We spend years grooming our kids for college. We make sure they do their homework, pay for test preparation courses, and help them complete college applications. We wait with them to see if they will get into the college of their choice.
Chances are, though, as parents, we don't spend nearly as much time trying to help them figure out how to pay for college. Sure, scholarships are great, but they are increasingly more and more competitive. Getting one is difficult, and even if the child does secure one, it isn't likely to pay for college entirely.
If you don't want your child saddled with student loan debt, discussing how much you as the parent can afford to pay for the child's college education is essential.
Figuring Out College Costs
Sitting down and discussing which colleges are most affordable is also essential.
However, another thing you can do is help groom your child for a job he can do in college that will help pay the bills while he is getting his college education.
Ideally, your child can start working this job in high school and build it up before she goes to college. She should have a strong, functional business before she heads off to college.
Don't think it's possible? Consider that Facebook was created while Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard college student. Likewise, Sittercity, the website that many parents now use to find their children's babysitters, was also started by a college student.
If your child plans it right, he may be able to not only pay for college with his side job but also launch his career as an entrepreneur when he graduates.
Business and College
First, your child needs to settle on a business idea. She can scour the internet or books looking for ideas. Or, she can do something she is already good at such as teaching music lessons, cutting grass, babysitting, or caring for the elderly — the list goes on and on. If she's planning to move to a different area for college, picking a business that is entirely online may be a smarter choice.
If his business is dependent on the internet, your child will need to set up a user-friendly website. He will also need to find an online payment solution so that he can accept payments and protect his customer's sensitive financial data.
Finally, she will need to learn how to market her business and find more customers. Time management skills are also essential.
Preparing your child for college requires more than just the academic work. If you teach your child to also be an entrepreneur, he will not have many of the financial burdens new college graduates have, and he may even be able to create his own career path.
What are your thoughts on college and entrepreneurship?