Ten Tips for Parents With Kids in College

It's an exciting time in your child's life! College here we come.

Your student has put so much hard work into preparing for this day. Secondary education is a crucial step in furthering a student's studies, but is is also a great challenge. Terminology, requirements, and enrollment information can quickly become confusing. Add that to the high pressure and stress between a student and their family, and college can become a struggle.

How to Help Your Child in College

  1. Let your student pick their own courses. As much as you may be accustomed to taking the reins, now is the time to let your student grow and mature. By selecting their own courses they are directly responsible for the direction of their education.
  2. Help your child to discover their passion. While some students may know their calling prior to enrolling in college, many do not. Help facilitate growth in areas that they are interested in and encourage unique opportunities that are offered on college campuses.
  3. Refrain from "editing" your student's work. Many parents are used to helping out with high school papers, but now is the time to let your child soar. Take a step back and let them do the work independently.
  4. Encourage your child to stay in close contact with professors and guidance counselors. Students are more likely to stay on track when they know that someone is paying attention to their attendance and grades. Plus, they will feel more comfortable asking questions when a relationship with their professor(s) is already established.
  5. Try not to panic over grades during the first few semesters. College is a completely different environment, one that may take some time to get used to. There is a learning curve that is far different than any high school (
  6. Explore different types of courses. Many programs, like Options Animal, offer online courses. Online courses can help create more flexible schedules and allow students to take more courses than they normally would during a semester.
  7. Give your child space, but stay in touch. It is important to give your student room to learn and grow, while also letting them know that you are still there for support and guidance. This is a fine line that can be difficult for many parents to walk.

Funding for Secondary Education

Let's face it. College is expensive. Prior to enrolling at any university, it is important for students to consider the financial aid package that is offered at each option. Grants, loans, and work study programs are crucial for secondary education funding. Some students may even have the opportunity to earn college credits or pay for a preset number of semesters at specific colleges. Apply for financial aid early. Keep track of scholarship applications. Take out loans if necessary, but also remember that money can be earned by working throughout the year, as well.

College Campus Safety

One of the most common concerns of parents with kids in college is their safety while they are away from home. Interestingly enough, according to ADT Home Security, 80% of all collegiate crimes are property crimes. Locking your vehicle, parking in well-lit areas, and locking valuables up or taking them with you are important ways to protect your belongings in student parking lots. Locking doors and windows, now allowing strangers inside, and replacing locks after losing any key are all crucial steps in dorm and apartment safety.

In Conclusion....

College is a time of immense change in both a student and parent's life. It is a time to prepare for adulthood and obtain education that will assist students throughout the rest of their lives. However, the social aspect of college can be just as important. Making new connections, learning to work with others, and solidifying personal ethics and morals are important social concepts that arise.

Comments (1)
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This is a very useful article for prospective students and their parents.