10 Questions to Start the College Search

10 Questions to Start the College Search

They grow up, don’t they? You start out homeschooling those darling kindergarteners and before you know it, they are in high school! By 10th or 11th grade, it is definitely time to start the college search discussions. Here are 10 questions that will get you and your high schooler started:

1) Did you pray about that? Parents should be praying for their high schoolers to have wisdom and teens should be praying for God’s wisdom for this important choice.

2) College or not? Not every teen needs to go to college. With the cost of college these days, it would be a foolish expense to invest 4 years of finances into an education for a teen who wants to be a plumber. If college, how much? 2 years? 4 years? Graduate degrees?

3) Who’s paying for what? Every family has different needs and abilities. How much, if any, can you parents pay for the college education? How much will the teen need to finance?

4) How much debt are you and your teen willing to incur? College debt is almost a given these days. However, creative families can leverage things like community college and state tuition-free programs, work-study, military options, Americorps, and each college’s scholarships. Don’t forget to do FAFSA during Senior year for federal government help.

5) What kind of college? Community college? State college? Christian college, private college? Rural or urban? Large or small?

6) Stay at home or go away?

7) What’s your major? Do the colleges you and your teen like have that major?

8) What are the entrance requirements (#of credits for high school core courses, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, etc)? Check each college website for this information.

9) When are the open house days? (Plan some college visits during Junior year.)

10) What is the college culture? Take a campus virtual and live tour: What are the dorms like? What is the first thing you see when you go to the bookstore? Are the students neighborly? Do the teachers show interest in their students? Is the food in the cafeteria or food courts edible?

These questions will get you started. It is rewarding to watch your teen grow into the person God created them to be. College may be part of that process. Have fun with your searches!

Vicki Tillman

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