Moms with kids who are nearing college age want them to continue their studies and graduate. There is no better way to enhance their life and career prospects than to encourage them to head to university. Not only do they receive a degree, but they also get an unparalleled experience too. On a selfish note, you and the hubby are one step closer to an empty nest!
Sadly, the battle isn’t over once a student decides to enroll in a course. 40% of students who start at college don’t earn a degree. Of that number, 25% are freshmen that drop out in the first year. That means of the hundreds of thousands that head to college this fall, only three-quarters of them will make it past the initial hurdle. These figures are shocking and the last thing you want for your child is for them to drop out.
With that in mind, it’s important to focus on the things you can do to help guide them through the process. Sure, you won’t be there in body as they may be on the other side of the country, but support takes many forms. Here’s why students drop out and the solutions to the problems.
The first thing to understand is that lots of young kids make decisions they assume are correct. Because of their age, they aren’t sure if it’s the right thing to do yet they go along with it anyway. It may be down to the fact they have nothing better to do or that they want to make everyone proud. However, it’s not something they are committed to then they will drop out after a couple of months. Not only will it be a waste of time, but it will be costly money-wise too.
As a parent, it’s essential to make sure you’re not pushing your kids to do something they don’t want to. Sometimes, speaking about how proud you are that they are going to go to college may be enough to twist their arm. They could rebel and say no, yet that would be disappointing and they’d rather make their mom and dad proud. So, before they decide, sit down and talk to them about how they feel. Are they scared, apprehensive, excited? Is that because they are nervous or because they don’t want to go through within the first place?
A healthy, mature conversation should reveal a lot about their motives. If their agenda is misplaced, you should steer them on to the right path by letting them know you will be proud regardless. Let them make a tough decision in the knowledge that you have their back and always will even if it isn’t your preference. After all, it’s their life.
The students that do decide college is right for them can still make mistakes. A perfect example is their choice of degree. A major may look fantastic on paper yet it can fail to meet the required standards in practice. When this happens, dropping out is inevitable as there’s no point in spending money on a worthless degree. It may be a booming industry that pays well, but spending their life in a job that isn’t their first choice will lead to unhappiness.
Sadly, it’s not easy to pick a major because there is no way to tell if it’s a good choice. So, how are you supposed to help them when it’s not an exact science? The answer is by being there when they need your help. For example, an open day is an excellent opportunity to find out more about the subject and the institute. However, it’s hard for kids to attend one if they don’t have a ride. Plus, they may need some money for a hotel and food if it turns into a full weekend. Parents who provide these resources will ensure that their kids can do the relevant research before signing on the dotted line.
Alternatively, it’s important that they don’t pick a school over a course. A second choice major isn’t going to challenge or excite them and they may drop out as a result.
Unfortunately, nothing comes for free in this world and education is no exception. As of today, the average student has a debt of nearly $40,000 for three years’ worth of education. With over 44 million borrowers in the US, the relative balance stands at a staggering $1.4 trillion. And, that’s without taking the rest of the world into account, which means money is a huge deal concerning a college degree.
While picking up the tab isn’t an option for most parents, there are ways to offset the total. For example, you may give them money each week to buy groceries. Although it’s a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, a couple of hundred dollars a month may lower their arrears in the long-term. Some moms and dads go further by paying their rent so that they can focus on studying and not having to balance school and work.
If money is tight, the key is to teach your soon-to-be college undergrads about the value of cash. Too often, students underestimate the costs involved in university education and they suffer as a result. By showing them how much it will cost them and what they’ll have to do to get by, they can start saving early. With a little help from their parents, your kids should have enough to survive three years of college.
Life should be easy for kids. They go to school, study, and graduate and leave the rest for later in life. Of course, the truth is that some students have responsibilities at home that make balancing school and life difficult. If babies are involved, for example, there is almost no way to enroll in a course without help. Although it sounds uncommon, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has proof. The main reason for dropping out is family commitments according to their study.
Whether it’s work, family or the need for a break, you can help by supporting them. Sometimes, offering to babysit free of charge or cook them dinner is enough to make a huge difference. Why? It’s because it provides them with the freedom to focus on their studies. Don’t forget that the college itself has a lot to answer for too. With that in mind, help them find one like a Christian college online that puts student wellbeing first.
Yes, money is important but a person needs moral support to survive. Otherwise, the stress and tension build and boil over when the pressure gets too much.
Everything about college may be perfect apart from the location. Moving home at 18 years of age sounds cool but it soon gets real. When they are alone, the house they “hated” for the past few years suddenly becomes a sanctuary. So, kids get a bout of homesickness and it impacts their experience. If it’s strong enough, it may encourage them to drop out and move back home to familiar surroundings.
You can’t do anything about their ability to make friends – that’s down to them. What you can impact is their ability to take a break from college life for a while. Even when students are having a ball at university, they need a weekend or two to recharge. Visiting home is the perfect cure as long as they have the money or transport to do it. So, a gesture such as buying them a car may help them to ease their homesickness and focus on their studies. It doesn’t have to be brand new, just safe enough to get them across the country.
Another option is to visit schools “nearby” so that they don’t have to jump on a flight or drive for fifteen hours. Anything that is one or two hours away is distant enough to give them space but close by so that they can visit if they are lonely.
As a self-respecting American citizen, it’s never nice to admit there is something wrong with the system. However, this seems to be the case with college students in the US. After all, applications are not the problem – it’s getting people to finish their degree.
According to the O.E.C.D, America only ranks at number eleven for its graduation rate. Almost two-thirds of people don’t end up receiving their honors as they drop out beforehand. Only Hungary has a worse rate. Where parents come in handy is with their life experience. Encouraging your son or daughter to study abroad is scary yet you understand the importance. After all, a degree is a great investment as it’s worth $350,000 and $180,000 for men and women respectively regarding earnings.
Making them aware of the opportunities to broaden their horizons can pay off for them in every possible way. All they need is a gentle push in the right direction.
Students don’t drop out for no reason whatsoever. There is always a motive and it’s your job to locate it and come up with a solution.