College selection time can be scary — and exciting — for both you and your young adult. But with thousands of colleges in the United States, plus online and overseas options, college selection can also be overwhelming.
Discussing those options is a terrific opportunity for you to learn more about your children, and hear what is important to them. Their perspective on money will affect how they view colleges and scholarship opportunities. Take a few moments and discuss these questions with your student to identify a great college fit.
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1. How would you describe your dream college?
They may not know. That’s okay. Give them time to think it through or talk it out. The goal is to get them thinking about what feels right to them, what may help them secure their dream job, and what kind of people they want to “do life” with for four years. Dreaming is the least expensive portion of the college selection process, so enjoy it!
2. Is there a friend’s college experience that seems especially positive to you?
The goal of this question is to encourage observation of others in college or recent college graduates — friends, cousins, neighbors, etc. — to help your student determine what they value. What outcome stands out to your student?
Did they go off and see the world? Did they graduate debt free? Have a blast? Land a killer job? Meet their mate?
3. What major would you choose?
With hundreds of majors to choose from, the opportunities range from the traditional, to ones that weren’t even offered when you were in school. Most admissions officers suggest students pursue a major that matches “their interests with their academic strengths.”
If they really struggle with this question you may need to first talk about what career they want to have once they graduate, and back into what major supports their professional dream.
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4. How do you feel about owing money for your education after graduation?
This question helps them understand the price tag of an advanced education. It also gives you an opportunity to see how they think about money and finances. You may hear: