When the time comes to choose a college for your kids, it is important that you get the decision just right as this is going to have a huge impact on your child’s future. Last year this was the process which I went through with my eldest son and I will have to do in twice more in the future! Thankfully, our family friend Kevin Rolle Alabama A&M University Vice President was on hand to give us some helpful tips and advice about how to reach this decision. If you are going through this right now, here are the considerations which we made that brought about our final decision.
Before you get into the educational side of things, it is first important to understand where your child would like to go in terms of geographical location. For example my son wanted to live away from home, but he didn’t want to be more than 2 or 3 hours driving distance away. Speak to your child about how far away from home they want to study, this can help you to start the selection process.
Whilst most colleges will naturally offer a wide range of courses, each of them are known for something in particular and this too can help you decide which is best for your child. For example if you have a child who is naturally skilled in engineering and would like to pursue a career in this field, there is little point sending them to a university which specializes in agriculture or in english literature. If you child does not have a clue what they plan to do when they leave college then you can keep your options open, if they have a particular desire however, it makes more sense to send them somewhere which specializes in that topic.
Not all university educations cost the same amount of money and they will vary from college to college. For some the cost of the education may not matter but many students do not want to leave college racked with $100,000 of debt before they have even entered the world of work. Keep in mind the cost of the colleges which you are considering during the decision-making process.
Heading off to college is not only about the educational side of things, it is also a great opportunity for your son or daughter to go out on their own, learn independence and have some fun. With this in mind I felt that it was a good idea to check out what student life was like in the colleges which we had under consideration. I wanted the student body to be active and community spirited, as well as knowing how to have a good time. I really believe that the social side of college is a very important factor in your overall decision as your child should have a memorable college experience.