Are you the parent of a college student? Do you want to know how to best support them during their college years? Read this article to learn four key ways to be a supportive parent for your college student. From providing emotional support to helping with financing, these tips will help you to be a reliable source of support for your child during this important time in their life.
Raising a child is one of life’s amazing journeys. From the time they are born, you are responsible for their well-being and do everything you can to take care of them and protect them from harm. You see them grow from infants to toddlers, and then before you know it, they are off to kindergarten or first grade. The elementary school years seem to go on forever, and as they grow, you keep a careful eye out for them.
Then suddenly, it’s time for eighth grade graduation and your child is off to high school. Their class work gets harder there, and they start moving from being a fully dependent child into the teenage years. There’s lots more to deal with now, from helping them get their driver’s license to dating and proms, and a new mix of friends. Senior year finally arrives, and the whirlwind really begins to pick up. With college just around the corner, it’s time to usher your child into the world of being an adult and give them the support they need to prepare for college and for a successful journey through their college years.
Go On College Visits with Them
Fully supporting your child’s college experience begins even before they are accepted into their school. To help your son or daughter narrow down their choices, and pick the right school for them, it’s helpful to schedule a college tour. Being at the college or university will give you a first-hand experience that just can’t be replicated by looking online or reading brochures. You’ll be able to check out the vibe there, and even talk with other students about the positives and negatives of their experience.
Help Them Fill Out the FAFSA Forms
The application process can be arduous and complex. Coming up with the perfect essay is always a tall task, but one of the biggest challenges is navigating your way through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, forms. Your child will need to submit this form before they attend their first year of college and will have to fill out the FAFSA annually if they are in school. Once they have filed the forms, then every college they are accepted at will send them a student aid offer and Cost of Attendance estimate.
Apply for a Private Parent Loan
Even with a student aid offer and perhaps some scholarship funds, you’ll still have to come up with a way to pay for the remaining costs for tuition, housing, meals, books, and fees. It’s important to take time early in the process to check out the financial resources that will help you pay for your child’s university education. One of the best ways to make sure you have the funding you need is to apply for and take out a college loan for parents. These low rate, Earnest college loans for parents can give you the money you need to assure that your child gets a degree and is set up for a successful future.
Be There to Offer Support
As your child heads off to college, they are taking the first steps to leaving the nest and beginning their own adult journey in life. They are emerging from eighteen years of your direct, everyday attention and care, and heading off to a time of far more freedom and responsibility. To give them the best start possible, and avoid feeling like a failure as a caretaker and parent, it’s important that you understand the transition and are always there to support them.
Freshman year can be an amazing time. It can also be a time of new experiences and emotions, ranging from being homesick to the uncertainty and challenges that come with living on their own. You’ll want to be there to support them, to listen to their feelings and offer gentle advice when they ask for it. It’s important to be non-judgmental and open to accepting and honoring all their new experiences.
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Mama to 3 girls. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed, or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a newfound hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves to create printables!