Breaking bad news is never easy, especially when talking to your teens. How do you tell them that you can’t afford to send them to their dream school? Learn about the best way to handle the situation.
So they did it. Your child worked hard, studied diligently, scored high and earned admission into their dream college.
Congrats to all involved, including you, their teachers and of course, your student. But while they were accepted to the prestigious institution they’ve always wanted to attend, they didn’t get a scholarship. And when you find out how much it actually costs to send them to that special school, you’re in major sticker shock. How do you tell your child you can’t afford for them to go there?
The best way to handle this situation is to not be in this situation. The cost of the college your student has been raving about for years should not be a surprise. You and your teen should continually be having open and informed conversations about all the colleges they are interested in as soon as they enter high school, if not before. If you know from the beginning that their top pick is going to be hard to pay for, start discussing it early.
• Make your student aware of what they might have
to contribute to go to a pricey school, be it income from a job or working harder to earn scholarships or looking into student loans.
• Discuss what the real return on the investment in their dream college will be. Is there a higher chance of employment right after graduation? Will a degree from the dream college lead to a higher salary?
• Finally, help your student look at the impact to their family. Make sure they understand early on that if the money is simply not there, they may actually have to say “no” to that dream college. It’s your job as a parent to help them through these tough realities. If you both have plan B and C ready, it may just be a shift to some other great options.