With the Economy at the state we are in right now, colleges are struggling to keep tuition at a steady level. Many people think that college administrators and deans are ex-corporate fat cats trying to squeeze every last dime out of your child for an undergrad degree, which has now almost become a commodity in American education. What people do not realize is that there are two sides to every story and most colleges are struggling right now for a multitude of reasons. State budgets are tight, endowment funds are less generous, competition to bring in the smartest not richest students, and rising education costs to the university are just a few reasons for starters. Universities have had to become less dependent on tuition in order to provide an education at the most attractive (least evil) price. So yes, college is very expensive we all know, but what does that have to do with my child if I’m taking responsibility to pay for it?
Many studies have been done throughout the country and it has been found that educating your child about how their education is being paid for will help them stay motivated. Sounds simple right? Just tell Johnny that we’re paying thousands of dollars to have him learn not party. Well, it’s not that easy. Psychologists have found that you need to sit down with your child and provide him or her with two pieces of information.
First, it is important to let your child know that their education is a priority and that they do not need to worry about not finishing do to financial default. Students who are not certain about their future at a school will not be as focused and tend to not be as successful in the classroom. It is important to be up front with them and let them know they may need to take out smaller loans to ensure a four or five year education.
Second, honesty is key. When I say sit down with your child, I mean really sit down at the kitchen table and physically show them bank statements, bills, and loan statements. Your kid is smarter than you think and with all of this information in front of them, paying for college will not just be this magic money tree they have heard about. Remember that your child is going to be held responsible with tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, they are your child and you love them, but for their financial stability as well as yours it is important to be an open book with their college finances.