Book Summary: The Price You Pay for College, by Ron Lieber, Part II
In this post, we’re continuing the summary of the book started here. In this post, we’ll look at overcoming fear and guilt in the college admissions process.
As a parent, the college admissions process can be a stressful and emotional time. You want the best for your child and may experience feelings of fear and guilt throughout the process, but it’s important to recognize that these feelings are unhelpful and can ultimately hinder your child’s success. Here’s how to address these emotions and make the most of the college admissions process.
Fear is a common emotion felt by parents during the college admissions process. You may worry about your child’s future and whether they will attend a high-quality school. However, it’s worth recognizing that these fears are often irrational and should not guide your decision-making. Instead, focus on what you can control and what matters most for your child’s future.
Research shows that attending a highly selective college does not have a significant impact on wages earned throughout one’s life compared to attending a less prestigious college. Therefore, it’s important to consider factors beyond the name and reputation of a school, such as the specific programs and opportunities offered.
Many parents feel guilty about their child’s college expenses and may assume that they are expected to foot the bill. This assumption is not always realistic and can lead to unnecessary guilt. It’s important to have an honest conversation with your child about the financial realities of college, including the additional costs such as housing, fraternities or sororities, and transportation.
You may also feel guilty about not being able to provide your child with the same college experience that you had. In reality, times have changed and you don’t need to make the same decisions as your parents did. Taking out loans that you can’t afford may ultimately harm your relationship with your child and put unnecessary pressure on that relationship.
Instead, focus on what you can afford and what will ultimately benefit your child’s future. Encourage them to apply for scholarships and financial aid, and consider schools that offer programs and opportunities that align with their interests and goals.
The college admissions process can be a stressful and emotional time for parents, but it’s important to recognize and overcome unhelpful feelings of fear and guilt. Focus on what you can control and what matters most for your child’s future, and have an honest conversation about the financial realities of college. With the right mindset and approach, your child can successfully navigate the college admissions process and thrive in their future endeavors.
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