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Is Your Senior Headed to College? No? Maybe?

By Vicki Roberts,
Life Coach

The school year is almost over and some of you have children graduating from high school. If they have been accepted to  a college or university, then you are likely feeling relieved that they are moving in the right direction toward their future. 
But, what  if your dream or plan is for your child to attend college and your child either does not want to go, or hasn't decided? 
We all want our children to have options and advantages.  Getting a  degree will certainly ensure that they have more of both. We also want them to  have the well rounded knowledge and experiences that come with college  life. 
But, we can't demand that our kids further their education.  However, there are some things we can do to  encourage them.
The first thing is make sure your child knows what their  choices are. Before they decide to get a job instead of going back to  school, encourage them to know all the facts, pros and cons  of their options. 
Make an appointment for you and your  child with your child's counselor at school. See what opportunities are available and what schools your child can apply to with a good chance of  acceptance.  
Keep in mind  that if finances are an issue, or your child is not ready to “go away” to  school, they can take core classes nearby.  It's also a good idea to look at what the employment  opportunities are for the type of major your child is interested in.  
Find out what kind of job or career your child wants and what the  opportunities are without a degree.
Many kids have very unrealistic aspirations. Some think they can attend a beauty college and  work in a salon in Atlanta , charging $100 a haircut. That is not  likely. Be sure your kids are not being  unrealistic.  
Reassure your child that college is not a continuation of  high school. They will not be treated like children any more.  Most college students think  that college is far more interesting and fun than high school.  
Many kids who did  not get good grades in high school do much better in college because they  are a little older, wiser and involved with what they are learning.
Offer financial assistance if you can. If an 18 year old has the  choice between making their own living and paying their own bills, or going to  school and still having their parents pay the bills, some will choose to delay supporting themselves. 
If you cannot afford to support your  child and pay for school, books, and spending money, offer to do as much as  you can and take advantage of student loans.
Let your child know they can  live at home rent free as long as they are going to school and that you  will support them as much as you did when they were in high school.
If they say they want to work and live on their own, give them a  reality check by sitting down with them and writing down a realistic  budget. 
Show them on paper what a high school graduate can expect to  earn;  then deduct taxes, rent, phone, electricity, car insurance,  gasoline and all the other  expenses they will likely incur.  Once they  see what is left over for clothes and fun, remind them that cars sometimes need to be repaired.
Be sure  they know that living at home rent free if they choose not to attend school is NOT an option.
Go visit a college campus with your child. Simply seeing the  environment could make your child see college life as fun or the type of  experience they want to have.
If you went to college, share the positive experiences you had with your  teen. If you did not attend college, let your child know why you wish  that you had had that opportunity and in what ways your life might have been easier or better.
Finally, be sure your child knows you will love them whether they go to  college now, later or never.

[Vicki Roberts is a Certified Life Coach, practicing in Pickens County. You can visit her web site  at   or call her at  678-982-5304.  To post a question for Vickito address in The Progress, email her at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .]

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