Top 10 Things Parents Say About College
If you’re in high school, you’ve probably heard at least some of the things parents say when giving advice for college.
By Ashley Henshaw
If you’ve started thinking about a college, you’ve probably talked with your parents about it.
That makes sense. It’s an important decision and it’s reasonable to involve your parents.
But are you getting frustrated with what your parents are saying about college?
If your parents are sounding a bit like a broken record, take a look at the top 10 things that parents say about college – and take heart that you’re not alone.
- We can’t afford it.
This is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. College is expensive – more so than ever. But scholarships, loans and other forms of financial aid are available to help subsidize the out-of-parent-pocket costs. Research options early and calm your folks down.
- Have you done your applications?
While it seems daunting, getting a start on the first application is half the battle. The others will mainly be repeating information. Our advice for high school students is to start with the essay – it’s usually the most time-consuming part.
- When I went to college…
Your parents may want to share stories of their good ol’ college days. They’re probably both excited and scared about you leaving home, so be easy on them. When they break into one of their stories, just smile. After all, freedom is only months away! No need to worry them now.
- What do you want to major in?
While college planning may be easier if you know what you want to study, you don’t have to choose a major right away. If you don’t know your major, it’s okay. If you’re undecided come application time, it may be best to apply as a liberal arts student. Once enrolled in classes, you’ll be able to get a feel for what you love.
Of course, if you want to study engineering or an advanced scientific discipline, your parents may have a point. You’ll need to know to get into certain schools.
- Do you really want to live so far away from home?
Your parents are sad to see you go. Try to be sensitive to their feelings and instead of launching into a tirade of reasons why living away would be so much better than staying home, just let them know you love them and you know they’re there for you.
- Are you ready to live on your own?
The college transition isn’t only about taking on a heftier workload; it’s also probably your first time living away from home. When it comes to your parents worrying about your college transition, just use this old tip: remind them that they’ve prepared you well.
- Have you looked at the price of schools you’re applying to?
Once the knee-jerk reaction about college costs is over, some parents may try to steer you toward basing your entire college decision on cost. Look at both state and private schools to get an idea about expenses. (You’ve already done your financial aid research, right?) Our advice: find a school that has programs you’re interested in and also offers the best financial package to you.
- Don’t put all your hopes into one school.
Your parents may be right about this one. College admissions are more competitive than ever. If you and your parents disagree about what is a “sure thing” in the college admissions process, get an outside opinion from a counselor. Be optimistic, but be realistic. Chances are, there’s more than one “perfect school” for you!
- Do your homework!
You’ve been hearing this one for a while, huh? Well, pretty soon your parents won’t be around to remind you – and you’ll have more schoolwork than ever. Procrastination 101 is not a lesson you want to learn the hard way. Our advice (and your parents) for high school and college is: stay on top of your schoolwork!
- You’re going to miss us more than you think.
You may be surprised just how much you miss the comforts of home. You’ll have to wait and see how you come down on this one – only college will prove your parents right or wrong.