How to Help Your Grandchildren Get into College
College is one of the greatest opportunities your grandchild will have. It’s the step that will later take them where they want to go in life, something that will influence everything from their careers to their family. It’s also one of the most stressful things that young people have to go through, but there’s a lot that grandparents can do to help. You can go on this journey and lend them the wisdom of your experience and the love and comfort they will surely need, you can help them push through the doubt and insecurity and pick the right path for them. If you want a few tips on how to do that, read on.
The best way to help your grandkid is to become involved in their life and simply ask them about what they think they might need. Ask them about their plans and aspirations, about what kind of colleges they’re considering and why. Things changed since your child went to college, and the process is now both more complicated, and more expensive. So simply have an open, kind-hearted chat with your grandkid and let them know you want to be there for them. Read about what kind of course requirements they’ll need, what specific colleges ask for to familiarize yourself with the process.
Offer Financial Support if You Can
If you are able to, and only if you’re certain that you’re able to, you could help them by offering full, or partial financial support. Colleges are extremely expensive, a lot more than they used to be when your own child was getting into one, and the average school year at a private institution now costs around $34 000, with some of the top colleges going up to $60 000 a year. Most grandparents who wish to contribute do so through the 529 plan, or potentially by setting up a trust fund. But don’t feel pressured and obligated to give money that you don’t really have – even small things, like helping them buy their textbooks can be a huge help.
Help Them with Their Application
The thing that separates one college application from the sea of others is usually the cover letter. The admissions officers read thousands of these every year, and the way to get noticed is to write honestly, directly, and to sum up all the qualities and accomplishments that you’ve made during your high school years. A list of good extracurricular activities will impress them, so encourage your grandkid to be active while they’re still in school. Things like starting a school newspaper show leadership qualities, while volunteering at the hospital or the local shelter will look great if they want to get into med school.
Find a Way to Stay in Touch
In today’s fast-paced, busy environment, staying in touch presents a challenge. Get on the social media and install programs like Skype so you can talk to your grandkid while they’re away. An occasional Facebook message to say hi will help you stay in the loop and give you a way to communicate with them easily. Here are some tips on social media use and safety for the seniors.
Give Emotional Support
We can pretty much guarantee that your grandkid is being pushed around from all sides by parents, teachers, and friends about which direction their life should take. It can get overwhelming and tiring, and they usually just need a kind word of support and someone to have faith in them. Lend them an ear and don’t contribute to the stress that’s all around them right now. Simply be their friend and stay positive – they’ll open up and become close if they feel like there’s no judgment.
The bond between you and your grandchild is very special, and staying close while they prepare for college is very important. Pay attention to these tips and be there for them when you can, and they’ll be happy and relieved to have someone on their side.
Check out our Holiday Product Guide!