Connie K. Grier offer parents of middle school boys tips on how to prepare their sons for college.
The debate over young men attending college is one that is multi-layered with various perspectives. One can easily reference the thousands of dollars in debt, the hardship with finding (and keeping) employment, the shift in passion that often necessitates more schooling or abandoning the well-paying job one attended college to secure.
One can also point to the importance of owning one’s own business. Of our sons placing themselves in a position of being in charge of one’s own earnings, wealth,and legacy. With the decades that are necessary to pay back most student loans, why encourage our sons to incur a lifetime a debt with no security in terms of employment upon graduation….
I would like to propose a third option…
ATTEND ON SOMEONE ELSE’S DIME…
While all of the items mentioned above are valid reasons to make other choices in terms of life after high school, the truth is whether someone plans to attend or not, the OPTION to attend should be available, and the OPTION to attend practically FREE is going to come from work put in early on and consistently throughout our sons’ K-12 experience. If you work the system, the system has a better chance of working for you.
Parents, the following are a few examples of actions that middle school students can take to positively enhance their paid educational opportunities. This is by no means a complete list. Many of them require parent/student/school collaboration:
- Take challenging classes to help prepare yourself for high school
- Begin the college talk with your parents
- Start a calendar of homework and activities
- Teach yourself good study habits now!
- Encourage your parents to start saving for your college education
- READ, READ, READ
- Enroll in Algebra and a foreign language–
- Talk to your parents about choosing a high school
- Perform well on standardized tests– they’re good practice for the SAT/ACT
- If you need help, seek a counselor/teacher/tutor NOW– don’t wait!
- Ask your parent/guardian to help you research colleges and careers: www.collegeboard.com
- Research financial aid options with your parents: www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov
- Become involved in school or community activities that will let you explore career interests and stay connected with individuals from those activities
What are some other steps you would recommend for our middle school sons?