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My husband loves to tell the childhood story about his eldest daughter when she, then a precocious 8 year old, announced to anyone that was listening, “I’m going to Columbia University for college because Columbia University has the best journalism program in the United States!”
How many 8 year-olds do you know that have already mapped out their college paths? And to an Ivy League school, no less. But she was a little girl determined. 10 years later, we sat and witnessed that same little 8 year-old, now 18, dressed in cap and gown in the picture above. She had not only been accepted to attend her dream school, there she sat, surrounded by her fellow Columbia University graduating classmates. Did she do it on her own? Yes, she did. With lots and lots of hard work and determination. But it was her parents and the encouragement she received from home as a young girl that set her on a path of college success.
Planting the the college seed in your child’s head starts early and it starts at home.
What are some ways you can encourage your child’s college dreams?
1. Start talking about college when they are very young. Talk about where you went to college or where you dreamed of going to college. Make it a part of your regular conversations.
2. Create the expectation. Talk about the future and “where” they want to go college, not “if” they go to college.
3. Encourage them when they show an interest in fields that require advance degrees: “That astronaut studied very hard in college to be able to travel on that space ship.”
4. Start thinking and preparing now for college costs. Yes it maybe hard to imagine your little kindergartner moving on past coloring pages, but her college journey is not as far away as you think. The projected price of a four year college education (for the 50 most expensive colleges) in 2025 will cost $237K. That’s a BIG number.
The high cost of college can be intimidating. That brings me to an exciting partnership that I want to share with you. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is now an official partner with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund empowers Hispanic families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund application opens January 1st and runs through end of March. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund website also has some great information and resources about college and college planning.
Are you encouraging your child’s college dreams? What are some of the steps you are taking to ensure those dreams come true?