How You (and your child) Can Begin Planning for College
For a good part of my childhood, I did not grow up with my dad so there was a gap of roughly five years — those impressionable times — when I didn’t have a male role model in my life. Eventually my now step-dad came to the rescue.
I mention this because the gap time was in my late childhood – early teens. This was the time when my friends began to speculate what life will be like in high school and beyond, whereas I had not a clue.
Our school had already begun to tell us we should plan for college and I even began talking to college recruiters in middle school due to my good grades.
Eventually, things settled down, due in part from the guidance my step-dad have given me (and thanks to doing online research), but I can’t help to think what it would be like today if I didn’t have that push.
I guess what I’m trying to say, from the perspective I can give, is that being a father and raising young ones means that it’s never too early to start planning for the future – especially with college.
Since I took a little different approach to higher education, I’d like to give you my perspective and discoveries along the way.
Here are a few of my recommendations (with the aid of modern tools and resources):
Know the job market via stats – The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Labor may not be the most exciting websites out there but they’re a fantastic set of resources to see the past, present, and future outlook on job statistics. Knowing the trends of where professions are going will help you give advice to your young ones and help paint a realistic picture instead of leading them on toward a dying industry.
Inspire entrepreneurship at an early age – There are many resources to learn how to start a business, but what matters most is inspiring your children to pursue an idea and turn it into a business project. Business isn’t just about greed. Entrepreneurship will help your kids learn the fundamentals of networking, promotion, time management, and creativity, which greatly helps when it comes to learning and pursuing a higher education.
Help them love the act of saving – Planning early will give you a head start on funding your child’s college education due in part to the fact you save over a longer period of time (earning interest) instead of footing the bill in a rapidly closing time frame. Most of the time people stress on saving for college, but what about saving once you get there? This student money saving guide by simplifiedissuelifeinsurance.com stresses the importance of saving money while in college to reduce the burden of student loans and credit card debt.
Introduce them to difficult subjects, early – There are many different free online college websites that offer a multitude of courses. These may be well out of the knowledge range for your children (and even you, at times) but introducing them to these difficult subjects earlier on could not only inspire them to pursue a career they love but could also give them an edge once they begin taking those classes on a college level.
The college system is rapidly evolving thanks to the aid of technology though there are still many barriers of entry, whether it’s the rising cost of college or, like in my situation, a lack of guidance. Be a shining light for your children. Inspire them and help them love a life of learning. Do you part to set the foundation for what will be their entry ways into higher institutions. Start early. Start now.