Colleges Universities Tips to Encourage a Teen to Attend College

Parents with teens must be realistic when giving thought to their teen’s future. First and foremost, the global economic crisis has significantly lowered employment opportunities. This means that the more educated your teen is, the better opportunity he/she may have in being selected for a highly coveted job. A host of employers will overlook the poorly educated job candidate for the one who has a college degree. Yes there once were a plethora of jobs available which one could gain without a college degree, yet the pickings are extremely slim these days.

As a responsible parent, it is imperative that you give your child every opportunity you possibly can, to have a successful future. Thus, a plethora of parents endeavour to convince their teen to go on to college. Unfortunately, many teens don’t recognize the benefits of attending college and talk about the possibility of postponing or not attending college at all. Parents often go into panic mode and begin to stress thinking that their teen will have a very bleak future. Yet there are a host of tips one can use to motivate their teen to attend college.

Set aside your fears:

First and foremost, set aside your fears or at least hide them if possible. No teen appreciates negativity in their parents. They don’t appreciate parents who have such little faith in their ability to gain employment.  Irrespective of having a college degree or not, if your teen is adamant they will gain employment somewhere, somehow, you can bet your bottom dollar they will do their best to make it happen.

Work with you teen on his/her terms:

This is NOT about you, so work with your teen on his/her terms. Some parents have a tendency to attempt to live their own dreams through their teens. Parents had their opportunity and still do if they want something so much. But the focus should now be on the teen and his/her true aspirations. What many parents fail to comprehend is that if they push their teen into something they don’t want to do, they may end up resenting their parents for a lifetime.

Make the teen think it was their idea to go to college:

The key to getting a teen to go through to college is to somehow convince them that it was their idea in the first place. This is not as hard as it seems, leave magazines and literature lying around on the coffee table and so forth which highlights all the benefits of college. Another way to convince your teen to go to college is to do a little research and find out if their favourite celebrity went to college. Then discuss just how successful that particular person’s life is thanks to a great education.

Do not demand that the teen attends college:

Teens will close parents out as soon as they become too demanding. Demanding that the teen go to college is asking for trouble, they don’t appreciate having the choice taken away from them. They will most likely rebel and state that they will not go no matter what you say. This will break down the parent/teen relationship. The teen will feel that you have overstepped your parental rights. Give your teen as many opportunities and options as possible.

Do not use emotional blackmail:

A large number of parents attempt to use emotional blackmail to convince their teens to attend college. This is underhanded and cruel, no teens deserves to have their emotions toyed with. Teens are far from stupid and will usually see right through this type of tactic. Mothers put the tissues away and father; forget about telling your teen that dear departed grandfather would be so happy if the teen went to college. Playing on a child’s guilt, compassion and emotions is a horrible thing to do. Besides, parents who do this are bordering on becoming control freaks.

Find out why the teen does not wish to go to college:

Perhaps your teen feels that school was enough and that they simply can’t see themselves spending more time in an educational facility. Try helping them to see the rainbow at the end of the tunnel.  Yes, getting through college takes some time but the end results are well worth it. Besides, spending the rest of their lives robbing Peter to pay Paul is no fun. Discuss how not going to college can place major limitations on their employment opportunities. Also talk about the cost of college, at times teens will simply deem it far too much of a financial burden on either their parents or themselves. scholarships and a host of other ways to fund college. Talk about all the options available to teens who attend college such as student loans.

Perchance the teen simply wants a break from education for a while:

At times, teens are a little burned out, they’ve become a little sick of school of any type. A myriad of teens have a break prior to going on to college.  This is understandable; they’ve spent a few years in the educational system.  They may simply wish to let their hair down prior to stepping into a adult’s world.


Often times, teens are somewhat intimidated by the thought of college, making new friends, fitting in, keeping up their grades and so forth. They may simply feel that they couldn’t cope. This is when they need encouragement from their parents. Parents must convince their teens that they have a great deal of faith in them and that they believe their teen can be successful if they work hard.

Make a few basics suggestions:

Give you teen something to think about. Whilst you may want them to go to a specific college, they may be thinking of somewhere else. Realistically present the many options that are available. These may include vocational colleges, community colleges and online colleges. They may not be what the parents may deem the ideal options, but if they get your teen on the right path to bettering the chance of a successful future, one should be satisfied.

Discuss what your teen hopes to do if they decide not to attend college:

So what comes after high school if your teen does not wish to attend college? Both the parents need to sit down and have serious discussion about what their plans are. Is he/she planning on living at home? Are they allowed to live at home after graduation day? Will he/she have to pay rent for lodging? These are decisions both parents and their teens need to make ahead of time. Teen must be given some options and the adults must be given some insight into what their teen intends to do with their lives. Do mention that attending college will be so much less stressful that working in a burger joint trying to keep a roof over their heads as an adult.

The decision to go to college is not yours to make so try to trust your teen’s judgement. If parents instill responsibility and a sense of motivation in their child from a very young age, chances are they will see the benefits of going to college. Hopefully, the teen that decides not to attend college may change their mind in a couple of years.