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What do parents need to know before their kids go off to college?

Topic: Parents | Asked by: Anonymous | Asked on 06/17/2010

Answers (40)

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First, know that your rights are much more limited now that your child is an adult - a college will not provide you with your child's grades. Also, realize that when your child first goes off to college, they might not call home much. This is a good thing - it means they are having fun! Be aware of some of the dangers of drinking, specifically binge drinking at colleges. Have a talk with your child about responsible drinking behavior.

Answered by: Mem4dr A. | over 3 years ago
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Sending your kids to college is probably a really hard thing to do, but you have to let go. At 18 years old you know that your child doesn't have a lot of the life experience that adults have but giving them the opportunity to have those experiences is what makes children grow up and become adults. Give your kids space. The most important part is to keep in good contact with your children, especially if they are far away, so that they know that they can always talk to you. Children are going to make mistakes, especially in their first year. Just be patient and forgiving.

Answered by: Jessica Al22 D. | over 3 years ago
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There really is no adult supervision. Your kid will be on his own with his friends. He will grow and make mistakes but learn. The meal plans do not always cover 3 meals a day. You should get him to sign the paper that allows you to see his grades because otherwise you have no access to them.

Answered by: Rancor204 F. | over 3 years ago
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Parents should know that their kids going off to college is great. Although the kids are leaving the nest, parents need to keep communication high. There are a lot of distractions and peer pressure moments that could hinder a great first year. It is important to maintain a healthy relationship, full of support and encouragement. Try not to add stress to your college kid by insisting on good grades.

Answered by: Opal O. | over 3 years ago
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That this is similar to a bird leaving the nest. You need to have faith that you raised your kids right and trust them out there in the real world. This is an unavoidable reality that many parents can't seem to cope with. Also, they WILL make mistakes. No one is perfect. In short, let them spread their wings and give them room to grow. They might surprise you with how adaptable they are.

Answered by: Ra Ncor202 C. | over 3 years ago
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One important thing that may seem obvious, but may be overlooked is that books and other expenses like lab fees and equipment are not a part of tuition expenses. These are completely separate expenses that can add up quick, so plan accordingly. Depending on the major and the school, you can be staring at an additional $5000 for books and lab expenses per year.

Answered by: Upallnight I. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents should know many thing about the college before their kids go to college. One big thing is to know what classes they are taking and what they want to go to college for. Also you will want to know how to be in contact with the child whether that be by a cell phone or a land line in their dorm. Parents should know that it is sometimes hard to find time to contact their parents with studies and enjoying the college experience for example I really didn't have time to call my parents as much as they really wanted because of being so busy. Parents should also know that there are many parties in college where drinking is involved and if you feel you should sit your child down and tell them how you feel about the subject. Just know this time in college is a very important time and experience for the new college student to mature into an adult.

Answered by: Thomas Clips W. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents should know how to get in touch with their child by cell phone or land line in the dorm room. They should also know how safe the college campus is for their child. Parents should also know that there are parties in college and to tell their child to keep their focus on their studies. They should also know what the child will need while in school such as a computer and money for laundry. Parents should also know that their child will be fine on their own and is a great learning experience for the child.

Answered by: Thomas Clips W. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents should know how to contact their child while they are away either by cell phone of some sort of land line. Parents should also know how safe the campus their child is going to be attending and tell their child good idea of what to do such as putting valuables in safe places and carrying a limited amount of money on them. Another good thing to know is what their child's schedule is like and what classes they are taking. Parents should also have gone to the campus to make sure their child knows they way around campus prior to attending. Parents should also be aware that there are a lot of college parties and they should make their child aware that the best idea is to stay away from that and concentrate on their studies.

Answered by: Thomas Clips W. | almost 4 years ago
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A parent who is concerned about their child's wellbeing should be aware of how the students financial welfare is going to affect their lives. Sometimes students either don't get enough to eat or just eat junk food. Its also important to know where your kid is psychologically so you can anticipate how they will deal with the pressures of college life. Sometimes, kids snap and the parent had no idea that they couldn't handle the pressure, and never stepped in to provide guidance.

Answered by: Junior Sweet P. | almost 4 years ago
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As a college graduate, the first thing I would suggest parents know about is the cost of college. Now that may seem obvious, but there are plenty of costs that a parent must consider besides tuition. Parents must budget for such things as personal expenses (e.g food & laundry), books and room and board. It may be cheaper to send your student to a community college before continuing on to a four year institution. The entire process takes at least one year to prepare for. If parents are used to kids constantly being around, they must also be emotionally ready once the time comes for their son or daughter to depart.

Answered by: Headley77 O. | almost 4 years ago
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Are their kids mentally and maturely ready for college? Are they responsible? Do they have the finances to pay for college? These are but a few questions parents should ask themselves before their kids go off to college. It is very good information to consider.

Answered by: Mcw2004 Y. | almost 4 years ago
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I believe that the most important thing that parents need to know before their children go off to college is this: that their child will be just fine. Many times parents worry about a myriad of issues that could go wrong for their children when they leave for college, such as missing necessities, financial burdens, etc. However, these worries can transfer to the student and cause anxiety. Try to be a calm parent so that your college student can begin to live independently.

Answered by: Jpeltz Q. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to talk to kids about responsibility before they send their kids away. Tell them you trust to always do the right thing and work hard. Explain to them the importance of academics and how much it COSTS to attend college. That if they mess up, they would have wasted THOUSANDS of dollars.

Answered by: Choco Mint Y. | almost 4 years ago
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You need to know if the school is a good school. You should also make sure that it has the degree program that your child wants or has programs that at least seem to interest them. You also need to know that this is the first true step of them entering adulthood. They need to be treated as such in order to help them fully adjust to life on their own.

Answered by: College Student123 T. | almost 4 years ago
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Privacy matters 0 0 0 Share Easily one of the biggest surprises parents encounter is FERPA, also known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This federal law stipulates that colleges cannot disclose any student___s personal information ___ be it grades or health status ___ to anyone, parents included, if the student is 18 or older. "When a student is in high school, the privacy rights belong to the parent. When the student makes the transition to college, the privacy rights are transferred to the student,___ Marianne Calenda, dean of students at Elizabethtown College said. ___The student is in the driver___s seat.___ Many colleges do try to work with families, so parents should be aware of how their child___s institution will stay in touch. ___We want parents to be part of the college experience,___ Dana Britton, director of admissions at Messiah College said. Some colleges offer consent forms that the student can fill out that allow the college to disclose personal information to the parents. There is an exemption available if a parent claims a student as a dependent (i.e. a full-time student for at least five months out of the year) on their income tax return, according to Calenda and Steven O___Day, senior associate dean of Franklin and Marshall College. Until the college receives a copy of your 1040 tax form, officials will keep your child___s grades and other matters private. For that reason, parents need to keep lines of communication open. ___Start talking to your student now about what your expectations are,___ Matt Braswell, director of counseling at Harrisburg Area Community College said. ___Communicate ahead of time.___ Asking the right questions is important as well. Senior year of college is no time to discover that a student requires another year to graduate or wants to change majors. Find out how your child is working with an adviser. Are they on track for graduation? Are they taking advantage of internships or other college services? What do they plan to do once they graduate? It should be noted that there are a few other exceptions to FERPA. If there is an emergency where a student___s health or safety is at risk, the parent can be contacted without the student___s permission. Likewise, if a student is under 21 and involved in a drug or alcohol incident, the parents can and usually will be contacted. Technology matters Incoming students need to be reminded about the dangers of revealing too much personal information on the Internet while in college, according to Ronald Heasley, executive director of ITS at Elizabethtown College. Remind your kids not to post their cell phone numbers or dorm room numbers on Facebook, and be careful about who they ___friend.___ New students also should be careful about downloading music illegally while enrolled in college, Heasley said. Some of those downloads might contain viruses or tracking information that will allow unwanted people to have access to private data on their computers. While you___ll no doubt want your child to have access to a cell phone, be sure that whatever phone they get has good coverage in and around the campus itself ___ particularly if they___re in a rural area. Health matters Most colleges require full-time students to have some form of health insurance. Parents usually keep their kids on their health insurance plan during the college years, but sometimes that plan might not be viable where their son or daughter will attend college. If this is the case ___ or if parents can___t provide health insurance for another reason, many colleges offer a sickness and accident plan. There are also other plans available, such as the CHIP program or National Student Services, Inc. These plans might have a high deductible ($100 a month) but will cover the cost of a serious accident or emergency. Many kids and parents worry that if they become a part-time student, they won___t be covered by their parent___s health plan. If a student is having academic difficulty and needs to take fewer classes, Braswell said, most insurance companies will work with the college to continue to provide health insurance. Money matters In the past, students could get credit cards easily, but the passage of the recent Credit Card Act changes that. While you can still apply for a credit card if you___re 18 or older, you must have a parent or other adult co-sign the application if you___re under 21. If you can___t get a co-signer, you need to present evidence that you earn enough income to make monthly payments ___ pay stubs or a letter from your employer. In addition, credit card companies can no longer market cards on college campuses. Whether you opt to give your child a credit card, bank account or debit card, however, you should use the opportunity as a chance to talk with them about the responsibility of handling money on their own. ___It is very easy for college students to run up excessive debt in college,___ Britton said. Considering that most students already have big loans, the last thing you want is a huge credit card bill. ___The worst scenario is to give them a card and say get whatever you need,___ Calenda said. You also don___t want unrealistic expectations. ___As early as possible, sit down and say what parents can and are willing to pay and what the student___s responsibility will be,___ Britton said. ___When students have responsibility with the college bill it impacts how hard they work.___ Academic matters Time management is a big issue for new students. ___Kids are coming from high school where every day was mapped out from seven in the morning until nine at night,___ O___Day said. That___s certainly not the case in college, so parents should have a conversation about social and academic time management. ___We always strongly encourage our parents to talk with their sons and daughters about the fact that heading off to college and all the freedoms that come with it,___ he said. You don___t want students to overwork themselves either. ___We try and stress to students that if they___re taking 15 credits, that___s 45 hours a week of work,___ Braswell said. ___Twelve credits is 36 hours a week,___ or a full time job. ___We want to see students come in and do well and not have their workload overwhelm them,___ he said. Most importantly, though, parents should resist the temptation to take it upon themselves to solve their child___s problems. ___We want the student to embrace the opportunity of solving problems that come up,___ O___Day said. ___That___s part of the college experience___ Therefore, instead of leaping into the fray, say things such as ___Have you talked to anyone at school about this?___ Talk to the child about ways they might engage the problem and solve it. Whatever happens, don___t get stressed out by the process. ___It___s O.K. not to know every last detail,___ O___Day said.

Answered by: Ker239 C. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to know that their kids want to go to college. That those kids are going to be able to self motivate themselves as students. If the student doesn't care about classes they won't go. The parents also need to know that it is ok for their kids to grow up.

Answered by: Zolty F. | almost 4 years ago
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The most important thing parents need before sending their child away for school is a sound finacial understanding. Parents need to be aware of the scholorships their child is or is not receiving as well as the terms of the institute supplying finacial aid where needed. Parents cannot be left in the dark about these aspects for they can cause credit problems and debt problems if not handled correctly. Parents must carefully choose which finacial aid package is best for them and their child and will be easiest for all in the future. Make sure to have a sound finacial understanding before you step foot into a classroom because if not handled correctly futrue problems can occur

Answered by: Lmukeeper O. | almost 4 years ago
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You should talk with your kids about being safe socially and sexually. Things in college get all crazy and there are drugs and alcohol present no matter which school you go to. Tell your kids you trust them and you raised them to always do the right thing. Talk to them about responsibility and that college costs so much money. Let them that you'll always be there for them.

Answered by: Sea Whale H. | almost 4 years ago
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Dealing with a child going off to college is a big change that a parent must come to understand. One of the most important things to know, is that your son or daughter needs space, but still wants you to keep in touch. If you let your college student to their own devices, they probably won't call as often as you'd like. Don't disappear completely, but let them know you're thinking about them. Care packages are always a great way to show this. Also make yourself available if your new student becomes homesick and needs to talk.

Answered by: Mixtape C. | almost 4 years ago
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College is a learning experience not only for the child but the parent as well. There is nothing the parent really needs to know. What you need to know will depend on the school. Everything will come in due time.

Answered by: Sssss I. | almost 4 years ago
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One thing is to know their schedule. Another thing is to know is how they are getting to school. Also, you must know when they are getting back.

Answered by: Greg I. | almost 4 years ago
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Teach them money management. Do not let them cosign for anyone else's loans. Do not let them take out student loan debt, which is non-bankruptable, to fund Spring Break or ski trips. Don't give them a credit card. Give them a budget.

Answered by: Tbw R. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to understand that college is a period of growth and rediscovery for their children. They will be exposed to many new cultures, views, and an independence and freedom that they may not have previously had. Loosening the grip of homelife and relax a bit. They may make a few mistakes along the way, but understanding their situation will make things easier for the both of you.

Answered by: Jimm34 Z. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents should know that even if they are not saying it, their child is probably very nervous about leaving! Make sure they know that they will always have a home with you, and that you will be there whenever they need you. Establish rules for checking in(call once a day, etc) so they are concrete and there will be no confusion. You child is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime! Help them enjoy it and succeed!

Answered by: Crystal Can Do That I. | almost 4 years ago
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From a college student's perspective, parents need to know that their child has reached adulthood and is in the process of becoming independent. Be careful of the urge to "hover" or to be overly involved in your child's life at college; professors, unlike high school teachers, do not necessarily appreciate deep parental involvement in their child's academic affairs, even if you are the ones footing the bill.

Answered by: Owlie U. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to know that they can trust their kids. If you don't trust your kids, your kids are likely to become more irresponsible. Let them know that you trust them and they will know that should do the right thing so they don't disappoint.

Answered by: Ginger Tea K. | almost 4 years ago
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Your kids will be faced with many different and new experiences when they go off to college. Make sure that your child knows not participate in any activities which they should not be doing. Also know that the dorm life will not affect your child's study life as well.

Answered by: Pressure P. | almost 4 years ago
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College is a learning experience not only for the child but the parent as well. There is nothing the parent really needs to know. What you need to know will depend on the school. Everything will come in due time.

Answered by: Sssss I. | almost 4 years ago
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One thing is to know their schedule. Another thing is to know is how they are getting to school. Also, you must know when they are getting back.

Answered by: Greg I. | almost 4 years ago
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Teach them money management. Do not let them cosign for anyone else's loans. Do not let them take out student loan debt, which is non-bankruptable, to fund Spring Break or ski trips. Don't give them a credit card. Give them a budget.

Answered by: Tbw R. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to understand that college is a period of growth and rediscovery for their children. They will be exposed to many new cultures, views, and an independence and freedom that they may not have previously had. Loosening the grip of homelife and relax a bit. They may make a few mistakes along the way, but understanding their situation will make things easier for the both of you.

Answered by: Jimm34 Z. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents should know that even if they are not saying it, their child is probably very nervous about leaving! Make sure they know that they will always have a home with you, and that you will be there whenever they need you. Establish rules for checking in(call once a day, etc) so they are concrete and there will be no confusion. You child is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime! Help them enjoy it and succeed!

Answered by: Crystal Can Do That I. | almost 4 years ago
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From a college student's perspective, parents need to know that their child has reached adulthood and is in the process of becoming independent. Be careful of the urge to "hover" or to be overly involved in your child's life at college; professors, unlike high school teachers, do not necessarily appreciate deep parental involvement in their child's academic affairs, even if you are the ones footing the bill.

Answered by: Owlie U. | almost 4 years ago
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Parents need to know that they can trust their kids. If you don't trust your kids, your kids are likely to become more irresponsible. Let them know that you trust them and they will know that should do the right thing so they don't disappoint.

Answered by: Ginger Tea K. | almost 4 years ago
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Your kids will be faced with many different and new experiences when they go off to college. Make sure that your child knows not participate in any activities which they should not be doing. Also know that the dorm life will not affect your child's study life as well.

Answered by: Pressure P. | almost 4 years ago
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I think parents should have a very good understanding with regards to the academic ranking and public safety record of a desired college and determine if its a good fit for their childs interests. This information can be easily retrieved from a number of different sources on the Internet and various magazine publications that conduct annual evaluations of hundreds of colleges/universities across the country. Additionally, they should also take into consideration cost of living expenses in the town or city where the school is located and make the necessary arrangements such as opening a joint checking account or credit card with their child to pay for monthly bills and anticipate unforeseen circumstances. It is also recommended that parents and legal guardians contribute to a state sponsored educational savings account, which can dramatically offset future skyrocketing college tuition costs. However, if this is not possible parents can contact schools about participating in affordable tuition payment plan schedules, inquire online at the US Dept of Education website or at their childs high school guidance office about the Stafford and Perkins loans that are essentially guaranteed by the government and also do their homework on locating suitable scholarships. By implementing some of these suggestions, parents will be able to realistically assess the overall situation, determine potential costs, and successfully plan out their childs future.

Answered by: Jack44 M. | almost 4 years ago
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It is absolutely essential to realize that the college experience is an extremely selfish time in your child's life. No, he or she will not always call you back or want to come home on weekends. Giving them independence is key, but you also need to hold onto the reins as parents. After all, they can't do this without you! Know that your children need more of a "Friend Parent" when they go off to college. They need a confidant they know is a safe haven, but is also their parent. Kids need their parents, they just don't always like admitting this fact!

Answered by: Jena Mae M. | almost 4 years ago
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Give them space. They are at an age where they're going off to college for a reason most likely. If you are close with your child, remain close by calling them every so often. But give them the chance to call you, too. Don't smother them, and don't worry TOO much (impossible, right?). Your kid is smart enough to get where he or she is now, so trust their decisions.

Answered by: Philly C. | almost 4 years ago
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The number one thing parents need to know before sending their kids of to college is that they must let their children make their own decisions about their education. It is important to guide them and help them, but do not tell them what classes to take or put stress on the student by expecting them to get A's in every class. Also, do not bug your child every day, but make yourself available to them for any help they may need. A phone call everyday is a bit much, but every couple days is great as it lets the child know they can still count on their parents if they need to, but also still be independent.

Answered by: Mayell U. | almost 4 years ago
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