Preparing Kids for College

How to Get Kids to Take High School Business Classes

Become an example to your teen. Make efforts to attend business seminars, conferences and meetings on how to become more productive, learn new tax laws, and business legislation. Share what you have learned with your teen. Even if you do not own your own business, much of this can be applied to your regular job and even the running of a household. Even more importantly, show your teen how critical it is to pay bills on time and stress the importance of having a good credit score.

Discuss how high school classes will assist the student during college and later in adulthood. Give examples of applying these skills to real circumstances. For example, buying a home or place of business requires a knowledge of interest rates, legal jargon and comparative pricing. Even renting an apartment requires budgeting skills and the ability to find the ultimate space for the most reasonable cost. Basic business classes might help your young student to excel at more challenging instruction in college or vocational schools.

Involve your child in business-type exercises early. Don't wait until their senior year in high school to prepare her for life. Laura Levine, the executive director of financial literacy organization Jumpstart Coalition, advises parents to make business finance knowledge a life-long learning process for their offspring, starting at a young age. Schools can step in later to complement and expand on earlier instruction. Levine says she sees a correlation between both home and school business education when she states that, "Financial education needs to be in school, after school and at home. Kids can learn the standards-based education in the classroom, but at home they get how money and [family] values intersect."

Help your teen choose classes that will best meet the needs of her long-term goals and interests. Finance, business law, economics, logistics and marketing might be just a few that are offered at your child's high school. Further education is available during college years, if necessary, but just having basic knowledge will provide the basis for a lifetime of strong business acumen.

How to Finance Private School Tuition for Your Child

Speak with your child’s private school to inquire about financial aid available directly through the school. Many private institutions offer financial aid to students, including merit scholarships and financial awards based on need, according to the Park Tudor website. Follow application guidelines to submit paperwork by deadlines to ensure that you receive the award in a timely fashion.

Inquire about multiple student discounts with the private school if you have more than one student that will attend. You might receive a discount with having more than one child attending the school.

Contact your state’s education department to find out about available private school tuition vouchers or financial assistance available for families with students in private schools, advises the Grant Space website. Visit the U.S. Department of Education website for contact information and website addresses of state Departments of Education.

Explore scholarship programs available that might help you fund your child’s private school tuition. The Children’s Scholarship Fund offers tuition assistance for children in grades K through 8. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers scholarship assistance for children in grades 8 through 12.

Research the possibility of securing a family education loan through a lender, such as Sallie Mae. Check into the details of the financing to ensure that it offers the terms you need, including flexible repayment plan, competitive interest and fees.

Explore assistance through extended family if you have parents or grandparents who have the financial ability to provide financial assistance that will help you afford private school tuition.

Appropriate Gifts for College Graduates

Job Prep

Give your graduate gifts that can help him get ahead in his job search. It can be difficult for graduates to get their resume to stand out above the hundreds of others applying for the same job. Give our graduating college student the gift of a professional resume service that can give his resume a professional polish to make it stand out. You can give your graduate some professional attire for interviews to get him started in the workplace. A few high-quality tailored suits and dress shoes go a long way in that department.

New Electronics

The computer he has used during college is old and needs replacing. Help the graduate in your life get a fresh start with a new laptop and a new smartphone. The laptop will be beneficial for job searches and for taking work home from the office when he gets a job. Complete the gift with a super-fast laser printer. You can also give your graduate a top-of-the-line tablet packed with the latest productivity applications, as well as games that allow him to play against his old college friends now spread across the country.

Apartment Needs

If your college graduate is moving into his first apartment, he may need help preventing his apartment from looking like his sparsely furnished dorm room. A gift of key furniture pieces, such as a nice couch and coffee table, bedroom set and a dining room table and chairs will make his apartment fit his new life as a working professional. If his apartment is already well furnished, you could give him some much-needed household items, such as a high-quality coffee maker, a blender for breakfast smoothies, a toolkit, or some cool wall art.

Money and More

You can never go wrong with the gift of cold, hard cash for a college graduate. Between all the costs of student loans, moving into his own place and looking for a job, he could use all the money he can get. If you would prefer not to just write a big check, consider giving gift certificates to furniture, clothing or electronic stores to let him choose exactly the items he wants, or needs. Your graduate also might really appreciate a hefty savings bond that will be worth quite a bit when it matures.

How to Parent College Kids With ADHD

Make a plan with your college kid regarding your involvement. He might want you to restrict phone calls to once a week, or he might like to come home for dinner twice a month. Set up this plan and stick to it -- it will help give your child the independence he wants while also letting you know it’s okay to check in every once in a while. Remind your child that if he needs extra support from you, he can talk to you to adjust your plan.

Encourage your child to reduce his first semester course load. While some students might load up their schedule, the amount of homework or extra hours outside of the classroom might prove to be too stressful for a college kid with ADHD. On the other hand, too few classes might not provide enough structure, which you know from experience your child does need.

Give gentle reminders. It’s not up to your child’s college to remind him to take his medicine or make it to his counseling appointment. You want your child to be independent, but for important things like medication, you might need to continue to provide the reminders and support.

Know when to let things go. If your child’s dorm room is a mess, you might be quick to start an argument about it -- but is this a battle you need to win? You can’t always hover over your child’s shoulder and remind him to clean his room or brush his teeth. Remember you probably did the best you could with teaching these skills as your child grew up.

Find a doctor near your child’s college. This step is particularly important if your child goes to a college away from home. Sometimes medication adjustments are necessary, or your child might want to seek counseling services.

Ask your child to talk to his professors about his ADHD. Some colleges allow extra time on tests or recordings of lectures, but your child will need permission from professors first.

Use vacations or breaks from school to reinforce the ideas you taught your child. Provide healthy meals and let your college kid help you prepare those meals, so he has skills he can take with him to college. Don’t wait on your child during vacations, but rather let him do his own laundry or continue routines he needs to have at school.

Tip

Remind your child it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, so teach him that asking for support from you is okay. Talk to your child about having access to his academic records. With the shift to electronic grading systems, grades are often available online after an exam or assignment. Ask if you can monitor these grades as well, so you can talk to your child if you notice a drop or celebrate when his grades improve.

How to Best Raise Money for Your Kid's College

Invest money in stocks. This is a good way to keep your education savings even with the pace of inflation, according to CNN Money. Choose options with a good three to five year track record but with low expenses. Make sure you can cash in on your investments easily when college nears, so the money is handy when you need it.

Open a college savings account. This is ideal for people who are nervous about using stocks and bonds and for parents who don't have a lot of money to invest initially. Set up an account that discourages frequent transfers and have a certain amount of your paycheck automatically deposited into the account. A 529 college savings plan is ideal because it's tax-free, and your child can use the money at most universities.

Use credit card rewards to fund college. You can link your account to UPromise and earn rewards when shopping at participating stores. Redeem the funds any time you want and have them put directly into a college savings account. You can also transfer the cash-back rewards from any credit card into the account.

Hold a fundraiser. Edulender, an online college savings program, allows you to set up an account to which friends and family or even strangers can donate money. If you start a fundraiser early enough, your child might finish college without debt.

Ask for money instead of gifts. If your baby has everything he needs, and he's still too young to care about birthday gifts, ask for donations to put toward his college fund. Friends and family can contribute to the cause at birthdays or holidays. If your older child gets cash gifts, help him put some into his college account and then let him spend the rest on toys or other items.