Making the wrong decision about what to study or where to go to school can have costly and time-consuming consequences – switching majors or schools or going back to school after you start working can all jack up the cost of obtaining a higher education and subsequent student loan debt.
However, those situations are all too common: more than 50% of college students will change their field of study, 33% of students will transfer to a different college before graduating, and a report released this week found that about seven in 10 students today graduate with debt. Parents play a very important role in the college selection process, too often they fail to ask their children the right questions. Joe Schmoke, founder of University Research & Review, a free college selection service, offers these key mistakes parents should avoid:
1. Not questioning their kid’s decision – When your child is applying for schools, it’s natural to want to let them make their own decision, as they are about the head out into the world on their own. But it’s still your job to help guide them in the right direction, Schmoke says.
2. Basing their decision on the wrong reasons – Ask your child why they want to focus on that specific major or school. If it’s just because a friend is doing the same, or you want them to go there because you or a relative did, that may not make the most financial or practical sense. An objective test, like URR’s, can help guide them in the right direction if they’re not sure.
3. Assuming college is right for everyone – Just because you want your child to go to college doesn’t mean it’s always the best decision for them. Everyone’s circumstances are different – some people may benefit from working for a year or two before going to school, or they may decide college is not for them.
4. Ignoring the numbers – A college education is one of the most expensive purchases many people will ever make, but too often people don’t pay attention to the price, Schmoke notes. Consider whether the schools you’re looking at fit your budget and what options are available to pay for them so your child is not drowning in debt when they graduate.
About University Research & Review
University Research & Review helps you make the best decisions possible in choosing a college and field of study. URR is a free service powered by an online survey and a set of responses users give regarding specific criteria. The results are evaluated individually by one of URR’s advisors, who have more than 280 years of experience combined, who then generate a personalized report for the survey taker. The report suggests recommended fields of study and about 5 schools, out of the more than 8,000 colleges and universities in the United States. The service is tailored to a variety of end users, including high school students, current college students considering switching schools or majors, or professionals interested in going back to school. URR’s results are unbiased and never favor one institution over another, ensuring an even playing field and unbiased suggestions from URR advisors.