Encourging a Teen to go to College

As a parent, you want your teen to be able to support themselves as adults, but this is becoming increasingly difficult to do without a college degree as 65% of jobs now require them. The job market is more competitive than ever and, unfortunately, many a time a candidate is discarded because they didn’t go to college. In addition, getting a college degree nearly doubles yearly income while the average income of somebody who only has a high school one is $27,915- hardly anything since the cost of living ranges between $18,000 and $26,000. The cold, hard truth is that, in order to be independent, your teen needs a college degree, and some tips to encourage your teen to attend college include:

Creating a Mock-Budget

Living on their own, teens will have to create a budget based on their earnings so help them create two mock-budgets, one based off earnings with a college degree and the other based off earnings without. Make sure to include all of the expenses that he or she will need. There are many budget spreadsheets online, so you can use one as a template for your two budgets. After filling in all the appropriate figures, compare the two budgets and ask your teen which one is the better financial situation. Most likely it will be the budget based off yearly income with a college degree.

Challenging Teens to Live on Mock-Budget for One Week

Teens are often naïve when it comes to the importance of expenses, so challenge your teen to live on a non-college-graduate-budget for one week. All of their earnings from their full-time job must go to paying for their own rent, groceries, clothes, gas, car and health insurance, and entertainment. If your teen has a part-time job, then reduce the challenge to just one day. They can’t use entertainment they haven’t paid for such as Xbox, TV, and computer, and they must pay for their own cell phone bills as well. By the end of the challenge, teens will realize that in order to live how they are accustomed to that they need to get a college degree.

Researching Qualifications for Dream Jobs

Does your teen have a dream career? Research the qualifications for your teen’s dream job to see if getting a college degree is involved. If it does, look into what kind of degree the job requires and ask a college guidance counselor what kinds of classes must be taken to obtain that degree. Chances are that the classes might appeal to your teen, encouraging him or her to attend college to learn something they are truly passionate about. Also look into clubs the college has for teens that aspire to go into a certain profession.

Making Examples out of Friends and Family

Sometimes looking at the people around them is enough to encourage teens to rise above their hang-ups and fears about going to college. Think about people your teen knows such as friends and family that did not get a college degree.  Compare them with your teen to people that did. Most likely, they have a higher standard of living and are able to afford nice things. Talk about the differences between them with your teen and stress the importance of getting a college degree.