduation from high school and full of college preparation activity. But they have to get in first and that is the second shock to their system, they may be conflicted about where to go and what to study and why college should be considered as one of their post high options. 

High school seniors need family support to navigate college tasks. Parents need to be involved because they are the underwriters of the cost of this activity. Where your teen applies will dramatically affect your cost. Residential college costs 19k to 75k per year and parents should weigh in with their child on the realities of their decisions to avoid high debt levels for students and parents later. 

Some parents tell me they plan to let their kids borrow to cover college costs. News Flash: your rising college freshman can only borrow $5500 in student loan money from the government. The rest that is not covered by scholarships and grants will be covered by parents.

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