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Choosing Your College

Your Kids and College Series: Preparing Your Child to Transition to College


The journey from high school to college is a significant transition for students and their parents. This four-part series focuses on the crucial aspects of guiding your child through this transformative period with trusted resources. The series provides parents with the knowledge and tools necessary to facilitate a smooth and successful transition for their children during this critical time.


More than Money


As parents, guiding our children through the process of choosing the right college is a significant milestone. While financial considerations are undoubtedly important, there are numerous non-financial factors that play a crucial role in determining the best fit for your child. 


Academic Programs and Majors


Ensure the college offers a diverse range of academic programs.

Consider the strength of the department related to your child's intended major.

Look for opportunities like internships, research projects, and hands-on experiences.


Campus Culture and Atmosphere


Visit the campus to get a feel for the environment.

Research the campus culture – is it collaborative, competitive, or somewhere in between?

Consider extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations that align with your child's interests.


Class Sizes and Student-to-Faculty Ratio


Smaller class sizes allow for more personalized attention.

A lower student-to-faculty ratio often leads to better relationships with professors.


Location and Climate


Consider whether your child prefers an urban, suburban, or rural setting.

Think about the climate – does your child thrive in warmer or cooler temperatures?


Internship and Job Placement Opportunities


Research the college's connections with local industries.

Look for internship and job placement rates to ensure good career prospects post-graduation.


Support Services


Check for academic support services like tutoring and counseling.

Investigate health services, mental health resources, and overall campus well-being.


Diversity and Inclusion


Explore the college's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Consider whether the campus fosters an inclusive environment for all students.


Housing and Campus Facilities


Examine the quality of on-campus housing.

Look for modern facilities, libraries, labs, and recreational spaces.


Study Abroad Opportunities


If your child is interested in studying abroad, check the availability and support for such programs.


Technology and Resources


Ensure the college provides up-to-date technology and resources for academic success.

Consider the availability of research facilities and technology labs.


Calculate and Compare the Cost of Colleges


Analyze Your Financial Award Letters



The CFPB Paying for College page shares essentials of student financial aid and repaying loans. 


Compare Your Financial Award Letters


Choosing Your College

I highly recommend using Your Financial Path to Graduation to compare your child’s financial award letters, allowing you to compare the net price of each school and make an informed financial decision. 


The Your Financial Path to Graduation tool can also help you:

  • Understand your financial aid offer

  • Plan to cover the remaining costs

  • Estimate how much you’ll owe and if you can afford that debt

  • Decide what to do next


Click here to access the free CFPB Your Financial Path to Graduation tool. 


Student Loan Planner


Student Loan Planner offers tailored consultations to help borrowers achieve long-term financial stability and optimize their repayment journey. In most cases, consultations are offered to individuals who owe significant amounts of student loan debt, typically to graduate schools. 


Click here to learn how you can receive consultation to manage existing student loan debt.


FAQs



Preparing for Academic Success


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