Whose College Search Is This?

Choosing a college is the first “adult” decision for many young people, but parents are expecting to be more and more involved. Here are some tips to help you, the student, maintain control of your college search while also maintaining the peace with your family:

You Are the One Going to College: You need to show your parents that you can manage this process. So take initiative and bring information to them about the colleges you’ve researched and the fields you might want to study. Show them you are aware of deadlines and upcoming tasks.

Give and Take: If you want your father to drive you to a college in the same town as his alma mater, why not check it out? You might even like it, and if not, you have another school to help you decide what you do and don’t want. The point is, shutting your parents out will never have a good outcome. So hear what they have to say and use it as another input in your college search.

Money Matters: You need to be realistic about any financial limitations your parents say might limit your college choices. If some of the schools you are considering are out of their price range, consider other schools.   Look for ways to make the out-of-pocket costs better align with what will work for your family, like applying for scholarships.

Talk Out the Issues: There is a good chance you and your parents will not agree on everything. Stifling feelings or closing your parents out will not result in a happy ending. Talk the issues out with your parents. It is best to be straightforward. And if you can’t get on the same page, consider enlisting a third-party who might be able to offer you all a new perspective.


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