Parent Guide to College Planning: 3 tips
Are you the parent of a high school student? If so, welcome to one of the most formative phases of your student’s life. While the path to college or career training is definitely your student’s journey, as a parent you play a major role—both financially and from a practical perspective. You’re the chief encourager, reminder of tasks, and sounding board for decisions (and emotions). You walk the fine line between providing support and pushing too hard to help your student move past procrastination or fear to stay on track. And — let’s face it — the process can be at times overwhelming for all involved.
We get it. Here are 3 strategies to help you move forward:
Listen. You have more influence on your student’s decision-making than you might realize. So listen to your student. What are their interests? What are they fearful about in the process ahead? What are the financial and other considerations for your family? Keep communication open and talk it through.
Start your plan. One of the most paralyzing aspects of the college process is not knowing where to begin. We’ll help you break it down into manageable tasks.
To-dos: Attend one of the College & Career Pathways free events for parents, students, and adult learners on 2/27, 3/7, 3/21 or 4/10, held on a Vermont college campus. Drop in for the Resource Fair and talk to Vermont experts about planning and paying for college or training. Plus, you can attend your choice of workshops, to learn about:
- Finding for the right fit: & the college search & admissions steps
- Financial aid & managing college costs
- Apprenticeships & careers in the skilled trades
- Scholarships -- free money!
Don’t miss out! Free hearty snacks provided too.
Check off your year-by-year tasks, with these step-by-step action plans:
Sign up for college planning tips from VSAC.
Learn more. Behind-the-scenes research can help you be a better resource for your student.
- Why college or career training matters: It opens up opportunities, for one. And it pays for itself in increased earnings. Understand the value of a degree or career training.
- The many different education options. Here’s help to map it out.
- Facts about college costs: The sooner you can start the money conversation, the better. Learn how financial aid can reduce what you pay.
- Save now to minimize debt. Learn about the tax and earnings benefits of saving for college with the Vermont 529 college savings plan.
- Learn more about education loans. Most Vermont families need borrow to help pay for education costs. There's a lot to understand. Read VSAC's My Education Loans guide before your borrow.
Have questions or need help? Contact VSAC — as Vermont’s nonprofit higher education resource for students, we’re here to answer your questions as you plan for education after high school. Call us at 1-888-943-7301 for help Monday through Friday, 8:30 am–4:30 pm or schedule an appointment to talk with our counselors from 10:00 am–3:00 pm at our Resource Center in Winooski.