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Are your ruining your child's future?

How parents might be negatively impacting their kids’ future before college

college frustrations

Getting your kids ready for college and helping in the decision making process is something every parent is involved in, and it is happening in many households right now. 

But many parents are making mistakes when it comes to their children’s future (and their own wallet) and may not even know it. A former university president offers some tips for how parents can make the most of this time with their kids — the right way.

SEE MORE: HVP explores the College Search Process

Making the wrong decision about what to study or where to go to school can have costly and time-consuming consequences. Switching majors or schools or even going back to school after you start working can all jack up the cost of obtaining a higher education and subsequent student loan debt:

• More than 50% of college students will change their field of study

• 33% of students will transfer to a different college before graduating

• About seven in 10 students today graduate with debt

READ MORE: College Planning for Baby

Parents often fail to ask their children the right questions. Joe Schmoke, founder of University Research and Review, a free college selection service, offers these key mistakes parents should avoid:

Not questioning their kid’s decision. When your child is applying for schools, it’s natural to want to let them make their own decision, as they are about the head out into the world on their own. But it’s still your job to help guide them in the right direction.

Ignoring the numbers. A college education is one of the most expensive purchases many people will ever make, but too often people don’t pay attention to the price. Consider whether the schools you’re looking at fit your budget and what options are available to pay for them so your child is not drowning in debt when they graduate.

Basing their decision on the wrong reasons. Ask your child why they want to focus on that specific major or school. If it’s just because a friend is doing the same, or you want them to go there because you or a relative did, that may not make the most financial or practical sense. An objective test, like URR’s, can help guide them in the right direction if they’re not sure.

READ MORE: 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a College

Assuming college is right for everyone. Just because you want your child to go to college doesn’t mean it’s always the best decision for them. Everyone’s circumstances are different — some people may benefit from working for a year or two before going to school, or they may decide college is not for them.

Choosing a college and field of study is very emotional and personal. The URR advisors have more than 280 years of experience combined. The service is tailored to a variety of end users, including high school students, current college students considering switching schools or majors, or professionals interested in going back to school. URR’s results are unbiased and never favor one institution over another, ensuring an even playing field and unbiased suggestions from URR advisors.