How Can a 17-Year-Old Possibly Know Which Career They Want?

How Can a 17-Year-Old Possibly Know Which Career They Want?

I recently met a mom whose son is starting his first year in college. I congratulated her on his accomplishments. Then I asked out of curiosity, “What’s he majoring in?”  She replied, “Oh, we don’t know. Plus, how can a 17-year-old know what career they want?”  Actually, it is very much possible for them to know, and I have the answer. Many teens don’t know what to study in college. It’s been that way for a long time. Some of us got lucky when we were teens and stumbled upon our...

Were You in the Longest Line?

Were You in the Longest Line?

My family and I recently attended our sophomore’s high school open house. Even though this was the sixth open house I had attended, I felt a bit overwhelmed. The cafeteria was quite crowded, with families going in all directions. Several booths were set up, and mobs of people were waiting to talk to someone at every booth. Some of the stations to visit were: Counselors PTA Sign Up Sports Passes Cafeteria Accounts STEM Academy Registration I have to say, though, that I breathed a huge sigh of...

An Honest Assessment of Your Post-High School Planning

An Honest Assessment of Your Post-High School Planning

It’s hard to believe that summer break will soon come to an end for most families. As the start of a new school year gets closer, we wonder where the time went and think about all the things we wanted to do over the summer. If you follow my posts, you know I talked about how summertime is the perfect time to work on post-high school planning.  Maybe you had the best intentions this summer: tour college campuses, write the application essay, research career options, and so on. But as always,...

Guiding Your Teen to Their Future

Guiding Your Teen to Their Future

My younger son has a learner’s driving permit. When we go out, he always asks, "Can I drive?" He is eager to be on his own, and it’s no secret that he is a planner. He already has plans A, B, and C for his future, which includes college. And he is confident in the career he wants to pursue. On the other hand, my 19-year-old son is very different. He graduated from high school and went into the Marine reserves. We knew forcing him to go to college would not have been good for him. He decided to...

A Debt-Free Approach to Higher Education

A Debt-Free Approach to Higher Education

In previous articles, I talked about how summertime is the best time to work on planning your teen’s future. There are many different tasks you and your teen can take on. Click here to read Post-High School Planning: What Your Teen Needs to Do Now, where I share several ideas. An important step in planning is to determine how you’re going to pay for your teen’s post-secondary education. A parent reached out to me after her teen got accepted to her dream school, asking for my help with finding...

Post-High School Planning: What Your Teen Needs to Do Now

Post-High School Planning: What Your Teen Needs to Do Now

I was recently a featured speaker at the Georgia PTA Conference. My presentation addressed ways to handle post-high school planning without becoming overwhelmed. An excellent way to tackle planning is to spread out tasks throughout each grade of high school. And one of the best times to do this work is during summer break when your teen does not have the stress of school, homework, or extracurricular activities. Share these summer post-high school planning activities with your student:...

The One Thing Every Parent Needs to Know

The One Thing Every Parent Needs to Know

I was recently interviewed for a TV show. One of the questions the interviewer asked was, “What is the one thing you want to get across on this show? What do you want parents to know?” My answer was that college debt is unnecessary and easily avoided. The answer is right in front of us. We just need to do it.  What is the answer that is right in front of us?  We parents need to teach our teens how to:  Find their first career steps that match their natural interests and behaviors Analyze the...

How to Find the Right Fit, Right Price College

How to Find the Right Fit, Right Price College

Choosing which colleges to apply to depends upon two factors. You want to find a school that is the right fit and at the right price. The good news is that there are over 5,000 colleges and universities in the US from which your teen can choose. The bad news is that there are over 5,000 schools from which your teen can choose. How do you narrow it down? If you are like me, you get overwhelmed just picking out a wall color when there are so many different shades of gray. The thought of helping...

The Cost of College – Sticker Price vs. Net Price

The Cost of College – Sticker Price vs. Net Price

Despite a long-term increase, college enrollment has fallen over the past decade. There's a widespread perception that college tuition is too expensive. For most of the US, college tuition has outpaced inflation. Blame has been placed on a decline in state aid to colleges, as well as an increase in administrative staff. More employees = more costs.  As a parent, you can’t stop colleges from raising prices, but you can better understand what components make up the overall cost and how to reduce...

Changing Majors: Why It’s A Big Deal and How To Avoid It

Changing Majors: Why It’s A Big Deal and How To Avoid It

I received an email from a father whose son is in college and has already changed his major three times and is in his fifth year of college. Yet the son still hasn’t found the right major. The father is lost on how to help his son and needs some guidance.  The impact of changing majors is much bigger now than when we went to school. I changed my major in college and still graduated in four years. That’s not the case not now.  Recent research shows that college students change their major up to...