I am currently in the process of trying to decide upon which colleges my daughter should apply for, and I must tell you that it is a far more difficult decision than I had in mind. I think it is the pressure of knowing that this decision is going to have such a large impact on my daughter’s life, which is making it even more difficult. Thankfully however, I have found plenty of advice and resources which helped me in selecting the college for my daughter, and whilst we haven’t nailed down the exact choice just yet, we aren’t far away.

I wanted therefore to write a little bit about the areas which we are considering in terms of sending kids to college, and things which you too could consider if you’re in the same position.

Your Child

One mistake I did make in the past, which I will not do again, was to railroad this decision. It is vital that you remember that this is your child’s life and not your own and whatever you may want for them, may not be the same as what they want for themselves. Should you be on hand to help them avoid making a mistake? Absolutely but you should not take this decision as though it was your own. Listen to what your child says and trust in them.

Location

Apart from the educational side of things, going off to college is about moving away from home for a while an your child will need to decide just how far they want to go. Not all college experiences involve moving away and it may be that your child would prefer to stay at home. Whatever the case may be, ensure that you have spoken to your child about what they would like in terms of location.

Major

If your child already knows what they would like to do upon leaving college then you already have a leg up the ladder and you can start to pick schools which specialize in what it is that your child would like to study. Of course colleges offer a wide prospectus but they do invariably specialize in one particular area, and it is worth knowing about this before you decide. For example we selected the college for my son based on the fact that he wanted to major in agriculture and that university is well know for their agriculture courses. The key is helping your child to get the best education possible and if they already know what they want to do, send them to the best place.

Cost

Remember that not all college courses cost the same amount and it is up to you to explain to your child what are the costs involved. Some students don’t want to walk out of college with debts of $100,000 before they even start working so make sure that your child knows and understands how the financial side of things will work.