With the school year wrapping up for us here in the Northeast this week, we are a summer away from having two high school juniors in our household. The all-important junior year with SATs, ACTs, part-time jobs and all the other complicated things that come along with being 16 year-olds. One of our goals as parents is to help our children remained focused on what’s important, we certainly agree that their education should be a priority, being involved in activities like sports and clubs should be next, followed by working and social events with friends. We want our children to be as well-rounded as possible before they possible head off to college. I have written about the cost of college early this year here and here. We plan on continuing the summer college discussion over the next few months.
All You Can Eat
Since our kids were young we have always encouraged them to participate in as many activities as possible. You’ll never really know if you like something unless you experience it first hand. They all played soccer when they were five. It was a good introduction to team sports. Martial arts were a costly experiment that only lasted a few years, but at least they all least a little self-defense. Now in high school and middle school, we continue to have our children take advantage of the academics, sports and clubs activities that are available to them. It’s a great opportunity to fill up their plates and get a taste of the subjects and interest they like and dislike. Most if not all are now little or no cost and are during school or after. So why not take advantage of it. These experiences should help shape future decisions.
Doing their Homework
Part of the discussion about college with our children is to do their homework. No, not only the work that is assigned from their classroom teachers but homework as far college cost, majors, potential earnings, entrepreneurship paths, etc. Now I don’t expect them to handle this all on their own, but want them to be aware and be thinking of these things as they make a decision on their futures. Mom and dad will be here to assist, helping guide them, heck we’ll be funding a good chunk of their college tuition, so we’ll have a good say. One data point we will share is a recent PayScale College ROI report.
The highlights from the report:
1. The financial return on investment of a college education will continue to increase in the next ten years, but at very different rates for public and private colleges.
2. By 2025, the 20-year net ROI of a bachelor’s degree at a private school will rise 4 percent, but the 20-year net ROI of a degree at a public school will rise 17 percent.
3. This may be in part because the sticker price of tuition at private schools is generally so much higher than at public schools.
With the increased cost of a college education, it makes it even more important than ever that students factor cost, career goals and projected earning into their decisions around college choice. In my experience the college you obtained your degree typically in a not a factor in job search or hiring, it the fact that you have that degree. That fact makes the sticker price of public college much more attractive.
I know this might be a lot of information for teenagers to handle, but I have seen mine take multitasking to new levels on many occasions, so I’m confident they will be able to handle.
What factor do you think are the biggest when selecting a college, or career? Are you or have you had these type of discussion with your children?
Brian is a Dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013. Who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. Brian is involved in his local community. As a Financial Committee Chair with the Board of Education of his local school district, he has helped successfully launch a K-12 financial literacy program in a six thousand student district.