When Your Child Says No to College
The road to college can be a rocky one. Between SATs, ACTs, tough courses, teacher recommendations, a cutthroat pool of applicants, extracurriculars, college essays, and everything in between, it’s an exhausting journey. So what should you do if your child says she doesn’t want to take the trip? First, take a deep breath. As a parent it’s natural to want the best for your child. And for many parents, college is more than the best choice; it’s the only choice. But before you tell your child she’s grounded for the rest of her life, consider the cold hard facts: College may seem like the ticket to success, but getting your kid there is only half the battle. It’s completion that matters. And only 2 out of 5 students who enter a public four-year college manage to snag a degree within five years. For two-year colleges, the graduation rate is even more abysmal (28.9% in 2007). While it’s taking many students more than five years to graduate, many students aren’t graduating at all—nearly 30% of all students who enter college don’t return for their sophomore year. That hurts. Because the cost of college is anything but cheap. According to The College Board, this year’s average price at a 4-year private college is a whopping $23,712 per year. Public 4-year colleges rang in this year at $6,185 per year, and public 2-year colleges at $2,361 per year.