By Kelsey Mulvey, HerCampus.com
We will bring you this post from Kelsey Mulvey in four installments. Guys, don’t get put off by the female gender references, the article was written for HerCampus. There is lots of great advice for everyone.
Whether it’s about your curfew or your new boyfriend, everyone gets in disagreements with their parents once in a while. As the college decision deadline (May 1st) creeps closer, you have something new to bicker about with your parents: where you’re going to college. Sure, the whole process is stressful and you may toy with the idea of putting yourself up for adoption, but don’t fill out the paperwork just yet. Your parents have their own hopes and dreams for you, too. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll win every battle of this pre-collegiette war, we can give you some insight into understanding and negotiating with your parents.
The Situation: For the Love of Money
Face it, college comes with a huge price tag. If the tuition isn’t enough to make your jaw drop, try factoring in the cost of textbooks, transportation, and stuff for your dorm. No wonder your parents might be wary about the price of college! But what if your dream school costs a pretty penny? Relax, ladies: here are some ways to stay calm, classy, and have your parents understand how you feel about the school.
DO Be Objective:
We know how hard it is to stay unbiased about something as big as college; however, you need to give other schools a chance. Claire Burns, a sophomore at Tulane University, was originally planning to go to SUNY Geneseo, which is less expensive. “Even though Geneseo and Tulane are about the same size and the same academically, I loved the atmosphere at Tulane and New Orleans,” says Claire. “I knew it was where I wanted to be for the next four years.” Instead of starting a fight with her parents, Claire agreed to look at Geneseo one more time. “I tried to like Geneseo better because it made more sense, but in the end I knew that I’d always regret it if I decided to go there because it was the easier choice, financially,” says Claire. Being objective, like Claire was, can really pay off! “The fact that I was trying so hard to be objective and admitted that Geneseo was a more practical option, but still had my heart set on Tulane, was what made my parents agree to let me go to Tulane,” says Claire. “They just wanted me to be happy and I’m happier at college than I ever could’ve imagined.”
DO Your Research:
Although college is undeniably pricey, there are some ways to help combat the cost. Examples? Most schools have work-study programs, which is when you have a part-time job at your school to help pay for your tuition. If you’re interested in a school that’s a little more expensive than your parents want, work-study is definitely something to look into. Let’s not forget all of the national and local scholarships you can still apply for! If there’s a will, pre-collegiettes, there’s a way!
DO Suggest Chipping In:
It’s time to (wo)man-up and offer to help pay for college. While your parents may reject that idea, showing them that you’re that committed to the college is a great indicator. But what happens if they really ask you to pay the piper? If you really love the school, you shouldn’t mind helping out however you can. Whether you’ve been working after school or saved money from your Bat Mitzvah or Sweet Sixteen, you can offer to chip in with the money you already have. But beware, pre-collegiettes – this negotiation tactic might leave you buried in student loans for years. Before you agree to this situation, do your research and figure out what long-term financial consequences you could be setting yourself up for. Another way to help your parents financially is to get a summer job and pay for some of your textbooks or dorm supplies.
DON’T Spread Yourself Too Thin:
Since you’re an amazing daughter, you want to help your parents any way you can. So that means getting two part-time jobs and picking up some freelance work on the side, right? Wrong! While it’s important to give your parents a hand, you also need to experience college. “Don’t make any promises that you won’t be able to keep,” says Brooke Hofer a sophomore at the University of Missouri and HC Contributing Writer. “Make sure that when you are trying to compromise, it’s realistic for both you and your parents.” Before you go to college, try making a plan with your family so everyone will be on the same page.
DO Think Rationally:
Remember when you convinced your parents to get you a new phone and then ended up hating it three months later? Just me? Well, you get the picture, right? Sometimes, our parents think that we’re a little… fleeting when it comes to our decisions. They’re right: sometimes, we are! If you’re truly into the school, you can rationally talk about why you want to go there. “When I was in high school, I wrote my parents a long letter detailing why I wanted to go to Bucknell, which is the sixth most expensive school in the nation,” says Jenni Whalen, a senior at Bucknell University and HC Editorial Intern. “They were impressed that I took the time to write out my thoughts in an intelligent and coherent way.” Now that we’re adults (or almost), it’s time to act like adults! Being able to eloquently state how you feel goes a long, long way.
DON’T Forget to Say “Thank You”:
Before you start literally jumping for joy, don’t forget to thank your parents. Your parents do so much for you, it’s easy to forget how much they’re paying for school. “It’s important to act grateful,” says Jenni. “In my situation, I was asking my parents to allow me to go to a really expensive school, so it was important that I acknowledge the costs and the fact that they would be paying for me.” After all, your parents did teach you the power of manners!
Next Situation – An Overnight at a College – stay tunedthe original article from hercampus, written by Kelsy Mulvey