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Family Files

Helping Your Child Make Decision for Higher Education

Decision making While I was attending a dual credit meeting for my daughter, I was thinking about all the decisions that high school juniors and seniors are making. High school students are planning and thinking about their future; if they want to attend a trade school, work at a local business, start their own business, attend a junior college, or enter a four-year university. So, the classes they are required or choosing to take has an impact on their future. For those who are looking at attending a college or university, it is important to look at tips that will help make your child's decision easier.

We all know that trying to figure out where to attend college can be a stressful process. Information is at our fingertips with the use of our electronic devices so, make sure you are taking advantage of having access. Here is just a little advice for parents as you are watching your child navigate their decision making with selecting college or university. It is a good idea for your student to keep track of his or her school activities, out of school activities, classes, organizations, and certificates so, he/she can build their resume. A student needs to make sure they are honest about what will make up the most fulfilling college experience based on his/her interest and personality. This helps when your student goes to match his/her style with what colleges have to offer.

There are many suggestions on how to find the best fit for your student. Students should be mindful of these tips in making a decision on where they want to attend college.

  • Review websites a variety of colleges.
  • Examine your own interest, goals, and plans for the future.
  • Take a look at the online College search at
  • Contact schools of interest so, you can ask recruiters specific information.
  • Catalog the brochures you receive in the mail from colleges or that you pick up at school.
  • Visit with a guidance counselor and see what suggestions they might have for you.
  • Make sure you know what dual credit classes' transfer to which college.
  • Attend college tours.
  • Don't rule out private schools because of the cost. There are several scholarships available. Make sure you have explored this area.
  • Explore schools that give you opportunities to look into your interest further.
  • Determine the type of academic environment that will suit you the best. Be aware of how you prefer learning, such as a large group or small group.
  • Recognize if you are a recluse person or an extrovert. Also, identify if you are ready to be far away from home or want the comfort of being a little close.
  • Budget what school will cost you. This is a factor that needs to be figured out and agreed upon by those who are supporting the student. Keep in mind to consider potential scholarships.
  • Consider what makes you happy outside of classwork. If you are an athlete and you want to still play competitively then you need to explore this route. You might find a scholarship or play intramural sports. Also, if you are one to take part in specific organizations, make sure you explore what each college has to offer. This can nourish your happiness.
  • Explore the study abroad programs. You might find specific programs that appeal to you more than others.

Remember you are not alone so, don't forget to ask others about their personal experiences and weigh your pros and cons list to help with you making where you plan to attend school a less stressful process.