These Parenting Tips Will Help Your Child Pay For College

Education is the cornerstone of succeeding as an adult, and a college degree has become increasingly necessary in order to develop a career.

But the costs of a secondary education have soared in recent years, with many parents facing the stress and anxiety of the financial burdens associated with sending their child to college.

Many parents and children find themselves increasingly in debt in order to cover college costs, tapping into retirement plans or taking out loans.

But there is something parents can do to help their children pay for school themselves — and it starts at an early age.

The Foundation for Economic Education reported:

It’s often said that we appreciate something much more the harder we work for it. In the same vein, a student who has to work to put himself through college is much more likely to appreciate the opportunity to learn and will therefore seek to get as much out of his studies as he possibly can. Additionally, a student who pays his own way is more likely to pick the college which offers the most bang for his buck, thus eliminating the tendency to choose a college by the look of the campus or the level of party life.

As evidenced by the demands for free college and safe spaces on campus, many of today’s students are beginning to treat a college education as a right. Paying one’s own way, however, helps a student understand what a privilege education actually is.

Oftentimes, the current generation of college students look at college as a “right,” and expect their parents to pay for it.

They often do not understand the financial burden on parents, or the work it takes to get them through an undergraduate program.

Many parents are now thinking about the costs of college tuition when their children are still young — and they are increasingly putting some of the responsibility on their children.

There are ways parents can raise their children with a sense of financial responsibility, and to teach children that a secondary education requires planning and hard work on their part.

By following some of these tips, you can raise your child without a sense of entitlement, and create the expectation they will pay for their education.

Learn Vest shares some important tips for raising a child who will be able to pay for their education on their own:

  1. Don’t hide the truth.Take responsibility for teaching your kids the financial facts of life. Just like it’s important to be upfront with them when the family is having financial difficulties, it’s important to answer their questions about money honestly. Don’t assume that they’ll learn about debt or interest rates at school. They should, but very few states require personal finance courses to be taken.

  2. Teach them that money is finite.“If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it.” Explain what a budget is and keep up a dialogue about how much money is available to spend when shopping together. Start young teens on a clothing budget and make them accountable for sticking to it.

  3. Differentiate between want and need.It’s easy for these concepts to blur for kids. Explain to younger children that you will provide their “needs;” however, older children will have to earn the money toward their “wants.”

  4. Make them work. Nothing teaches you about how time relates to money like holding a job. When children are young, they can receive an allowance to save toward school, and when they are older, expect them to get a job and put money away.

By raising kids to respect money, save what they earn, and look at college as a long-term goal from a young age, parents can instill an important life lesson that will help their child succeed long after they graduate.

The financial stress parents put on themselves to pay for education does not have to be the responsibility of the parents alone.

A child who is raised with the expectation of paying for school will be far more appreciative of the privilege, and will work harder to get the most out of their money and time.